An Idaho dad is poised to claim a new Guinness World Record after completing a half-marathon while pushing his quintuplets in a stroller.
Chad Kempel of Eagle, Idaho, a father of seven, successfully ran a half marathon in 2 hours, 19 minutes and 54 seconds on March 20 at the Oakland Running Festival in Oakland, California. Once his application is approved, it would be his third Guinness record in three years.
It was a challenge he wasn't sure he could pull off, but he was game to try after setting two Guinness records in 2019 for running a marathon and a 10K while pushing his quintuplets in their stroller when they were all a year old.
The regular runner started seriously training in January before the March race but when the big day came, he said he wasn't fully prepared.
"I didn't know how hard it was going to be when we started. I was smiling, we're like having a good time, T-shirts in the morning in California, and then go! And it's like, 'Wow! This is hard!" the 40-year-old said in an interview with "Good Morning America."
This time around, the Kempels' quintuplets -- Lincoln, Noelle, Grayson, Preston and Gabriella -- were already 4 years old, and Kempel said he was pushing about 172 pounds total. For the kids, he said, it was an exciting family outing.
"I think most people assume that it's all about being physically fit to be able to do this. But if you're going in like that, that's only one small piece. Believe it or not, a big part of it is the kids have to enjoy that, have to enjoy the run," Kempel said.
He also said that having his older daughters, Savannah, 7, and Avery, 5, welcome them at the finish line with extended family and being able to have his wife of 15 years, Amy Kempel, 38, riding alongside them on a bicycle for the first time was extra special.
"We're going uphill for a lot of it, like a small uphill, and I'm like, 'I don't know if I can make this!' And she's like, 'Come on! You can do this! You've been training for it. You've done it before. Look at the kids, they're smiling and laughing and having a good time,'" Kempel recalled. "So we got through that one together with her supporting me."
"I'm shocked that he can push the weight of that many kids with a stroller," Amy Kempel added. "To keep going and then to keep telling yourself like, 'It's more than just doing this for a record ... but it's also memories I'm creating with my kids, so I know that's what drives him to keep going when he might feel pain and go, 'Oh this is so hard,' but honestly I don't know how he pushes that much weight with a mile, much less many miles."
Kempel said he was first inspired to run with his quintuplets in a stroller after seeing his wife's strength and perseverance after they were born prematurely on Jan. 11, 2018. He was also motivated after hearing of another mom who completed a marathon with her kids in a stroller.
"I decided I want to do something to honor what [Amy] did," Kempel said. "We've always continued to try and not let the size of our family stop us from doing the things that we would have done with only one child."
In addition to family, Kempel said along the journey, he's found a supportive community of other parents who run with their kids in strollers and who offer advice.
"One of those moms actually came to two of my events and she was there this last time [in Oakland]," Kempel recalled of a touching moment along the 13.1-mile course. "I didn't know she was coming. I rounded the corner at this one point and she's like 'Go Chad!'"
Kempel's latest achievement has been the culmination of personal growth and family support.
He went from being a young boy who didn't think he could run to embracing the sport in high school and learning to love how being active made him feel.
Now as an adult, Kempel runs usually once or twice a week. "Throughout adulthood, it's just always been my antidepressant and I always just run just to escape and enjoy the outdoors and all that," he said.
The devoted dad has also been passing his love for running down to his kids, even running with daughter Avery at a zoo and doing a 5K with Savannah last July. He and his wife hope that at the end of the day, they instill their children with a strong, confident spirit.
"I carried this sign with me at the finish line [in Oakland] that says, 'Anything is possible,' because we really want the kids to grow up thinking that," Kempel said. "I didn't grow up thinking things were possible. I saw things that I thought, 'Man, I would love to do that but I just can't do that.' So, as I've tried to live my life, trying to prove to myself I can do these things, the kids, from early on, they've been repeating that."