Influencer parents criticized for letting a six-year-old run a marathon

The Crawford family ran a marathon together, but now parents, Ben and Kami, have been slammed when it was revealed they were letting their six-year-old compete despite his young age

Ben, Kami and Rainier Crawford
Two parents were beaten for letting their six-year-old run a marathon

Two parents have been slammed for letting their six-year-old run an entire marathon – even though the toddler was “struggling physically”.

Ben and Kami Crawford are parents to six children and together they all ran the Flying Pig Marathon, crossing the finish line individually and posing for a family photo after a grueling 26.2 miles.

Their youngest child, Rainier, was the slowest — he completed the course in eight and a half hours, as he “paused and sat down every three minutes” and “cryed and … moved slowly.”

The Crawford family of Kentucky, USA, documented the entire race on Youtube and have come under fire for forcing the youngster to participate despite the minimum age to compete being 18.

The Crawford family has been running marathons together for some time


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Olympian Kara Goucher spoke out against the family and race organizers knowing Rainier was taking part, saying that six was too young to run a marathon.

She said: “I don’t know who needs to hear this, but a six-year-old can’t imagine what a marathon is going to do to him physically.

“A six-year-old doesn’t understand what it means to accept misery. A six-year-old who is ‘physically struggling’ doesn’t realize that he has the right, and should, to quit.

“I’m not questioning the motivation or saying it’s bad parenting. But as an Olympic athlete, I promise you this is not good for the child.

Young Rainier Crawford managed to run the entire marathon


“Children are children. Let her roam, but as a parent, you must protect her growing body and young mind.”

Kara’s comments came after Rainier’s father opened up about the youngster’s struggles on the course.

He wrote: “On the marathon course, Rainier knew they usually give out Pringles around mile 20. He had physical problems and wanted to take a break and sit every three minutes.

“After seven hours we finally got to mile 20 to find only an abandoned table and empty boxes. He was crying and we were moving slowly so I told him I would buy him two sleeves if he kept moving.

The Crawford family ran the race together


“I had to promise him a sleeve to see him in the family photo at the finish line. I paid him today.”

After receiving backlash online, the family released a statement on their Facebook page.

They said: “We’ve never forced any of our children to run a marathon and we can’t even imagine it’s practically or emotionally feasible.

“We have given all our children the option of every race. Last year two children ran without us. In nine years we have received a total of 53 medals – mainly to the children of our 6 year old for training and trying.

“Both parents gave him a 50/50 chance of locking it up and were always willing to unplug if he requested it or if we felt his safety was at risk.

Kara Goucher has spoken out against the parents


Sports Illustrated via Getty Images)

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“We asked him several times if he would like to quit and he was very clear that he would prefer to continue. We saw no signs of heat exhaustion or dehydration and complied with his request to continue.

“Yes, there were tears. He had fallen and every single member of our family cried at marathons.

“These experiences were very limited compared to what was reported, and despite the incredible physical and emotional difficulties of running a marathon, the amount of his crying is comparable to what we would have experienced if we were running on a Sunday morning.” would have stayed at home.

“Many people erroneously report that people have seen him cry for the ‘entire’ or ‘majority’ of the race and that there are numerous witnesses.

“With our finish time that’s impossible as we’ve done the last five miles mostly alone and most people have had the experience with us in a one off 30 second offense.

“Those making these bold and absolute claims have no evidence. We have hours of video footage and images being released that depict his emotional state very clearly.”

The full statement can be found here.

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