When Suzy Goodwin, 35, became a mother, running became more about the experience and time spent with her children and less about competing or beating personal records. But, on Oct. 30, she strapped on her sneakers, buckled her triplets into their stroller and set a new Guinness World Record.
Goodwin, who has combined her love for running with the time she spends with her four children — Christian, 3, and triplets Charlotte, Gabriel and Gideon, 15-months — set a record for the fastest half marathon time while pushing a triple stroller. Before Goodwin, there was no record for that category.
Goodwin set the record during the North Carolina Halloween Half Marathon in Fayetteville with a time of 2 hours, 1 minute and 16 seconds. Her world record will be pending for about 30 to 60 days while her application is reviewed.
“For me, the challenge wasn’t covering the distance,” said Goodwin, who can typically run a half marathon in about 1 hour, 30 minutes. “It’s doing so while pushing the combined weight of the kids and the stroller, which is more than my own body weight.”
Not only was pushing the weight of the stroller a challenge, but also managing the children during the run.
Goodwin said the children cried a little and she even had to change a diaper on the course.
Goodwin’s journey to becoming a world record holder was not easy, despite being an avid runner who aims to run a marathon in every state — she currently has reached 42. During her pregnancy with the triplets, she had a seizure that sent her into labor at 30 weeks. At the time her husband, Capt. Trey Goodwin, with the 4th Psychological Operations Group, was deployed to Afghanistan.
The triplets spent the first two months of their lives at the Cape Fear Valley Hospital neonatal intensive care unit learning to breathe on their own, regulating their body temperatures, and feeding from bottles, Goodwin said.
With the help and support of the NICU staff, as well as her Army Family, the Goodwin triplets made their way to good health.
“They are healthy and thriving,” Goodwin said.
She began running again, this time with her triplets in tow and a new perspective on her sport.
“I want them to enjoy the experience,” she said. “We’ll stop and look around, it isn’t about my (run) time or what place I come in, but it’s just as fulfilling.”
The idea of setting a world record was born during a 5K Goodwin participated in with the triplets, when someone asked her if what she did was a record.
She began researching and contacted the Guinness World Records organization to start the process, which included creating the entry, having witness statements and video verification of the race. Goodwin said the challenging part was finding a half marathon that allowed strollers in the race. The North Carolina Halloween Half Marathon was a perfect fit for Goodwin, not only does the race allow strollers but race day fell around the one-year anniversary of the triplets leaving the NICU, she said.
“This race is a platform to honor the work God did through the doctors, nurses, first responders and therapists,” Goodwin said. “It’s not about the record, it’s about honoring the hospital staff and it’s a celebration.”
Goodwin has also used the race as a fundraiser for the Cape Fear Valley Medical Foundation. Although the race is over, donations in her name will be accepted through November by selecting the designation “Suzy Goodwin Running for a Cause” at https://donate.cfvfoundation.org/sslpage.aspx?pid=298.