Breaking records in marathon running is no easy feat, but Danish distance runner and new dad Jacob Simonsen managed to do just that, in a rather unconventional way. With his one-year-old son, Viggo, safely tucked in a jogging stroller, Simonsen blazed through the Aarhus City Half Marathon on June 11, setting an unofficial stroller half-marathon Guinness World Record of 68:04.
Simonsen, 28, shattered the previous record by a whopping 34 seconds, averaging a speed of nearly 19 km/hr around Aarhus. Simonsen is quite an established runner domestically, earning the title of Danish champion at the 2023 Copenhagen Marathon, where he placed ninth overall in 2:14:46. He has also represented Denmark at the 2019 and 2023 World Cross-Country Championships.
Before the race, he told Danish reporters that he isn’t used to running with a stroller, but thought it would be a fun challenge with his newborn son. His main concern heading into the race was making sure his son didn’t wake up from his nap unhappy about this endeavour. Luckily, things went as planned. “Viggo was a champ throughout the race,” said Simonsen. “He seems to have inherited his father’s sense of adventure and love for the thrill of running.”
Typically, stroller runners start at the back, but to ensure fair competition and Simonsen’s bid for the record, he was granted a position at the front. He also had another runner follow him to capture the attempt on video and make the feat official, a requirement for a Guinness World Record.
Simonsen finished fifth overall, only a minute and a half behind the winner, Omar Hassan, who won in 66:31.