Kids, Running

I don’t get it.

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).

Whistler Valley 5K.  There were almost always 2/3 kids in the stroller/snack transportation system
Whistler Valley 5K. There were almost always 2/3 kids in the stroller/snack transportation system

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, bravohttp://www.runnersworld.com/fun/1-year-old-runs-marathon?page=single