A Lancashire mum is a world record holder after achieving the fastest-ever time for a female pushing a single buggy over 10k.Advertisement
Jo Armitage, who lives in Brinscall, completed the Wesham Summer 10k in 42:32 while pushing two-year-old son Arthur in his buggy. Her time beat the previous best of 43:07, which was set in 2012 by Canadian Allison Tan.
The world record attempt wasn’t without its challenges, as a combination of potholes, hills and a grumpy toddler made the race slightly stressful for Jo.
Jo said: “The race director was really helpful and let me do a test run of the course, however that left me feeling a bit worried. There was gravel and potholes, plus it was more twisty and hilly than I was hoping. I wasn’t confident I’d break the record but thought I should give it a go.
“Then on the day everything went well, except Arthur didn’t want to go in the buggy. He had fallen asleep five minutes before we got there, so at first he was quite unsettled.
“I was running the race while talking to him and reassuring him, giving him snacks, and trying to point out things like sheep to occupy him!”
Luckily Arthur settled down and Jo managed to achieve the world record, but it’s not the first record she has held.
Always a keen runner, Jo got into running with the buggy after having children Elma, now three, and Arthur.
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She said: “We don’t have any family nearby to look after the kids so I had to find an alternative way to keep running. A friend mentioned running with a buggy and it seemed like a good idea.
“It turns out it’s one the best things I’ve ever done. It’s great for the kids as we go out and have lots of adventures exploring new places. It’s also brilliant for my own wellbeing as a mum and a person, to be doing something for myself.
“I found out about there being world records for running with a buggy via social media and decided to give it a go. I like having a challenge and I thought it’d be something nice for the children to look back on.
“The children were getting a bit older so I thought a 10k distance would be doable. I wanted to do the double buggy as it seemed nicer to do it together with Elma and Arthur.
“I suggested it to Guinness World Records and they agreed, and I went on to set the first-ever world record for 10k with a double buggy in July 2018.”
Jo is a member of Vegan Runners and regularly does Preston parkrun with the double buggy. As well as running on her own, Jo takes the kids out in the buggy once or twice a week for a run on the Guild Wheel.
It’s clear how much Jo enjoys the buggy running, and not only breaking records but also breaking stereotypes in the process.
“It’s usually friendly but I’ve had a lot of comments at the parkrun from men who are unhappy about being beaten by a woman pushing a buggy who is vegan.
“I’ve actually got quicker since becoming vegan a couple of years ago, but people think it’s going to make you weaker because you’re not getting enough protein or something.
“Also as a mum and a woman, some people expect you to be at home or at playgroups, not out being strong and doing something for yourself.”
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While Jo isn’t planning any other world record attempts at the moment, she will continue running and racing.
She said: “Elma is desperate to do a race with me in the single buggy so I am planning that for the summer, but I think that will be just for fun.”
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What do you think of Jo’s world record achievement? Let us know in the comments below.