Friday, January 6, 2012

Strollers in the back?!

Since becoming a mom and joining the Stroller Warriors Running Club, I've done quite a few 5ks and 10ks in the local (Eastern NC) area. At all of these races, those of us pushing strollers are told we MUST start in the back. And while I understand the intent behind this rule - starting lines are crowded, strollers can pose various hazards to other runners (i.e. wheels catching ankles, sippy cups tossed from the stroller create tripping obstacles), I think such a rule is antiquated.

I'm not leading the pack by any means, but there are several of us in the club that consistently place among the top of our AG and could probably even post faster times without having to navigate the crowd at the back. It takes so much more effort to run with a stroller or to hop curbs in an attempt to get around the walkers or slower joggers. This could be eliminated with a little common sense rule:

Know your abilities and line up accordingly!

If races are small in size, I use my judgment and try to line up where I will not be in the way of the speed demons, but will not have to struggle around the crowds as I start out. This usually puts me to the side of the middle of the pack. And while most people are accepting, I have come across the occasional naysayer recommending I move to the back. I always find a bit of joy in passing said naysayer:)

In no way am I trying to discredit those slower joggers/walkers in the back of the race either! I'm always happy to see a crowd at a race of any distance and support anyone willing to lace up their shoes and hit the ground running!

So who's with me on this one? Jogging with strollers makes us tougher, and it shouldn't be a penalty!