CINCINNATI — Child Protective Services visited the family of the 6-year-old boy who ran the Flying Pig Marathon, the parents said on social media.
In an Instagram post, Kami and Ben Crawford said social workers came to their home and interviewed their children "because leaders in the running community are calling running with children wrong."
Rainier Crawford, 6, crossed the finish line at Flying Pig in 8 hours and 35 minutes along with his two parents and five siblings, ages 11-20. On Flying Pig's website, it states "marathon participants need to be 18 years of age on race day." Many began asking the family why the Flying Pig would allow a child to participate and if that level of exercise was safe for a young child.
"A kid should not be running a marathon," one comment said.
Another called it "child abuse."
The family said their children had "emotional breakdowns" due to the backlash.
"They are stating that children running is abusive and not providing any data or facts," the family said in the post. "The reports and stance are false. Hundreds of witnesses including police officers and hours of video footage corroborate."
Pediatrician Dr. Christopher Bolling said there are some exercises that young children should limit to avoid overuse or injury.
"There are certain limitations on certain activities because they can affect growth," Bolling said. "They're a little bit higher risk for certain types of injuries."
Bolling said weightlifting and resistance training should be limited for children younger than 13. He said running is typically an exercise that is suitable for younger kids, but a full marathon is unusual.
The family said "running's most accomplished and celebrated individuals" have weaponized "a mob" of critics and said their son told CPS workers he wanted to run the race.
The family has a link on social media to a Google document where they provide answers to what they claim are frequently asked questions about their children running The Flying Pig Marathon.