‘It feels surreal.’ Ridgeland mom breaks Guinness world record in Beaufort County

Rachel Bowling, 30, of Ridgeland, has been preparing, since September, to break a Guinness World Record — female runner pushing a double stroller in a 10K.

With an injured ankle and broken stroller, she accomplished that goal Saturday.

Bowling ran across the finish line with a time of 42:34 at the “New Year, New You” resolution run on Dataw Island. The event is held by the LowCountry Habitat for Humanity.

The standing record is 44:45. It will take about three months for Guinness to authorize the new record, Bowling said.

“I was confident that I could run it,” Bowling said Sunday. “I didn’t want to just beat it. I really wanted to make it harder for someone who tried behind me.”

Yet, getting to the goal wasn’t easy. The course and stroller has to be approved by Guinness, says Bowling.

She applied to Guinness in September, and her application was officially finalized two weeks before the race.

A sprained ankle and new stroller added more challenges to the mix.

“”I had bruising up and down my leg, so I wasn’t sure if I could run or run fast enough,” Bowling said. “There were a few times that I thought I was done.”

She also had to stop five times during the first mile to adjust a wheel on her stroller.

“I was very concerned about that mile,” Bowling said. “I just tried to keep my head about me. Mind over matter.”

Bowling said she is unsure she could have completed the race without the support of her husband and brother who kept her motivated by cheering her on.

Running has been a part of Bowling’s life since freshman year of high school. She continued running competitively throughout college but took a short break when she had her two daughters.

In recent years, running has become something she does with her daughters — Addy, 3, and Autumn,1.

“I have had them in a stroller since they were very young,” Bowling said. “They did great. Addy loves to run. She was not happy about getting in the stroller. She talked the entire way and was in there singing. Autumn went to sleep and slept through the whole thing.”

Bowling hopes that breaking the record could be something her daughters can use for motivation when they are older.

“I wanted it to be with my family,” Bowling said. “I want to say when they get older, ‘hey, we broke the world record.’”