In July, Lauren Arnold ’06 ran the Missoula Marathon in 3:11 while pushing her three young children in a triple stroller, breaking the previously held Guinness World record by nearly an hour. The feat is pending review.
Arnold already holds the Guinness record for pushing a triple stroller in a half marathon, achieved at the same event in 2018, and this past spring she set the record for a half marathon pushing a double stroller.
The combined weight of her children, ages six, four and one at the time of the race, plus the stroller, snacks, water and other necessities, brought the total she was pushing during the run to more than 180 pounds.
“To have run that pace without the stroller would have been easy. To run it with the stroller was a little harder than even I had anticipated,” Arnold says. “I hadn’t done any 26-mile runs with the stroller; its just too long a training day for the kids. I had done 15 miles, and that would be tiring, but those last 10 miles with that much weight was harder than I expected.”
The application to attempt to break a Guinness World Record is a lengthy process. To be an official record, Guinness has to approve that it is an official U.S. Track and Field certified half or full marathon, confirm how the distance is measured and approve the stroller used. Applicants must apply twelve weeks prior to the race and provide physical evidence of the record being broken. Arnold used a small camera on the stroller to document the event.
“I’m still waiting for Guinness to review the evidence and approve it, but for me, the accomplishment already has been achieved.”
Arnold and her husband, Lou Brenner ’06, live in nearby Polson, Montana, where they are very active in the running community.
“We took on a non-profit here called Polson Running, and we put on local races, including the Turkey Trot and a half marathon in January called Sorry About That—because it’s usually like negative 20°,” Arnold says. “It’s a really active and supportive running community.”
As for the kids, they love riding in the stroller and all the people and sights they get to see along the way. During any of her training runs the children get out frequently, but Arnold also prepared them by explaining what they were going to be doing during the marathon itself.
“They knew we were trying to break a record, because we had done it before, and they knew that every time we stopped it would be a slower time,” Arnold says. “I explained to them that it was important to try to finish the race as quickly as possible, and we would have ice cream at the end. But, I also assured them that if they needed to stop along the way, we would stop.”
Her crew included husband Lou, who rode his bike alongside keeping the kids entertained with games like I Spy and telling jokes.
“The last hour they were probably getting a little bored, but Lou was there keeping them laughing and talking.”
There are other stroller records she would like to pursue, such as a 10k, and she thinks she can probably break her own records.
“But the kids are getting bigger, and the stroller’s getting heavier.”
After graduating with a degree in art, Arnold worked as a graduate assistant for Centre’s world-renowned glass artist, the late Stephen Rolfe Powell ’74.
“Steve told me that one of the reasons he hired me was because of my commitment to running. That has stuck with me. It was one of the magical little things that people at Centre say to you that you hang onto, because they make you a better person. I never got the chance to tell Steve that.”
by Cindy Long
September 6, 2019
(Above: Lauren Arnold ’06 during the Missoula Marathon/photo credit: KTFM ABC FOX Montana)