MISSOULA — Polson resident Cynthia Arnold will try to break a world record for the second consecutive year in the Missoula Marathon.
Arnold will be running the full marathon while pushing a three-child stroller on Sunday, doubling up her distance after breaking the half-marathon, triple-stroller record by a female last July.
“It’s supposed to be fun for the kids,” Arnold told the Missoulian in a phone call from Polson. “I have a bunch of friends who are coming down from Polson. It’s really going to be fun, I think. We’ve been running together all spring with this in mind.”
This will be the first time Arnold is running the full marathon with a triple stroller. The longest she’s run with it before was 17 miles, she said.
Arnold will be trying to break the current world record of 4 hours, 6 minutes by Ann Marie Cody of Modesto, California. Arnold ran last year’s half marathon in 1 hour, 29 minutes, 8 seconds to break that world record by nearly 20 minutes.
“I’m really not sure how it’s going to go,” Arnold said. “I suspect I’ll be going at a slower pace than last year since it’s longer.”
She added: “The wind has a huge effect on how fast I can go. The stroller is so wide that it’s like a sail. I think it’s going to be one of the hotter days, but I’m not worried about that since the race is so early in the day.”
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Arnold will be using the same stroller she ran with in last year’s Missoula Marathon, a four-wheel BeBeLove Triple Jogging Stroller. She said Guinness World Records recently approved her stroller.
Sitting inside Arnold’s stroller will be 6-year-old daughter Marguerite, 3-year-old son Simon, who turns 4 next week, and 21-month-old daughter Asha. She hasn’t weighed her kids yet but expects her stroller to be 10-15 pounds heavier than last year because they grew and she added a foot rest for her oldest daughter.
Arnold thinks this could be her last race with Marguerite in the stroller because she’ll turn 7 years old later this summer and continues to grow.
“It’s special because she’s spent her life in the stroller,” Arnold said. “It’s just one of those things with time you can’t do any more. Of course you want them to grow up, so it’s bittersweet.”
Arnold trained with a triple stroller the past few weeks after running with a two-child stroller in the winter and spring while Marguerite was in school. She unofficially broke the half-marathon, double-stroller record by a female at the Whitefish Marathon six weeks ago.
Last year, running the half marathon in Missoula while pushing the triple stroller was her husband's idea. Arnold, a former high school track and cross country runner from Kentucky, enjoyed it so much that she decided to run the full marathon this year.
“Once I did that one, I figured I’d do as many as I can,” Arnold said. “It was neat. I didn’t expect it to be so neat when I did it last year. So then I thought if you can do it, you should.”