Saturday July 15, 2017
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Babies compete in the 2017 ‘Diaper Derby’ crawling race, a promotion event ahead of the New York City Triathlon in New York July 15, 2017. — Reuters picBabies compete in the 2017 ‘Diaper Derby’ crawling race, a promotion event ahead of the New York City Triathlon in New York July 15, 2017. — Reuters picNEW YORK, July 15 — It’s a race of laughter, false starts and wild bottle waving: New York’s Diaper Derby sees 30 infants battle it out for glory in a three-metre crawling contest.

There is only one real rule: Trying to stumble to your feet is not allowed. From the sidelines parents will on their progeny with bottles of milk, television remote controls or key jangling.

There is no stopwatch, and the time it takes these cherubic racers to power down the 10-foot mat is unpredictable. One child might suddenly peg out midway. Another breaks down in tears. A third crawls off backwards.

Held in the same Manhattan hotel that hosted Donald Trump’s victory party last November, it has been organised for the last seven years by the New York City Triathlon, which this year holds its adult event tomorrow.

While most parents are after fun memories rather than the diaper-shaped trophy, Tamara Cacchione admits to warming up nine-month daughter Maya up with the theme song from the Hollywood boxing epic Rocky.

“She loves other babies... I am worried she may try to kiss the other kids,” she says, having travelled from upstate with her husband, grandparents, aunt and uncle.

In the Gallery


  • Babies compete in the 2017 ‘Diaper Derby’ crawling race, a promotion event ahead of the New York City Triathlon in New York July 15, 2017. — Reuters pic

  • Babies compete in the 2017 ‘Diaper Derby’ crawling race, a promotion event ahead of the New York City Triathlon in New York July 15, 2017. — Reuters pic

  • Babies compete in the 2017 ‘Diaper Derby’ crawling race, a promotion event ahead of the New York City Triathlon in New York July 15, 2017. — Reuters pic

  • Babies compete in the 2017 ‘Diaper Derby’ crawling race, a promotion event ahead of the New York City Triathlon in New York July 15, 2017. — Reuters pic

  • Babies compete in the 2017 ‘Diaper Derby’ crawling race, a promotion event ahead of the New York City Triathlon in New York July 15, 2017. — Reuters pic

  • Kevin Bender of Dallas, Texas, holds up his 11-month-old daughter Brooke, the winner of the 2017 ‘Diaper Derby’ crawling race, a promotion event ahead of the New York City Triathlon in New York July 15, 2017. — Reuters pic

  • Kristy Bender of Dallas, Texas, holds up her 11-month-old daughter Brooke, the winner of the 2017 ‘Diaper Derby’ crawling race, a promotion event ahead of the New York City Triathlon in New York July 15, 2017. — Reuters pic

  • Babies compete in the 2017 ‘Diaper Derby’ crawling race, a promotion event ahead of the New York City Triathlon in New York July 15, 2017. — Reuters pic

  • Babies compete in the 2017 ‘Diaper Derby’ crawling race, a promotion event ahead of the New York City Triathlon in New York July 15, 2017. — Reuters pic

“This will be something fun to tell her... maybe if she has children or when she is bigger I can show that she did this.”

Kimi Mei, from Brooklyn, admits to subjecting 10-month-old son Hunter to a “little bit” of training by setting him against a friend in the park.

But her “secret weapon” is the remote control he “is not allowed to play with and he always wants to play with.”

“So, I brought it today and I am hoping I can light it up and he will go for it.”

Chris Kennel, who drove in from Georgia to take part in the triathlon, wants son Carson to become an athlete and thought “he’d have a chance to win.”

But in the end 11-month-old Brooke crawled off with the trophy. An out-of-town girl from Dallas, Texas, she made a bee-line for the finish line and won all the glory.

“She just likes to crawl around a lot,” said mother Kristy Bender as her daughter dribbled into the microphone. — AFP

Kristy Bender of Dallas, Texas, holds up her 11-month-old daughter Brooke, the winner of the 2017 ‘Diaper Derby’ crawling race, a promotion event ahead of the New York City Triathlon in New York July 15, 2017. — Reuters picKristy Bender of Dallas, Texas, holds up her 11-month-old daughter Brooke, the winner of the 2017 ‘Diaper Derby’ crawling race, a promotion event ahead of the New York City Triathlon in New York July 15, 2017. — Reuters pic

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