More and more kids are taking up running and it makes me so happy! Studies show kids who are active have more 'brain power' and thus do better in school, which is why physical activity is so very important. You have probably read about my own son running with me on several occasions. I try to get him to run 2 races with me a year and he has set his sights on a 10k this year! But over the weekend at the 2014 Gasparilla Distance Classic, sometime amazing happened that inspired the running community, kids and adults alike!
A 9 year old boy ran the half marathon in 1:40:42 not only killing my half marathon PR (humbling!) but also beating the world record by over 1 minute! This young boy runs 3 days a week and, per his mom, runs because, he really loves it.
Now I would be remiss if I didn't tell you that I think a half marathon at 9 is too young for most kids, obviously not this young boy! My son has also mentioned wanting to run a half marathon and I have set the age of 13 as his goal. There are many overuse injuries that can occur in young runners including tendinitis and apophysitis (fancy word for inflamed growth plates. They are still in full on growth stages so children have to be very careful when undertaking ANY sport to extremes. As long as they are having fun, being smart with training and LOVE what they are doing, sports can teach great life lessons about persistence, dedication and hard work.
Run Happy! Dr Misty