If you’ve ever participated in any kind of foot race, you know that the training process is intense.
Even a walk for a good cause can take a lot out of a person. Being in shape and keeping your head in the game is very important. For many runners, that involves a lot of training time, be it solo or with a partner.
One woman decided to tackle a race with three very special partners in tow. Cynthia Lauren Arnold ran a full marathon while pushing her three children in a stroller.
This isn’t Cynthia’s first go at the impressive feat. Last July, she broke the record for running a half-marathon with a triple stroller.
The fact that one person has done this is unbelievable, but the fact that there’s a record being broken just makes it even more incredible.
Cynthia was excited for the opportunity to beat her personal best, which was 17 miles with a triple stroller. She ended up breaking a marathon record!
Running races is no joke. It takes serious dedication and months (sometimes years) of preparation to get your body in shape, combining strength with endurance. Whether it’s a 5K or a full marathon, runners take their passion seriously.
Cynthia Lauren Arnold has what it takes, and she’s proven it time and time again. The 35-year-old is a longtime runner, having run track in high school and college. When she became a mom, she thought that bringing her kids along in a stroller was a perfect way to maintain her passion for running while embracing the change in her life.
“Running with the stroller has so many benefits for running parents,” Cynthia told Runner’s World. “Those of us who run know how much it is a part of our identity. You can’t just give that up if you become a parent. The stroller gives one the freedom to carry on a lifestyle with new ones in tow.”
Running with a stroller can be difficult because of the extra weight from the child and the stroller. That challenge didn’t stop Cynthia, who regularly runs with all three of her kids.
Last year, Cynthia set her sights on an impressive goal. She wanted to beat the Guinness World Record for fastest half-marathon time for a woman pushing a three-child stroller. The previous record was 1:47:32, which was set in early 2018.
Cynthia’s husband gave her the idea to try to beat the record. She told Runner’s World, “He said, ‘You should try to go for this triple world record in the half marathon, that would be really cool. That would be neat for the kids.'”
Cynthia participated in the Missoula Marathon, running the women’s half marathon race while pushing her triple stroller with her two daughters and son. She broke the record by just under 20 minutes, finishing the race in 1:29:08.
Part of what made beating the record so sweet for Cynthia is the fact that she won’t be able to run with a triple stroller for much longer. Her oldest child is daughter Marguerite, who is now 6. Marguerite won’t fit in the stroller much longer.
Knowing that her opportunity to run with all three kids was nearly over is part of what motivated Cynthia to pursue the full marathon record this year. To beat the previous triple-stroller record, Cynthia would have to run 26.2 miles in 4:06.
It was also more challenging because of how much her kids had grown since the previous year. The combined weight of the children was now 130 pounds. Adding the triple stroller, Cynthia was pushing a total of 185 pounds while running the race.
Cynthia began training over the winter. She did a number of 20-mile training runs, as well as a trail marathon in February. While she did bring the kids along for some of the runs, she performed the majority of her training by herself.
When the kids were with her, she limited her runs to 10 miles at a time. As the marathon drew nearer, she did a 17-mile run. The kids enjoy it just as much as she does, she explained.
“We live in rural Montana and see lots of wildlife on the bike path right out my door,” she told Runner’s World. “I keep a pretty consistent routine and see some regular commuters each day, and the kids like saying hello to the cyclists.”
Cynthia knew the Missoula Marathon would be the perfect place to try it out again. The setting was perfect, and the crowd was super supportive. “I was moved by how many people were cheering for me and knew what my goal was on race day,” she recalled from her experience last year. “One woman called out ‘I’ve been reading about you all year. Go mom!'”
Cynthia completely crushed the record, now setting her own. She had a tough start when her camera, which was necessary to record the run to make it Guinness-eligible, fell off moments before the race started. She fixed the issue and finished the race in 3:11:53.
Go mama, go!