A Potential New Guinness Book of World Records recorded by Lisa Chase

by Sara O'Grady

The Hudson Mohawk Road Runners Club has seen many accomplishments by its members over the years. This past May, a new achievement was added to that list. Club member Lisa Chase attempted to set the fastest timed mile while pushing a double stroller, aiming to be the first woman to do so. Chase’s attempt at this record had been in the works for a while, with the original scheduled date set for May 21st. However, because the weather was not ideal (90 degrees) and her son had a fever, the team chose to run on one of their backup dates. On May 28th, Lisa set out to become the World Record Holder in the Double Stroller Mile Run and completed the mile run with a time of 5:48.84.

Running the mile in under six minutes is a feat in and of itself. However, accomplishing this time while pushing a stroller takes another level of skill. Additionally, pushing a double stroller requires an even greater superhero-like effort. Chase was no stranger to pushing the double stroller with her two children. Lisa and her husband, Lance, were preparing to retire their double stroller as their daughter, Addison (Addie, 6), and son, William (Will, 4), were reaching the maximum weight limit recommended. But, Lisa thought, why not have one final race together for good measure? Why not go a step further, and push the limits of what Lisa (aka Mom, aka Superhero Mom) could do? Thus, Lisa and her team began planning what such an effort would entail. Keeping an eye on her growing kids, Lisa knew that any attempt at a record would need to happen sooner rather than later!

As the plans were set in motion and the team got ready, Lisa tried to convey the magnitude of this soon-to-be accomplishment to Addie and Will. Explaining that Mom was about to do a superhero run with both of them was definitely over their heads. It wasn’t until Addie read a children's book, Ivy and Bean, where the characters try to earn their own entry into the Guinness Book of World Records, that Mom’s explanation sank in. Her kids began to understand or at least think that this was quite a "cool thing” to be attempting. On May 28th, at the SUNY Albany track, with Addie and Will sitting calmly in the stroller (even as the rain started to pelt them at the beginning of the run or sitting calmly because a lollipop was promised in six minutes or less) and Lance cheering from the side, they officially set out and made one more lasting family memory with the double stroller.

After the race, the team submitted the extensive documentation required by the Guinness Book of World Records organization and now they are waiting to hear back about the results of their efforts.

HMRRC members may be wondering what Addie and Will have to say about being part of this monumental effort.

Will enjoyed the ride in the stroller saying: "I liked it. Especially going fast."

Addie was a little more tempered in her response, weighing the dullness of the training runs with the excitement of the race effort itself: "All the training runs were boring but it was fun going so fast during the race with everyone cheering for us."

Did Lisa and Lance retire the double stroller after this race? Well, if the Route 50 Mile results have anything to say, the answer is no! Lisa decided, why not take a victory lap with the kids. On June 13th, she pushed the double stroller with her two kids at the Route 50 Mile, finishing with another astonishing time of 5:29.6. Should we call this a victory lap or another superhero-like run from this mom? (Editor’s Note: The Route 50 mile has an elevation loss of 40 feet and thus any time on the course does not count towards a record)

What’s next for our Superhero Lisa and her kids in their double stroller? Lisa has decided not to retire the running stroller just yet. They plan to use it a few more times over the summer (maybe with popsicles versus lollipops as a reward for the kids), though not necessarily in any more races. The double stroller has been a willing and able participant in many of the Chase family’s memories and adventures. As many runners with kids know, the double strollers are incredibly durable and long-lasting. Therefore, the family hopes to pass it along for another family to use in creating their own memories.

Lisa would like to thank Dick Vincent and Josh Merlis, who were essential in helping her prepare for the event, and for helping with coaching and timing; and also thank Pete Rowell, Drew Burns, and Nick Conway, who helped pace her beautifully throughout the effort; and also Liam Cahill, Laura Zima, Rachel Conley, and Alison Heaphy, who were indispensable with their photography, filming, and split timing. Lisa could not have done it without this amazing team!

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