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Kaitlin Donner Runs 5:11 Mile With A Stroller To Break The World Record

After running a 2:50 at Olympic Marathon Trials, Kaitlin Donner did a full 180 to run a fast mile.

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A Florida mother of two and a physical therapist has secured the world record for the fastest mile while pushing a stroller (female) after running a speedy 5:11.13.

During her second pregnancy, Kaitlin Donner was seeking a running challenge to take on with her newborn. Brittany Streufert, a friend and the director of operations for Space Coast Runners, suggested Donner pursue the world record for the fastest stroller mile, which stood at around 6 minutes at the time.

Kaitlin Donner Runs 5:11 Mile With A Stroller To Break The World Record 1

“I thought, okay, this sounds kind of fun. I’m always seeking something to keep me motivated, especially during pregnancy,” Donner told Runner’s World.

Donner submitted her record attempt application to Guinness World Records in September 2022, just a month after her baby was born. However, she didn’t make the attempt, and the application expired, so she reapplied in 2023.

Several weeks before Streufert organized a relay event for Space Coast Runners, she encouraged Donner to finally pursue the stroller mile world record, especially now that her baby was now 20 months old and growing heavier.

Donner, 34, a former collegiate 1,500m runner, had recently participated in the Olympic Marathon Trials (although she said she struggled in the Orlando heat, finishing in 2:50). So, while she hadn’t specifically trained for the mile, she was in good shape.

To prepare, she planned in a few speed workouts to enhance her leg turnover and completed one 4×400-meter workout while pushing a stroller to get used to the turns.

Then, on April 19, it was go time.

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Donner’s husband and her nearly five-year-old son joined the spectators, with her older son running back and forth across the infield to cheer on his mother and baby brother.

“It was really cool to have that community involvement,” Donner said. “There were a lot more people than I expected, and it made me very uncomfortable.”

Donner compared her attempt—she was the lone runner on the track—to being in a fishbowl, with all eyes on her and the baby in her Bob Gear Revolution 3.0 stroller.

“[My son] will have a fun fact for life,” Donner quipped.

Donner’s 5:11 mile shattered the previous record of 5:24, held by four-time Olympic Trials qualifier and mother of two Neely Gracey, who set her record last summer in Colorado (using the Guava Roam stroller for enthusiasts keeping track).

“I know if she came down to altitude, she’d blow me out of the water,” Donner remarked.

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Donner is elated with her record, but she’s particularly proud of how her achievement (and those that preceded hers) motivates people, especially mothers.

“Go after scary things because why not?” said Donner, who is also a running and triathlon coach. “You won’t regret trying, even if it doesn’t turn out the way you hoped.”

And in her case, Donner got to witness her older son running back and forth to cheer her on.

“Those memories are imprinted in your brain,” she said.

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Jessy has been active her whole life, competing in cross-country, track running, and soccer throughout her undergrad. She pivoted to road cycling after completing her Bachelor of Kinesiology with Nutrition from Acadia University. Jessy is currently a professional road cyclist living and training in Spain.

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