“Mom Breaks Marathon Record — While Pushing Her Baby in a Stroller for 26.2 Miles” originally appeared on Yahoo Parenting and was reprinted with permission.
British mom Jessica Bruce, Ph.D., polished off 26.2 miles in the Abingdon Marathon in the U.K. in a little over three hours — all while pushing her 7-month-old son Daniel in his Bugaboo Runner stroller. Bruce began training for the marathon four months after having Daniel, who is her first child. During the race, Bruce’s husband David, who is also an avid runner, ran alongside his wife and baby to help out, singing to his son and even giving him a bottle near mile 21.
Her accomplishment is a record-breaker: While her 3:17:52 race time is currently pending a Guinness World Record verification for the fastest female to push a stroller during a marathon, the previous time by another mother was 3:31:45. “It’s amazing she was able to run so fast pushing a stroller — it’s a lot of weight,” Sarah Bowen Shea, runner and co-author of Run Like a Mother: How to Get Moving and Not Lose Your Family, Job Or Sanity, tells Yahoo Parenting.
Yahoo Parenting couldn’t reach Bruce for comment, but she told Runner’s World that she even surprised herself with her speedy time. “I am just quite amazed we managed to do it in that time,” she said. “Nothing went wrong, and I was so encouraged by the support along the way.”
That support — especially off the course — is crucial for moms trying to get the necessary training under their belts to accomplish a marathon. “Training for a marathon is particularly challenging as a new mom since your sleep is already interrupted so you’re trying to train on less sleep,” says Shea. “If you’re breastfeeding, you have to work around the schedule or feed on demand. I’ve known some runners who had to breastfeed by the side of a trail.”
Bruce’s husband works long hours, which meant she had to find a way to care for her baby without giving up her love of running. So she decided to take her son along for the ride, starting four months after giving birth, choosing to run on hills near her home, which proved to be more challenging than the actual marathon course. “We did so much training on hilly courses so this was easier than I expected,” she told BBC.com. “We went off on an even pace and it was really good. Daniel was a star.”
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