It’s official. Theresa Marie Pitts is the fastest stroller pusher in the world.
The 38-year-old Kalispell mom broke the “fastest half-marathon while pushing a triple pram” record by pushing a three-seat stroller containing three of her eight children in the Governor’s Cup half marathon June 10 in Helena.
Her remarkable time was 2:01:11, eclipsing the previous world record of 2:01:19 held by a North Carolina mother and her triplets, as was reported in the Helena Independent Record that pictured Pitts exuberantly crossing the finish line behind her 39-inch wide stroller. She was accompanied by 4-year-old Evan, 2-year-old Anders and 4-month-old “Avi” — and all their snacks and sundry provisions — a hefty bundle of joy topping out at 145 pounds. After a solid start behind her chariot of cheerleading co-pilots, the three little ones were soon lulled into dozing off, allowing their mom to focus all her energy on running.
Equally remarkable is the fact that Pitts didn’t even start running until 2013, after her sixth child was born.
“I was in a depressive slump and was searching for a healthy way to get back on track mentally, physically and spiritually,” she says. “So I set a goal, and with a little bit of training went out and raced my first sprint triathlon. And absolutely loved it.”
Since then she’s trained and competed in everything from road races to obstacle courses, including the Spartan Beast just five weeks after the birth of her seventh child.
Her large, busy family naturally made it difficult to train solo so she started bringing the littlest ones along; and it’s made her stronger.
But she is adamant that her family and the well-being of her children come first.
“To me, the only thing that makes a good run better is being able to bring my children along with me!” she says. “We chat and laugh and enjoy each other’s company. We all love the fresh air and change of scenery. We frequently stop to play at the park.”
Pitts has found a unique training plan that works for her. She even uses her children in her strength training for extra weight and resistance.
There’s a waiting period for the Guinness World Records to review her evidence package to make it into the official record book. And it wasn’t easy. Pitts said she had to dig deep and with everything she had.
“The record is neat,” she acknowledges. “But those who are close to me know my heart and know I want to do good with the gifts given me. My ultimate endeavor is to be able to share what I’ve learned about overcoming adversity … achieving and maintaining whole-health and happiness, triumphing over our demons, and turning our weaknesses into our very strengths.”
Pitts is heading to Missoula July 9 to conquer her first full marathon, with her kiddos in tow once again — another Guinness record attempt.
“(My children) have been with me over the rocky paths and the smooth; during the up hills and down hills. When I decided that I wanted to take on the marathon challenge I asked myself, ‘How could I leave them out at the culmination of my efforts?’ I want them there with me when I cross the finish line too!”
Best of luck, Theresa! We’ll be rooting for you.