US dad takes it in stride as he breaks marathon records while pushing quintuplets
Endurance runner Chad Kempel is a multiple Guinness World Records titleholder who has conquered marathons with the help of his adorable quintuplets.
Chad takes the definition of “super dad” to another level. He and his wife Amy have been on quite the adventure as they looked to grow their family years ago, and although they have suffered significant loss and miscarriages, they now have a total of seven children who are all below the age of six.
Chad said: “Being the best father that I can be to all of these amazing children is the most important part of this chapter in my life. Going hand-in-hand with that is being the best husband that I can be to my incredible wife as she struggles through the daily challenges of mothering seven children. My life has never been more challenging but it has also never felt so rewarding.”
Several may wonder how the Garden City, Idaho, resident found time to be able to train for two endurance Guinness World Records while raising seven children, but the truth is Chad combined his love for running and his kids into one.
“We're unique in that we went from two children to seven overnight. I'm still in awe! What else makes us unique is that we do not limit ourselves because we have seven children who are five and under. We do everything with these children that we would have done with only a couple of children. For example, me running marathons pushing a stroller...mine is just a little heavier.”
Chad has loved running since the activity was introduced to him in high school as part of his wrestling practice, and since then he built up his stamina to participate in many races that have tested his limits.
Part of these included training for the Boston Marathon, running 50.1 miles in 12 hours, and also running 100 miles nonstop in a span of 31.5 hours.
The year Chad took on the 100-mile run was quite emotional for him. He and his wife had unfortunately lost his twin boys from premature birth, and this race was his way of channelling his negative energy into something productive and meaningful.
Years later on one spontaneous evening, Chad became struck with inspiration to couple his love for running and love for his family after reading an article about two other pram marathon record holders.
“I got the idea when I came across a story about Ann Marie Cody breaking Theresa Marie Pitts' Guinness World Record for pushing three children during a marathon in a town named Modesto that was nearby. I instantly ran in the other room and said to Amy, ‘What if I try to set a record for pushing the quintuplets?’ She's seen that look in my eye many times before and she knew there was no stopping me at that point.”
Chad swiftly began training to break the record for fastest marathon pushing a quintuple pram (male) and all of the adversities that would come with it.
One of the most difficult components was pushing the quintuplet stroller up even the smallest of hills, as it was very heavy and hard to manoeuvre.
The first two attempts, Chad had done all of the work but fell short of reaching the minimum requirement each time, sometimes by a mere four minutes.
Despite the disappointment, the one thing that kept him going was reminding himself of why he wanted to attempt this record in the first place.
“What inspired me to run pushing the quintuplets was my wife, Amy. Our journey to start a family so challenging for both of us but she was the one who endured the physical part of the journey. All the examinations, lab work, fertility drug injections, the physical pain of the miscarriages, the pregnancy pangs, the breastfeeding pains, the healing, and the physiological effects that lead to severe post-partum depression.
“I wanted to put myself through a challenge to honour all that she had put herself through to bless us with the family we have today. So, I wanted to do what I have always done during life's trials, I wanted to do a run for 27.3 miles to honour the 27 weeks and 3 days she carried the quintuplets during the pregnancy.”
After obtaining his first record with a final time of 04:42:49, that propelled Chad to do his next record attempt: fastest 10 km pushing a quintuple pram (male).
Chad broke his second record title with the quints in a final time of 01:04:52 – and couldn’t have been happier to share another special moment with his family or meet his wife and two eldest daughters at the finish line.
Despite the amount of physical work it can take to run races and raise several young children, he mentions there is one thing that motivates him above all.
“In all of the goals that I set for myself my motivation is much greater now that I have children who are watching the choices I make in life. I want them all to believe, because I do, that they can achieve anything they want in life. There are no limits. By going after such an unusual goal that no one in the world has ever completed before I hope that it helps them to understand that even if there is not a path to a goal that they dream up themselves that they should still go after it and be the one to create the path.”