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On your marks, ready … who leaves? The unpredictable race of babies

Ⓒ AFP – DOMINICK REUTER – | “Race of the babies”, July 14, 2017 in New York

It is a race where everyone laughs, where the false starts are legion and rattles and baby bottles allowed: welcome to the race of babies, which brings together every year in New York about thirty cherubs around a carpet of 10 m2 , To know who will cross the fastest, under the squeals of their parents.

Only one true rule: any attempt to stand up is disqualifying, which implicitly forbids any competitor of more than two years.

For the rest, everything is allowed or almost: teat in mouth, rattles or mobile phones agitated by the family to attract attention. A pat on the back padded by the diaper to relaunch a hesitant baby. Encouragement in all forms, including feeding bottles and snacks awaiting them at the finish line.

No chronometer, the time necessary to cross the 3 meters of distance is unpredictable for these competitors in numbered green bodies, often nicely chubby.

A baby rushes forward before stopping suddenly, halfway through, to stare at the crowd armed with smartphones that surrounds him on all sides. Another background in tears. A third way back in the other direction.

Ⓒ AFP – DOMINICK REUTER – | “Race of the babies”, July 14, 2017 in New York

Parents ready to push their beloved baby into the first floor of a Manhattan hotel – the same one that welcomed Donald Trump fans when he announced his victory last November – are young and have Participated in the New York triathlon, whose organizers conceived seven years ago this unusual “derby of the babies”.

And most came more in search of original photographs-souvenirs than for the trophy in the form of layer reserved for the winner.

– The remote control, secret weapon –

Tamara Cacchione, who came from northern New York with her husband, grandparents, uncle and aunt, listened to her little 9-month-old Maya with rhythmic music “to energize her” race.

One of her worries is that Maya, who “loves other children”, is distracted and stops the race “to embrace the other children”.

But the immediate result, Tamara does not care. Like many mothers, she thinks in the long term: “It will be something fun to tell”, she said. “Maybe when she herself has children or she will be great, I can show her that she did it.”

Kimi Mei, from Brooklyn, admits she “trained” her son Hunter, 10 months, by taking him to the park to do a four-legged race with another baby. Hunter also began a career as a model, with five photo shoots under his belt for major brands.

“I brought my secret weapon,” she said, “a remote control with which she usually does not have the right to play,” and she will light from the finish line in the hope that ‘He wants to catch him.

As for Chris Kennel, who came from Georgia for Sunday’s triathlon, he wants to make his son Carson, who is almost a year old, a sportsman and give him a chance to win a first race.

All will eventually bow to little Brooke, 11 months old, coming from Dallas, Texas, who without any particular training will have bowed head down to the finish line.

“She just loves to crapahuter everywhere,” says her mother Kristy Bender, while in her arms Brooke says nothing, busy as she is drooling on the microphone placed under her nose.

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