Last Friday night our family participated in the March of Dimes Night Moves 5k. This was the first time we did an event all as a family so it was a new experience and a lot of fun! We have a special affinity for March of Dimes because all three of our children were premature and spent time in the NICU after birth.
Friday afternoon we had a doctor appointment for our 1-yr-old and after that was done we headed home to prepare for the race. Our older twins were still in daycare so we were able to get everything set before it was time to pick them up. We have a double jogging stroller and a single jogging stroller so I first had to figure out how to compact both into the van. After some fiddling, I got the double in the trunk and the single took over one of the seats in the middle row. I’m pretty sure I could get them both in the back, but for the event, I just wanted to get them in and get going.
After we got all our stuff together, we went to get the twins before heading out. We grabbed them some food on the way so they would have something to eat while we were out but we both had a Clif Bar. Generally, fast food and running don’t mix very well.
Once we got downtown to the area around the race we had to wait a little to get into the parking garage. We found a spot and started unloading the crew. It took a little to get the strollers out and set up but once things were organized we were ready to head down. The elevator let us off right at the registration area where we got our race packets and numbers. One of the cooler things about this was that the timing chip was built into the race number! I’m used to triathlons where your timing chip is attached to your ankle the entire time so having this little chip glued to the back of our numbers was pretty cool. We also got a pretty nifty neon green race shirt, appropriately high-viz for the night running we were about to do. They also gave us a couple glo necklaces and a little blinky light.
Once we were done getting all our swag we headed a little up the way through the vendors area to try to find a place that wasn’t blaringly loud from the band playing. We ended up camping out in the middle of the walkway and started getting the glow sticks ready for the kids. That afternoon I stopped at the dollar store to get a bunch and seriously stocked up on them so we had plenty to give them. Of course they loved them. so much so that they kept wanting more until each of them had multiple bracelets, multiple necklaces, a glow stick each as well as a sword for our son and flower wand for our daughter. We also tied a few on the frames of the strollers. By this time it was getting close to race time and the announcer was saying something about the race and all. It was really hard to understand since we were mostly behind the rest of the people and behind the speakers. Finally they started saying something that sounded like the race was beginning and we quickly made our way over to the street.
As the crowd began moving we were able to get into the middle of it before the walkers really started. We started jogging and proceeded to spend the first half mile weaving through slower runners and walkers. It was a weird feeling to be pushing this big stroller and trying to weave through the pack. On top of that it started raining right as we started so I zipped the rain cover down on the stroller while The Coach covered over hers as much as she could. I had assumed that we would spend the beginning weeding through the slower runners before getting into a pack that was more of our speed, but we actually spent the entire race weaving through people. Some of them were probably not able to pace themselves so well, some were doing a deliberate run/walk but right up to the last quarter mile we were passing people.
The run itself was pretty cool. It was very cloudy so the darkness came on really quickly. Not even 15min after we started it was pretty much completely dark. It was cool to see all the little blinky lights and glow necklaces as we went too. We weren’t the only ones with jogging strollers out there. At one point we actually got passed by a guy with a double. He came running up on the grass next to the path we were on! We got a lot of comments about pushing the kids which was pretty cool but that guy was definitely ahead of us! Running at night isn’t something I do much so it was pretty fun to be able to be out and enjoy the location and everything. We had a nice view of the Columbus skyline and the rain only bothered us for a few minutes.
As we came into the finish we went down a hill where I basically let the jogging stroller drag me across the line. The speed graph for the race ends with this sudden tick up as I sprinted for the line! We passed the line and parked off on the side. I went and got our complementary pizza (Donatos, yum!) which I then gave both of my pieces the the twins because they were hungry and a little cranky.
Running-wise, it was different. If you’ve never run with a stroller, it’s a very different feeling. In some ways it feels easy because you can get some momentum going with the stroller and just go with it, but it’s also harder because you have (in my case) 60+lbs of rolling resistance in front of you. Going downhill you have to fight to keep it from getting away from you, going uphill you’re pushing all that weight as well as getting yourself up the hill. Despite all that, we managed a good pace. According to the official results, The Coach finished in 33:16 (Chip Time)/34:02 (Gun Time) and I finished in 33:58 (Chip Time)/33:58 (Gun Time). According to my GPS, it took me 33:38 at a pace of 10:22min/mi! Not bad for pushing kids! The Coach was pretty much right behind me crossing the line (actually more than just right behind me. I took off with the stroller down that last hill and beat her by a little bit) so it’s funny that according to the site, she beat me.
In the end, it was a great experience. Cranky kids and a little bit of rain didn’t take away from a fun race in a rather unique setting. I can’t wait to do it next year! I also can’t wait to find our next race to do as a family! Maybe it’ll be a Turkey Trot around Thanksgiving, or it might be a Christmas run (there’s a Rudolph Run in our town in December). If we do a Christmas one, I’ll be pushing the stroller covered in Christmas lights and blaring Christmas music!