Marathon Kids: How young is too young to run 26.2 miles? - AmericaNowNews.com

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Marathon Kids: How young is too young to run 26.2 miles?

Tens of thousands run in marathons, including many kids under 14. In fact the minimum age to run is just seven years old. So how young is too young for such a grueling race?

A lot depends on the child. Some parents say running 26.2 miles is just fine for kids. Others say its borderline child abuse.

So how young is too young?

Dr. Coel says medical studies have differing results. One showed marathon kids get hurt, but mainly from falls. Another showed kids went to the medical tent far less than adults. And no studies show long distance running stunts growth.

"We don't have evidence to say that 7 is too young. We do have evidence that says if a 7 year old doesn't want to be doing it they shouldn't be doing it," said Dr. Coel.

In the long run Dr. Coel says the marathon motivation should come from the kid, not the parent or coach.

Each child is different so it's a good idea to check with their pediatrician first.

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