MISSOULA – Last year, Cynthia Arnold shattered the world record for pushing a three-kid stroller through the Missoula Half Marathon. After that race, she decided to go for the full marathon record.
And this year, Arnold shattered that record, as well, going nearly an hour faster than the previous record-holder. Arnold crossed the line in 3 hours, 11 minutes, 53.7 seconds.
While it looks like Arnold pushes through the 26.2 miles with ease, she said it’s no small task.
“The kids are a year heavier, and I was feeling that. The stroller felt really heavy this year,” said Arnold, a Polson native.
Arnold said she wasn’t even hitting her pace times prior to the race, but on race day some new energy kicked in and spectators added a little added cheering.
“The neat thing that happened this year was that there were a lot of spectators who knew what I had done last year and that I was going for the marathon this year, so there were a lot of people there saying things, personal things, actually addressing me about it, and that was a neat experience and really touching,” Arnold said.
On top of the 26 miles, Arnold said one of the biggest challenges was keeping the kids comfortable during the three-plus hours.
“They’re usually in the stroller more like one hour to one hour and 20 minutes, so it was a little over twice as long,” Arnold said. “So, that was going be a big challenge for us, which is where Margarite kind of came in. I thought she could read to them. They like I-spy, so she could initiate I-spy if they were kind of getting tired or bored.”
Three world records later and the kids getting bigger every year, Arnold said this was most likely the last competitive run she’ll do with the kids, but that doesn’t mean she’s done at the Missoula Marathon. She plans to run it by herself in 2020.
-Jack Ginsburg reporting for MTN Sports