Behind the Scenes: The Decision to Prohibit Running with Strollers
March 25, 2014
Running with a stroller is not permitted at the 2014 Bellin Run. It wasn’t a decision that was taken lightly, given the Bellin Run’s tradition as a community event.
To help participants better understand the change, race organizers are sharing some of the factors involved in making the decision and how it is being implemented.
1. We are not prohibiting participation with strollers. Walking with a stroller or wagon is permitted. All walkers with a stroller or wagon will begin in the walking corral.
2. The Bellin Run has made adjustments over the past several years to continue to accommodate running with strollers, however, the growth of the event brings us to a point where we cannot – for safety reasons – continue to accommodate running with strollers.
3. Despite these adjustments, safety concerns related to running with strollers continues to be the top participant complaint in our post-race survey.
4. There is no other 10K race in the nation, of this size, that allows running with strollers.
5. Precise calculations are used to stage the start of the race, with each participant being allotted a specific amount of square footage in a starting corral. A stroller necessitates a greater amount of space and creates a hazard for others in what is already a crowded environment.
6. Runners have different speeds and participants passing one another are frequent occurrences. It requires a greater amount of space while pushing a stroller to pass other participants. Our number of participants has more than doubled in the past decade. A portion of our course consists of narrow city streets, further restricting space. As a result, running with strollers is a legitimate safety concern.
7. For the past several years, myTEAM Triumph has allowed individuals – who would otherwise be unable to participate in the Bellin Run – to be a part of our event. Race officials provide myTEAM Triumph with specific direction and limit the number of teams in the Bellin Run to ensure the safety and enjoyment of all participants.
8. myTEAM Triumph and wheelchair participants are the only groups provided a special start time.
9. Bellin Health and the Bellin Run are strongly committed to encouraging age-appropriate healthy activities for children. More than 2,600 children in grades 3-8 participated the Kids for Running program in 2013. In addition, last year’s Friday night ½ mile Children’s Race was one of the largest ever. The event – for kids under 10, features divisions for those ages four years old and under, with many toddlers experiencing their first race ever.
10. A “Terms and Conditions” statement has been added to the Bellin Run registration process, so all participants may understand this change.
11. Course marshals who observe individuals running with strollers will record the bib number of those participants and they will be disqualified, with no results posted. This is the same process of violating any other terms of participation (e.g. cutting the course, using roller blades, not following a course marshal’s instructions).
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