6-year-old Ben Crawford runs Flying Pig Marathon, family faces criticism for allowing boy to compete

CINCINNATI, Ohio – Crossing the finish line in a marathon is often a moment to celebrate, but a family of runners is facing criticism after their 6-year-old was allowed to enter and finish the Cincinnati Flying Marathon last Saturday.

Rainier Crawford, 6, ran the 26.2-mile run with his five siblings and parents, finishing in 8 hours and 35 minutes.

“Some of the workouts were like, hard, but sometimes I fell, but sometimes when I did one, it was normal,” Rainier told Good Morning America.

Crawford’s father, Ben Crawford, wrote on Instagram that his youngest son had physical difficulties during the marathon.

“He was having a hard time physically and wanted to take a break and sit every three minutes,” Crawford wrote in an Instagram post on Tuesday. “After 7 hours, we finally reached 20 miles and only found an abandoned table and empty boxes. He was crying and we were moving slowly, so I told him I would buy him two sleeves. [of potato chips] if he kept moving. “

SEE ALSO: The brother of the victim of the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013 finishes the race for the first time

Crawford added that he was impressed by his son’s abilities.

“I did not know if he could do it, so being able to run next to him and watch his body is quite shocking,” he told the GMA.

The post on social media has since sparked outcry, with some saying the family did it for Instagram likes and some going so far as to accuse the Crawfords of child abuse.

Kara Goucher, a two-time Olympian and long-distance runner, was among those who spoke, writing on Twitter on Wednesday, “I do not know who needs to hear this, but a six-year-old can not understand what a marathon will do to them physically. . A six-year-old does not understand what it is like to embrace misery. “A six-year-old who ‘fights physically’ does not realize that he has the right to stop and he has to.”

The organizers of the Flying Pig Marathon defended their decision to let every member of the Crawford family participate in the 2022 marathon.

“The goal was to try to offer protection and support if it was our way (medicine, fluids and replacement),” wrote Iris Simpson Bush, president and CEO of the Pig Works parent company. an open letter posted on the organization’s website.

The nonprofit also told the GMA that they knew the Crawfords would run the Flying Pig despite the age limit of the marathon, which usually only allows runners aged 18 and over, a factor that played into the decision to leave them. Crawfords to run.

“Our 18+ marathon requirement will be strictly met by moving forward,” Bush added in the open letter.

Experts say that a child’s growth plates, the tissue near the long bones, are not fully developed by the age of 6, and an extreme activity such as running a marathon can be dangerous for children.

Dr. Alok Patel told the GMA that he would be concerned with letting a young child run a marathon.

“If a toddler was running a marathon, I worry about electrolyte abnormalities, nausea, vomiting, heatstroke, all of these signs and symptoms that may not be so obvious to a toddler,” Patel said.

The Crawfords said they do not force their children to do strenuous activities such as running a marathon, but follow their children’s example if they say they want to try it.

“We really care about our children’s emotional and physical health. But we also care about their company and if they want to do something, and we, you know, evaluate the risks and see if it’s okay,” said Kami Crawford, Rainier’s mom. , he said.

Copyright © 2022 ABC News Internet Ventures.

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6-year-old Ben Crawford runs Flying Pig Marathon, family faces criticism for allowing boy to compete Source link 6-year-old Ben Crawford runs Flying Pig Marathon, family faces criticism for allowing boy to compete

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