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2011-10-20 3:10 PM
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Subject: RE: What do you think about a 9 year old running a marathon?
Puppetmaster - 2011-10-20 12:47 AM

I am thrown by the "if the kid wants to" comments.  Maybe it's just me, but I am still a parent and letting a child at age 9 decide to what to do.....well no.  I give my 10 year old some input, but mine is the final voice....sometimes wife's. 

Really think about this, what if something happened to a 9 year old running a race that long.  How could any parent live with themselves.  Somethings are way more important than running a marathon.

Joe

x2



2011-10-20 3:15 PM
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Subject: RE: What do you think about a 9 year old running a marathon?
kathy caribe - 2011-10-19 6:45 AM
KeriKadi - 2011-10-17 4:38 PM
Tom Demerly. - 2011-10-17 1:33 PM

Hmmm.

In the U.S. where adults stay children way too long I thik this will be shouted down, and perhaps it should be.

As a Mom of 5 I could not disagree with this statement more. Children grow up WAY too fast in general.

Here in Houston we have a set of sisters age 9 and 11 that race every Saturday and Sunday. They do the kids races Saturday and the adult races Sunday.  They both did an Oly last month, I know them because my 9 year old daughter does kids races (Kiwanis series with a 1/4 mile run). Both girls were bawling on the bike and on the run. Their Dad chases after them screaming "encouragement" they don't smile, they don't get excited about awards. Honestly, it is sad to watch.

My girls are in a Girls on the Run program and I am their coach. They will do a 5K next month but are not expected to run the whole thing. They will likely jog 2 miles with breaks in between and both will have an escort with them the entire race.

 

Come live outside the US for a little while and you will change your mind.  I regularly see 6yo caring for infants ALONE because mom is out in the field trying to salvage the crop from flood and dad is working as a laborer in a town hours away.  Tom's post was dead on.

And this makes it okay?

2011-10-20 3:22 PM
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Subject: RE: What do you think about a 9 year old running a marathon?
Puppetmaster - 2011-10-20 2:47 AM

I am thrown by the "if the kid wants to" comments.  Maybe it's just me, but I am still a parent and letting a child at age 9 decide to what to do.....well no.  I give my 10 year old some input, but mine is the final voice....sometimes wife's. 

Really think about this, what if something happened to a 9 year old running a race that long.  How could any parent live with themselves.  Somethings are way more important than running a marathon.

Joe

I agree and disagree with this.  My wife and I have the final say because a child does not always know what is best.  However, running compared to what is socially acceptable in football and hockey is mild.  IMO  Having actually been a player in a game where a child was paralyzed because of a fall he took on the field can change perspective.  

2011-10-20 3:40 PM
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Subject: RE: What do you think about a 9 year old running a marathon?
Thank you for posting this. My son is signed up for a Tot Trot, and in a way to get me up early so my wife can sleep in, we have gone running on Saturday mornings. We usually do about 2 miles with him actually running about .7 miles each time. Now he is 4, but I do not want to be the psycho sports dad and push him insanely hard. However, his ice skating has improved and he seems to have a greater understanding of the mechanics of what is going on. Is this to psycho for him? We are doing the "Run/ Walk" method
2011-10-20 3:52 PM
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Subject: RE: What do you think about a 9 year old running a marathon?

spjon25 - 2011-10-20 4:40 PM Thank you for posting this. My son is signed up for a Tot Trot, and in a way to get me up early so my wife can sleep in, we have gone running on Saturday mornings. We usually do about 2 miles with him actually running about .7 miles each time. Now he is 4, but I do not want to be the psycho sports dad and push him insanely hard. However, his ice skating has improved and he seems to have a greater understanding of the mechanics of what is going on. Is this to psycho for him? We are doing the "Run/ Walk" method

Is he enjoying himself?  IMO it is not too crazy.  Kids need to run.

2011-10-20 4:10 PM
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Subject: RE: What do you think about a 9 year old running a marathon?
Moderation > 9 year old marathoner > morbidly obese 9 year old


2011-10-20 4:36 PM
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Subject: RE: What do you think about a 9 year old running a marathon?

blbriley - 2011-10-20 5:10 PM Moderation > 9 year old marathoner > morbidly obese 9 year old

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2011-10-22 11:41 PM
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Subject: RE: What do you think about a 9 year old running a marathon?

Huh--feel like I have to weigh in on this. I do think it's too young. Not so much the marathon itself (although I'd worry that a kid that young wouldn't have the judgement to properly handle pacing, hydration, and nutrition), but with the level of training needed--it seems too goal-directed and physically monotonous to be a natural or healthy choice for a kid that age. I'm not a parent but I teach and coach kids of this age--for a fit child willing to do some training, I'd be comfortable with a 5K for an elementary-aged kid; maybe a 10K at the outside for a 10-12 year old; HM at the outside for high school students.  My gut feeling is that marathon running is better left to older teens and adults--the intensity of training and judgement required to run it successfully is probably more suited to them.

I ran my first 5K at 11, 10K at 12 (I think), first marathon when I was 14 and trained pretty seriously from 14 to about 20; to my knowledge have no long-term health effects from it. My only injuries during that time came from speedwork on the track, and later in life from random stuff not related to sports. I do think 14 was a little early, but......it was my own idea!  Ironically, I got into longer-distance road racing mostly because our state didn't offer my best event, the two-mile, for girls during my first two years of high school, so I skipped track season and ran road races as a protest!  On the scale of things one could do as teenage rebellion, a marathon probably ranks as one of the safer choices. Pregnancy and drugs come to mind as other, less healthy risk-taking options.

I think some of the "limits" we set for kids are a bit much--in many countries, children walk hours a day to/from school and do hard physical labor from the age of 4 or 5, without clearly detrimental health effects. Our ancestors were probably walking and running considerable distances as soon as they could. We were designed to move and occasionally doing a long run, hike, or bike ride is probably a good thing for a healthy kid. It's when the enjoyment and variety are taken out of it that I become concerned for the child's physical and mental well-being--it's not strictly a matter of how many miles or kilometers an occasional race is, but whether or not the child is self-motivated and enjoying day-to-day a balance of sports and other activities in addition to running.



Edited by Hot Runner 2011-10-22 11:43 PM
2011-10-23 12:53 AM
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Subject: RE: What do you think about a 9 year old running a marathon?
There aren't many 9 year olds for which running a marathon would be appropriate, but there are some. Hopefully this kid is one of them.
2011-10-23 1:43 AM
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Subject: RE: What do you think about a 9 year old running a marathon?

There is some risk with overuse of the muscles for developing kids.  The bones are not fused yet, especially the long bones (like the femur).  For simplicity, the heads are not fused with the shaft since both are growing independently.  Between the two, at the neck, is basically a type of cartilage.  Most don't fuse until we are in our 20s, though after puberty, the area is pretty solid.  With so many muscles attached to areas of the bone which are still connected by cartilage, there is risk of avulsion. 

Also, nine is getting close to when children start to go through one of their most major growth spurts.  The muscles and bones are both developing at different rates.  Some bones will be longer than the muscle.  This can cause increased stretch on the connecting tissues.  Also, some muscles will be greater strength than the bone can handle.  So when you exert these muscles, you risk damaging the bones.

One pretty common disease is Osgood-Schlatter syndrome.  The Quads attach right below our knee at the tibial tuberosity (you can feel the bump).  This is a growth plate during ages 9 to 15, and overuse of the Quads can tear away the plate from the bone.

So sure, kids need to be active, but I think the general rule is that moderation is key.  A marathon is a bit more running than you would normally see a person do and IMO, is over and above a moderate type of activity for a youth to engage in.  Also, as a parent, you need to be aware of your child's changing body and encourage them to slow down when things are changing.  As adults, when we go through change, it's usually in the form of an injury.  So we naturally rest and restructure activities that promote health.  For children, their changes come in many forms and we adults need to be keyed in to this since kids aren't.  I wouldn't want to risk my child's long term health for an activity than can be achieved a few years later when things are more settled. 

2011-10-23 9:17 AM
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Subject: RE: What do you think about a 9 year old running a marathon?

blbriley - 2011-10-20 4:10 PM Moderation > 9 year old marathoner > active 9 year old > non-active yet still slender 9 year old > obese 9 year old > morbidly obese 9 year old

I added some.



2011-10-23 10:55 AM
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2011-10-24 1:31 AM
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Subject: RE: What do you think about a 9 year old running a marathon?
rsmoylan - 2011-10-20 1:52 PM

spjon25 - 2011-10-20 4:40 PM Thank you for posting this. My son is signed up for a Tot Trot, and in a way to get me up early so my wife can sleep in, we have gone running on Saturday mornings. We usually do about 2 miles with him actually running about .7 miles each time. Now he is 4, but I do not want to be the psycho sports dad and push him insanely hard. However, his ice skating has improved and he seems to have a greater understanding of the mechanics of what is going on. Is this to psycho for him? We are doing the "Run/ Walk" method

Is he enjoying himself?  IMO it is not too crazy.  Kids need to run.

 

Yeah he is enjoying himself, plus he gets to see "Spider City" (an area on the road with lots of bushes with huge garden spiders and webs on them) and after we split a bagel, fruit and OJ at a local market. I agree kids need to be active. I teach all day, and see the most successful kids be the ones who are the most involved and active, while the sedentary fall by the way side. Plus he is getting my chug butt out of bed early enough.

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