Crystal Davis's husband was on a 7-month deployment, so during that time she trained for the 26.2 With Donna with her two children.
The Donna Marathon was Davis’ very first marathon. The race made an exception and allowed her to push 80 pounds (between her stroller, her 2-year-old daughter Julie, and her 4-year-old son Jade).
“In the stroller - they argue," said Davis. "They will ask me to open up containers of food. I’ve had to break up fights. They sleep. But throughout the Donna, the great thing about the Donna was they stayed awake the whole time, just taking it all in.”
Crystal completed the race in 3 hours and 16 min: the fifth fastest female to run the Donna this year.
“When you’re in that mode of desperation, you just find what pushes you and what pushes me is the kids pushed me more so I mean you look down at the stroller and you see two little ones relying on you to finish a race you think about the memories," Davis said.
Her time qualified her for the Boston Marathon which she plans to run next year, but that marathon doesn’t allow strollers.
“I don’t see the problem of letting mothers run with their children, letting fathers run with their children, and making it a more family event," said Davis.
A representative from the Boston Athletic Association says strollers mainly are not allowed because of the tight quarters in most of the course. It’s a rule that has Jacksonville residents divided.
“A.: because it’s dangerous to the other runners and B.: because it’s sort of dangerous to the children in the strollers," said Barbara Green.
Davis is hoping this petition that her friend started will encourage race officials to change the rules and allow strollers at the Boston Marathon next year.
“If I could do it again I would any day," Davis said. "They can be a pain but it’s a memory that will last forever and that we’ll treasure forever, and I’m blessed to be able to share this with them.”
Davis started a "Stroller Mom Squad" to help other moms reach their running goals.