In Italy the stroller running has been developing in recent years, thanks to the incessant work of promotion carried out by Babyrun, which is helping to increase the number of practitioners of this discipline. In the United States, on the other hand, many new parents have already shared a passion for running with the stroller for a long time. But only this year, in 2018 (on the wake of what Babyrun Italy achieved since 2013), in the stars and stripes country the project The Stroller Run was born, that is an event designed for new parents, to show them that you can stay active while having fun with your baby.
Run with the stroller in the home of the stroller running
If you think about which may be the home of the stroller running, you will immediately think of answering: the US, of course! And in fact here you can observe droves of moms and dads, not necessarily physically fit (indeed!), intent on pushing, at various speeds, their little baby in performing sport strollers. And this happens just about anywhere, on any type of terrain and in any season, as our testimonial and holder of 3 world records of running while pushing a triple stroller, Theresa Marie Pitts, has confirmed in the first person.
And so, after many events, organized by fans of stroller running or in the context of larger events, usually beneficial, even in the home of the stroller running a tailor-made event for the stroller runners gets off: The Stroller Run.
But – as befits such a vast nation – a stage could not be enough to cover the demand of the public, and above all to allow parents who are residents, sometimes thousands of kilometers away, to participate. Therefore, this event is divided into 4 stages, 3 already held, respectively in Oakland, California on May 12th, in Chicago on June 2nd and in Portland, Oregon, on June 9th; and the last, now imminent, which will take place in Washington DC on August 11th.
As the manager, Mr. John Malfatto, tells us, the 3 events already organized have been a success: “We have been pleasantly surprised with how many couples run the race together with their children. They were all sorts from marathoners to those who are just getting into running and those who just want to walk and meet new people! “.
Babyrun Italy calling, The Stroller Run USA answering
The Stroller Run is a 5 km race dedicated to families, not focused on the performance of the runner but that relies on inducing parents to leave the house, be active with their children and socialize with other parents in the community. Here there is no space for the race times but just to think about how to decorate your stroller for the occasion (because the eye wants its part!), dress the baby and leave for fun.
As already Babyrun Italy did, (below there is the video of the 2017 edition, held in Turin), even The Stroller Run, in addition to running, offers a series of attractions and services specifically designed for parents, ranging from Mom Expo, the race village where to refresh the family after “the running enterprise” and visit the stands of the various exhibitors; at the Kids Camp, the playground area reserved for younger participants; at the Stroller Valet, the parking of strollers that allows families to easily navigate the various stands without the stroller’s bulk; up to the Best Stroller, which is the election of the best stroller, where creativity and collaboration within the family are rewarded.
Being a stroller runner in the USA: differences and opportunities compared to Italy
Mr. Malfatto confirms that “most new moms get a running stroller so they aren’t that strange. I would say over 50% of American parents have run with their baby in a stroller”. This means that, although strictly regulated as it should be, “the presence of running buggies is becoming more and more accepted…even encouraged if the course is safe”.
In fact, the practice of stroller running in the US, having been there for a long time, is much more structured than in Italy and we see it from many aspects:
- The participation of stroller runners at races has been well regulated for years in the US, while in Italy it has been a recent conquest
- The US parents who run while pushing a stroller are many and are not seen as crazy extraterrestrials (as Mr. Malfatto says “A lot of babies enjoy the feel of the wind and running. It actually can help them fall asleep”)
- While in Italy, thanks to the complete inaction of a true sport culture, linking the new parenthood with physical activity is the farthest possible, in the US it is normal to approach the stroller running, even for the less accustomed to running or fitness. On the contrary, there it is experienced as a way to get in touch with the whole community of new mothers and new parents, sharing doubts, anxieties and even a lot of joy.
This has allowed, over the years, the birth and consolidation of different realities that offer programs and training groups for mothers-to-be and mothers with stroller in different US states: Baby Boot Camp, SLAM and Fit 4 Mom, to name the main ones. And several of these mothers finally found in The Stroller Run the event that was missing, participating in mass at these first events of 2018.
The hope is that more and more events of this type will spread and be supported and maybe, as we asked Mr. John Malfatto “in the near future we could think of an Italian expedition of stroller runners to one of The Stroller Run events “. “We are new and just getting off the ground – John told us – you of Babyrun are more the trend setter than we are, so we should be asking you this question. But we would gladly give free registration to any of our events if they come from Italy!“.
We told you, do not say the opposite. Now, if you have a passport, a baby and a jogging stroller, you just have to book your flight to Washington DC or wait for the next year calendar and get organized for your first ride with a stroller in the homeland of the stroller running !!
If you liked this article, you may also be interested in: