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Old 11-06-2012, 10:02 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Should There Be An Age Requirement To Run Marathons?

I wanted some opinions on whether or not you thought there should be an age requirement marathon races? I saw an article about two girls ages 10 and 12 who have run quite a few,but the parents are under scrutiny by some. I'm not an expert,but if the kids are truly enjoying it and it's not harming them, I don't see what the issue is.

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Old 11-06-2012, 10:03 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I don't see an issue assuming like you said, there's no health issues doing it at that young of age.
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Old 11-06-2012, 10:10 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Why would you want to restrict living a healthy life style? There are so many fat and morbidly obese people out there that it is becoming the norm.

My mom cooked 6 nights a week and I played soccer on three teams, swim team in the summer, and basketball in the off season. My brother and sister did the same. My mom has run over 20 marathons and ran a 100 mile race in Huntsville two years ago at age 50.

PS> I have ran over 45 5k races since I was in 3rd grade. I did my first triathlon at age 10. (12 mile bike, 3 mile run, 16 laps in the pool) I am in great shape at age 22 and attribute that to the way my mom raised me.

Child obesity is child abuse, in my opinion.
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Old 11-06-2012, 10:15 AM   #4 (permalink)
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If they are enjoying themselves, there are no health issues and they are not being forced to run when they don't want to. Then I see no issues with it at all.

There is some debate on growing children and the amount of exercise they should have. Not that they shouldn't have any, but that you don't want to over extend it for them.

But if they are being taken care of and the parents are responsible, then I don't see anything wrong with it at all.
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Old 11-06-2012, 10:17 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I don't know if an age requirement is necessary, but permission from a doctor should be required. Here is a quote from my daughter's orthopedic surgeon:

PALO ALTO, Calif., March 3 /PRNewswire/ -- "Exercise and sports participation is a double-edge sword," said James Gamble, MD, PhD, orthopedic surgeon at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford. "We want children involved in physical activity outside, especially since we have an obesity crisis. Yet you can have too much of a good thing." If children are participating in too many activities, there may be a breakdown in their bones, ligaments and tendons, creating overuse injuries.
PR Newswire (Kids' 'Overuse' Sports Injuries Are on the Rise -- PALO ALTO, Calif., March 3 /PRNewswire/ --)

My husband as a teen had participated in lots of dirt bike events. As an adult his knees are shot, and he can barely step off a curb now.

There seems to be more risks to girls:
Ratio of sports injuries among boys and girls
"It's changing," said Gamble. "I'm definitely seeing more girls, especially for sports injuries like anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears, which are now three times more common in girls than boys. It's an absolute epidemic." In this video, Gamble also explains why girls are at a greater risk for ACL tears even in non-contact sports.

PR Newswire (Kids' 'Overuse' Sports Injuries Are on the Rise -- PALO ALTO, Calif., March 3 /PRNewswire/ --)
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Old 11-06-2012, 10:31 AM   #6 (permalink)
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If they are having fun and doing it because they want to.... I don't see an issue. It's great that they are learning to ENJOY being active and outside... not in front of a TV or computer. However, I would also be concerned with what the post below mine states. There IS too much of a good thing some times.

Growing up, I was extremely active. I was big into training my dogs and horses. I showed horses competitively and spent most of my free time working in the barn or riding. I was also in roller hockey, soccer, swim team, and at 13 I started SCUBA diving. On the side I was also very close to my brothers and would join them on the 4 wheelers, hiking, camping, target shooting, fishing/boating, climbing trees... etc. etc. etc. I was VERY active. As a child I barely watched TV and the only computer we had (until I was 12) was an old DOS computer that was my father's work computer. I was outside from dawn til dusk. School, homework, dinner, and sleep were just about the only things that brought me indoors.

However, I'm paying for it now.

At almost 24, my knees are bad (especially my right knee), my lower back gives me a lot of problems, and I find myself in a lot of pain.

Some of the other people I grew up with and did all these sports with also have problems. A few of my old riding buddies have had knee replacement surgeries, hip surgeries, and some had to have procedures done on their back.

As long as it's allowing the kids bones grow properly and leaving them with a healthy body.... then go for it! I would just be a bit concerned with the stress on their bodies if they over do it. I look at it the same way as say our horses and dogs..... I wont jump a horse under 3yrs, and I wont over work/stress a dog under 1-2yrs. The plates need to close and the bones need to harden more.
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Old 11-06-2012, 12:07 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I agree with the above post-the other thing that I would be concerned about is supervision-I would not allow my 10 or 12 year old child to run a large city marathon alone...I would encourage them if they wanted to participate in running or other sports-much better than being in front of a tv or computer...
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Old 11-06-2012, 12:12 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gharrissc View Post
I wanted some opinions on whether or not you thought there should be an age requirement marathon races? I saw an article about two girls ages 10 and 12 who have run quite a few,but the parents are under scrutiny by some. I'm not an expert,but if the kids are truly enjoying it and it's not harming them, I don't see what the issue is.
And age restriction? No. Maybe a distance suggestion.
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Old 11-06-2012, 12:14 PM   #9 (permalink)
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10-12 is about the age where a Level 10 gymnast will start moving towards Elite. At this point they are training 5-8 hours a day, 5-6 days a week. Being an Elite level gymnast is literally a full time job. There are no age restrictions for achieving that level but there are age minimums for the Olympics (16 in the Olympic year).

I can see where over training could be unhealthy but IMO this needs to be up to the parents, coaches, and doctors of the individual and not a blanket restriction. Of course the organization hosting the competition is free to make an age limit (like the gymnasts' age minimum for the Olympics) but I would not favor a blanket restriction.
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Old 11-06-2012, 02:29 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liesje View Post
10-12 is about the age where a Level 10 gymnast will start moving towards Elite. At this point they are training 5-8 hours a day, 5-6 days a week. Being an Elite level gymnast is literally a full time job. There are no age restrictions for achieving that level but there are age minimums for the Olympics (16 in the Olympic year).

I can see where over training could be unhealthy but IMO this needs to be up to the parents, coaches, and doctors of the individual and not a blanket restriction. Of course the organization hosting the competition is free to make an age limit (like the gymnasts' age minimum for the Olympics) but I would not favor a blanket restriction.
Completely agree with Liesja ...

I remember when we were kids, we weren't allowed in the house unless it was to eat, do homework, use the bathroom or sleep. If it was pouring rain, we had rubber boots and a raincoat! Upon reflection, I don't recall any of my friends being overweight.

I cringe when I see how so many overweight kids nowadays. We can blame it on whatever we want - technology, toys, computers, etc, more junk food, whatever ... but the best thing, IMHO, a child can be told? GET OUTSIDE AND PLAY.

I was 12 years old when we got a tv and it wasn't even for us, it was my dad's! We weren't even allowed to watch it.

My sister has done something quite similar with her nephew - he's allowed 1/2 hour on the ipad to play games, otherwise, either she or her husband, or the family as a group are actively involved with him - keeping him active.
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