Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: Children running Marathons...

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Children running Marathons...

I came across this article from the New York Times back in 2009. It covered the early years of the New York City Marathon when some children actually took part.

Like 8 year old Wesley Paul while lined up with 4,822 other runners for the 1977 New York Marathon and ran 3:31. He is still the youngest finisher in the marathon’s  history.

Or 9 year old Howie Breinan who ran 3:26 in 1978. By the time he was a teenager, he had run six marathons and six 100-kilometer races. His New York best was 3:18 in 1979 aged just 10.

Or Scott Black who ran the 1979 New York Marathon aged just 9. A few years later when he was 14, he ran his best Marathon time in Philadelphia in 2:53.

The articles states.........."Organizers were uneasy about young runners, but it was not until 1981, records show, that age 16 became the requirement. New York’s official minimum age became 18 in 1988, after an advisory set by the International Marathon Medical Directors Association in the early 1980s, and reasserted in 2001."

Just in case anyone thinks this is a good idea, it's not. It's generally accepted today that children should not run long distances on hard surfaces like roads as their bones are still developing. Hence, that's why you will find juniors concentrating on short track events or cross country.

The full article can be seen HERE

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