If you’ve ever wielded a stroller carrying a baby while running, you know just how awkward and difficult it can be. You can’t swing both of your arms freely at once, your stride is sometimes cut short, and no matter how “lightweight” the stroller’s packaging promised it would be, it’s a beast to push up hills.
Now imagine that you have to push not one, but five kids in one—and for 26.2 miles. That will give you an idea of what 37-year-old Chad Kempel experienced at the Surf City Marathon in Huntington Beach, California, on February 3.
Kempel - Father - Quintuplets—and - Tykes - Stroller
Kempel is a father of seven—including 1-year-old quintuplets—and he pushed the five little tykes in a covered stroller all the way to the finish line.
“I never expected to push anyone in a marathon,” the native of Mountain House, California, told Runner’s World. “The hills were especially hard. But when I thought about what the babies went through in the past year—all those feeding and breathing tubes—that gave me strength to push through to the finish and then some. Anything is possible.”
Chad - Kempel - Wife - Amy - Children
Chad Kempel celebrates with his wife, Amy, and their seven children after finishing the 2019 Surf City Marathon.
Kempel didn’t just stop at 26.2 miles at Surf City. After crossing the line in 5:45:04, he ran a little more than a mile more with the stroller to total 27.3 miles for the day.
Number - Meaning - Family - Amy - Quintuplets
The number had special meaning to the family: Amy had carried the quintuplets for 27 weeks and three days before giving birth prematurely on January 11, 2018. When the babies were born, they each only weighed three pounds, and had to be immediately treated with oxygen and feeding tubes to survive. The quintuplets’ fragile health conditions required them to stay in the intensive care unit for 73 days, Kempel said.
“It was a long, scary...
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