It was all planned out, our first 5k of 2015 was going to be me and the boys, my friend Rachel and her baby Maya, our mutual friend Mike and lots and lots of chocolate. The Atlanta Hot Chocolate 5k was suppose to be a morning of competitive family fun, until 2 days before the event when we went to pick up our numbers and were told that no strollers were allowed on the course. What the What?? It had to be repeated to me several times before the reality of the message actually sunk in. No strollers?? In all of the 5k races I’ve run, I’ve never heard of a stroller ban. Usually participants who plan to run with their kids are encourage to line up behind all of the other competitors so as not to obstruct the more serious athlete, which is completely understandable and I have no issue with that, but an outright ban on strollers? Never in all of my road running years have I heard of such a thing. Needless to say I was pissed. Primary cos I didn’t know how I was going to break it to my 2 year old, who was so excited about getting to race with momma, that it wasn’t going to happen. We tried to think of every option possible before we finally accepted that the babies would have to sit this one out. As it turned out, it was actually the smartest decision not to involve them as the tempters that morning were baltic. The race started at 7.30am, which would have meant waking them up and taking them from their cozy beds at 5.00am and with 30,000 plus people participating, logistically it was going to be a real nightmare. Yes, at the end of the day the Hot Chocolate organizers knew exactly what they were doing when they decided to exclude strollers.
Another angle to this 5k story is that about 2 months ago my friend Lisa (who’s wonderful family I got to capture on a trip back to Ireland last September) e-mailed me to tell me about a program called “I Run For…” where you elect to run on behalf of a child you know with special needs or disabilities. Lisa asked me if I would consider running for her baby boy Eddie, who was born with spina bifida. Needless to say this was a no brainer, of course I would be honored to run Eddie and this past weekend marked the first of what we hope will be many races in the name of little Eddie.