Youth and Distance

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This topic contains 6 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Ryan 11 years, 2 months ago.

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  • #9549

    I was at FAN24 hour – Lake Nokomis (Bloomington, MN) this weekend.  There was a kid – Had to be between 9-11 competing in the 24 hour race.  His Dad was also competing and Mom was crewing.  Nice Family, but it seemed an exteme amount of stress to put on a growing young body.  I am not sure how many miles he completed – The last time I chatted with him he was at 27 laps x 2.4214 = 65 miles and that was with at least 6-8 hours to go.

    What are your thoughts on Age and Distance

    I have young kids 3 & 7.  My oldest girl sometimes will run a little – 1 to 3 time a  week other weeks none – usally 1 mile run / walk, but once in a while longer.  I have told her nothing over 3 miles (For now)

  • #25295


    My thoughts? You're not going to get any hard numbers out of me but I think a 24 hour event is extreme. I'd probably be somewhere between the 3 mile limit you are placing on your girl and that kid's 65+ miles, closer to the 3 miles than the 65+. The reason you're not going to get any hard numbers out of me is because it depends so much on the physical and mental maturity of the child as well as, of course, previous running history. Most are probably able to handle more than 3 miles by 7 years old with an adequate background in running, though it may be a reasonable limit for some, but I'd be surprised to find someoneone under 15-20 years old who is ready for 65 or more miles.

  • #25296

    Keep it fun.  Make sure it is the kids decision.  Protect the health and development of the child if they are making unsafe decisions.  I would put a 24 hour race in the unsafe category for a 9-11 yr old.

  • #25297

    The 24-hour event is beyond extreme, but that seems to simply be a reflection of the extreme nature of certain facets of modern western/US society (as personified by Karnie, to name one) — unless there is some highly unusual and pertinent fact about this 9-11 year-old that has not been revealed here.  Kenyans kids are not doing ridiculous stuff like this, the ones that hoof it to school are only jogging about 12 miles a day, max, and not all in one run.  It is not the kid's fault, it is not his job yet to look after his own well-being and establish thoughtful boundaries to that end.  At the very least the race director should ban or cap participation for anyone under the age of 16.

  • #25298

    lots of marathons refuse entry to kids under certain age limits (16 for lots of them)… keeping it fun is a good gauge… I let my kids run 5Ks till they 'trained'… as they found racing fun but training boring that meant they 'self-regulated' till they got to about 8th grade and started running with the HS team… mainly they liked wearing the shirts to school the next week  😉

  • #25299

    I have not seen the final results with ages yet – I will follow up with it when I have it.

  • #25300


    I got thinking about this in another way. As we were running the MC200 this past weekend, the third place team we were competing against was a (mostly) high school team that even included one or two guys just finishing up 8th grade. These were very good runners but at least a couple of them were very young.

    We talked about it a few different times and my opinion was that I wouldn't want them out there if I were their coach. It's just too demanding of an event, physically and mentally. For one thing, they should be focusing right now on either recovery from T&F season or base building for cross. Either way, this kind of event is taking away from that focus. Even more, this is a very draining event and one that I think is just too much for most kids that age. I don't know those kids personally so maybe they were ready to handle this kind of event but most kids their age wouldn't be.

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