After it was revealed that their 6-year old son had completed a full marathon, Ohio parents are now facing backlash.
Kami and Ben Crawford entered their son, Rainier, into Cincinnati’s annual Flying Pig Marathon alongside his parents and older siblings.
Video posted to the family’s YouTube channel shows Rainier in a previous race, which was a half-marathon. Sometimes he ran and sometimes he walked.
In Sunday’s race, Rainier finished the 26.2-mile course in 8 hours and 36 minutes. Now Rainier’s parents are catching heat on social media.
“Everything about this is wrong!”One tweet.
“Little kids are not physically developed to handle the physical demands of the marathon,”Another commenter stated the following:
However, others were supportive with one person writing. “Teaching [children] endurance and overcoming difficulties is great!”
Inside Edition hears Dr. Jordan Metzl speak about sports medicine. “I love the idea of getting your kids active. But in general we don’t recommend marathon distance running for kids really under the age of 18.”
Inside Edition was contacted by the Crawfords to discuss their criticism.
“If he wants to stop or if I think his body, it’s too much for him, then absolutely we would stop and make sure he was OK,”Kami Crawford stated.
“I’m not saying everyone should do this, but this is just what we did and something we really enjoyed and thought it was healthy for our family,”Ben Crawford stated.
They also claimed that they didn’t feel any heat exhaustion, or dehydration.
In the wake of the controversy, the marathon organizer says that letting the youngster take part “was not the best course of action” and that they will make sure all runners are over 18 in future races.