Saturday, February 16, 2013

MotherRunner {BOB Ironman Review}

I received a BOB Ironman Jogging Stroller and accessories to use and keep for the purpose of this review. No payment was offered or accepted and all opinions are my own, of course!

It took me a really long time to consider myself a runner. When I was starting out I thought that once I cracked 5kms I'd feel like a runner. When I got to 5 I thought maybe 10. It finally occurred to me that it isn't the distance, it is the fact that I prioritize running in my week. I schedule it in along with appointments and outings and I feel sad when I miss a run.

One of the things that has made consistency tricky has been the fact that I am usually working around two (if not four) small people and I cannot stand treadmill running any more. I spent a fair bit of time running with a double pram but learned the hard way that 40kgs of kids and pram wreaks havoc on my already pretty dodgy back.

So when I heard through the Twitter grapevine that Britax were bringing the BOB series of prams to Australia I was all over it. Now that my Little Mate is at kindergarten I have lots of lovely time with my little girl, and she often falls asleep if I run in the morning which is a win for both of us.

I've known about the BOB series for a while. I started researching running prams a few months ago and they consistently got good reviews but were notoriously hard to get hold of in Australia. I'm stoked that they will be freely available here over the next couple of months!

Here is what you need to know about the BOB Ironman in words and pictures:

The pram has large pneumatic wheels for a smooth ride even over rougher terrain. The front wheel is fixed for increased safety when you are moving at speed... no risk of it catching on a rock, twisting around and flipping the pram and your precious cargo over. It has great stability and the front wheel tracking can be adjusted by twisting a dial to ensure you are always rolling straight. Brilliant when you are running with one hand on the bar with your wrist through the safety strap.

It also has an extremely generous hood to protect your little one from the elements. My girl does not like the wind rushing past her face when I run, with this hood it is not an issue any more. And it has a sunroof so I can see her and recline the seat when she falls asleep.

It is very light to push indeed. I do the majority of my runs with one hand on the handlebar and the other at my side, that is how cruisy this stroller is. Do note that because the front wheel is fixed it isn't heaps of fun on really winding roads or tracks, but then if you are like me you are that focused on just putting one foot in front of the other that a winding run track would do your head in anyway! I do a 6km run around a lake nearby and have no issues at all with the gradual turns there.
The seat is exceptionally well padded so you know your child will be comfortable even during longer runs. It has a five point harness and I like that the waist straps aren't fixed at the sides but form a belt around the child and are secured at the back of the seat. If I need to stop really suddenly (as happens when you run country tracks... snakes!) it has enough give that it allows her to move with it rather than have the straps cutting into her while remaining perfectly secure.
The seat also has a mesh pocket on each side, I pop little toys and knick knacks in there to keep her happy while I'm pounding the track.
As well as the standard foot brake, the handle features a front wheel hand brake also. Great for emergency stops particularly on a declining surface. The handlebar is well padded and very comfortable too.
There's a reasonable sized basket underneath so you can lob your jumper in once you get warm, and a large mesh pocket on the seat back itself.
The fold mechanism is SO EASY! Simply grab the levers on either side of the handlebar and the seat back folds forward...
Like this.
Then pull the red handle at the base of the seat back and the bottom half of the chassis folds into itself. There is a buckle on the handlebar safety strap that allows you to secure the pram in its folded position if need be as well.
The wheels are quite easy to remove if space is an issue, but even with the wheels on the stroller should fit in the boot of a standard sedan.
Or a Captiva, with lots of room to spare.

 If you are like me, you may be a fan of accessories as well. There are a number of accessory options available for the Ironman, but the must haves for me are:

The BOB Sunshield.

Very easy (and clever) to attach with a full mesh front for ventilation whilst keeping out the bugs and the harmful rays of the sun. I need a full body one of these for me, the flies are horrendous out here! I'll be investing in the BOB Weathershield as well when it gets colder so my girl can stay cosy and dry and I can enjoy running without sweltering.
The BOB Handlebar Console.

For easy access on the run (haha). I like that it has the 'not intended for hot beverages' warning. Don't know about you but about the only time that I DON'T want a coffee is when I am running. I do want to be able to grab my water quickly and easily though. And my phone so I can stop my running app the very second I reach my target. And my keys too. Nifty.
The BOB Snack Tray.

Absolutely perfect for kids who get a bit bored after a while on long runs. It has a cup holder which fits my daughter's water bottle perfectly and a sunken tray for snacks or toys. My girl has an apple and a little container of sultanas when I run and this makes it easy for her to manage them without me needing to stop. It is a bit cool!
The mechanism to attach the tray is very easy, and the same point can be used to pop in a travel system capsule for a younger baby. Very clever design indeed.

And does she like it? Yes indeed she does!
Happy Families :)
*Please note: This stroller can be used as part of a travel system with young babies and is safe for walking with from birth. However it is not recommended to run with a child younger than 8 months old.

Do you like what you see? Because if you do I am GIVING AWAY A BOB IRONMAN STROLLER valued at $599! You'll need to check back tomorrow for details on how to win, but in the meantime I'd love to know how a BOB Ironman could help you reach your fitness goals!