I’m the first to admit that I love running with my kids. Sure, the pace is different than what I am used to but running with my 7 year old on the trails is just really fun. I let him set the pace, we stop a lot and we chat about the most random things (usually: Lego). Both boys have each run a 5K. And by run, I mean run/walk/zigzag/play tag/stop for water and cookies, etc. They had fun (which is the primary goal) and got a ribbon at the finish line (secondary goal).
Lately, lots of headlines have been popping up about 5 year olds “setting world records” for half-marathons, 14 year olds running marathons or 6 year olds petting llamas and raising money for pro-life organizations (this one infuriated me).
Maybe I’m missing something here. Maybe these kids are just way more competitive than mine. But I have a really hard time believing that these kids do it on their own volition. 21k is a long way to go (and this leaves me wondering how much training is involved to get them to the start line). It’s a lot of pounding on little joints, bones and muscles. And let’s face it – it can be boring. Maybe these kids are more focused than mine and don’t mind the boredom. But I doubt it. I have sneaking suspicion that there’s a running version of a hard-core soccer mom or dad lurking in the background. I mean, do we really believe that a 6 year old understands what pro-life means?
For now, I think we’ll stick to playing in the forest and chasing each other through the trails.
EDIT: Bravo, Runner’s World, bravo: http://www.runnersworld.com/fun/1-year-old-runs-marathon?page=single