What happens when you’re an elite athlete in need of a babysitter? If you’re runner Tom Clifford, you simply take your child with you and win the race anyway.
Clifford won today’s Wrightsville Beach Valentine 10K after pushing his 18-month old daughter in a stroller over the course of the 6.2 mile race. The repeat champion set a personal record last year in the race, but the stroller, along with the winds, slowed his pace this year to 36:07.
It wasn’t his plan to push the stroller, but last minute changes in family plans left Clifford in charge of the toddler today.
“There were other options, but I said ‘What the hell,’” Clifford said. “The stroller puts some challenges on you, but it’s always good training.”
Another challenge Clifford faced was Rob Ward, second-place finisher, just 15 seconds behind Clifford.
“I took it for granted,” said Ward, who was using Clifford to shield him from the gusty winds today. But Ward wasn’t able to overtake Clifford, the owner and coach at Without Limits, an elite personal training service.
Erin Hogston, of Wilmington, was the top female finisher at 39:23.
- Tom Clifford, Wilmington, 36:07
- Rob Ward, Wilmington, 36:24
- Patrick McHugh, Wrightsville Beach, 37:48
- Erin Hogston, Wilmington,39:23
- Elizabeth Soporowski, Wilmington, 40:05
- Bridget Phillips, Wilmington, 40:40