It’s July, which means I can say that it’s officially RACE MONTH for the San Francisco Marathon! Yea!! How great is this: this year’s iteration of the race has completely sold out. Everything — the ultramarathon, the marathon, both half marathons, and the 5k — is completely full. I’ve been a social media ambassador with the race for the last three years, and I think this might be the only time that the race has completely sold out significantly in advance of race weekend. With the 40th anniversary this year and all, I think it’ll make what’s already a pretty fun weekend even more electric (boogie woogie woogie).
By now, if you’ve glimpsed in my little space here anytime over the past six months, you know that I’m in for the marathon at SF. It’ll be my third time running SF’s 26.2, and I’m stoked. I’ll talk more about my training in a later post, but today I wanted to talk about an opportunity that landed in my lap that’ll be coinciding with TSFM weekend.
My attempt at brevity: I’m officially-unofficially partnering with the BOB stroller brand and Berkeley-based, Olympian, American record holder, and national champion — who’s also a mother to a toddler, and who’s also about 5 months pregnant — Alysia Montaño to help promote TSFM’s 5k race, particularly the “stroller roller” division. I “raced” the 5k back in 2015 at 36 weeks pregnant (and gave birth 13 days later) and can say that it’s a blast, even if you’re hugely pregnant! Assuming the course is the same as it was in ‘15, the 5k is primarily along the very flat Embarcadero, and if you’re gunning for a fast race, the course is definitely conducive. BOB reached out to a group of stroller-pushing runners, primarily based in the Bay Area or Sacramento, to participate in virtual stroller 5k training coached by Alysia, and come race day, the #BOBTeamSF runners will toe the 5k line, BOB stroller and their kiddo(s) ahead of them, and race alongside Alysia. In the five weeks leading up to 7/23, Alysia is posting workouts each day on IG for the “stroller rollers” to help get everyone to the starting line healthy, strong, and ready to race. Everyone is welcome to follow along and participate in the training, too. Not many people can say that they’re being coached (*for free*) by an Olympian and national champion, so that’s pretty cool.
This is also a big anniversary year for the BOB stroller brand — 20! — and they’ve just released a new BOB Revolution Flex Lunar model that they’ve graciously given to the other BOBTeamSF runners and me. How cool is that?! I haven’t seen it in person yet — mine arrived to my home hours after I flew cross-country — but the press release pictures show that it’s built with a similar structure to the Flex (with the adjustable handlebars and swivel/locked front wheel option) but has a large reflective area on the stroller canopy and undercarriage, a first for the brand. Turn out the lights, and it glows. (Bonus points if you get that song reference). Adding mega reflective elements to a running stroller was a smart move because if you run pushing your children in the dawn or dusk hours, obviously safety for you and your child is important, and the reflective materials that are literally embedded into the most visible parts of the stroller take the guesswork out of it. Basically, it looks hard *not* to be seen. I’m excited to give the Lunar a go when I’m back home. I’ve often joked that BOB should get me on their payroll because I often help troubleshoot my friends’ running stroller inquiries and have advised many about which models to purchase, so I’m considering this very cool partnership an opportunity to up my knowledge of the brand and its models. Plus, hey, another running stroller (that’s pretty cool looking) ain’t a bad deal.
I typically don’t partner with brands on this wee little blog of mine, but working with BOB was a no-brainer simply because if you know anything about me, it’s that I run — a LOT — while pushing my kid (or kids) in a BOB running stroller. I’ve had my Revolution SE for five years and my Sport Utility Duallie for about two years now, and they’ve both held up really well under the running duress that I’ve thrown at them over the years. Aside from new tire tubes (and one new tire that I completely decimated), structurally, I’ve replaced nothing on the strollers, adding to my conviction that the strollers are really well-built. When I recommend running strollers to my friends, I always speak highly of the BOB brand. It’s a big investment, for sure — retail for the BOB strollers I have is a few hundred dollars plus (each) — but I think it’s something that pays for itself over time, especially if you’re going to be running with it a lot. Plus, realistically, the ROI is pretty great because if/when you sell it later down the line, BOB strollers typically have high resale value, in no small part because of the great name recognition value. I’ve often thrown around the idea of writing some posts about stroller running and basic running stroller troubleshooting; maybe I’ll actually do it now.
Now that I sound like an advertisement for BOB … 🙂 Anyway, while I won’t be toeing the line with my lovely BOBTeamSF teammates at the 5k, since I will be somewhere in the throes of my marathon by then, I will be sending them lots of love and support from the other side of the city 🙂 I’ve enjoyed following their training and supporting them on IG and Strava, and I’m looking forward to meeting my teammates whom I don’t already know (and to seeing my buddies I haven’t seen in a while) at the race expo (and to meeting Alysia, hopefully). All this running and racing stuff is so social, and I love it.
Stroller running and racing with a stroller is really hard work, but I think it’s also a great way to bond with your children (and a really sneaky way to get in strength work). I’ve had the pleasure of running countless of miles and a handful of races with my kids in my BOB strollers in the last six years, and I look forward to continuing to do this for as long as I can … or as long as my kids let me, anyway. Once I get a feel for the new Lunar stroller, I’ll write an honest review of it (natch) here and/or on BOB’s website, too. More to come. It should be fun.