This week, a mother and father were chastised for running a marathon with their entire family of eight, including their 6-year-old son. They’re now dealing with the backlash.
Rainier Crawford ran the Flying Pig Marathon in Cincinnati with his parents and five older siblings on Sunday.
Rainier’s father, Ben Crawford, wrote on Instagram that Rainier “was struggling physically and wanted to take a break and sit every three minutes” during the race, which took him eight hours and 35 minutes to complete.
When they reached mile 20 and discovered there were no more snacks, Rainier “cried” and “moved slowly,” but his father said the promise of “two sleeves” of Pringles later helped him cross the finish line.
Cami and Ben Crawford with their children, including 6-year-old son Rainier | CREDIT: CAMI AND BEN CRAWFORD/INSTAGRAM
The family’s posts sparked outrage, with many social media users accusing the family of child abuse and forcing the child to run for Instagram likes. A number of professional runners also expressed concern.
“I’m not sure who needs to hear this, but a six-year-old can’t fathom what a marathon will do to them physically,” Olympic runner Kara Goucher tweeted” A six-year-old who is physically suffering is ignorant that they have the right to stop and should.”
“I’m not questioning motivation or implying poor parenting. But, as an Olympic athlete, I can assure you that this is not in the best interests of the child “Goucher continued.
Rainer Crawford and his parents, Ben and Kami Crawford, ran the Flying Pig Marathon. He spent over 8.5 hours on it.
In a lengthy post addressing the dispute, parents Ben and Kami Crawford hit back at allegations that they were “reckless and indeed abusive.”
“We have in no way forced any of our children to run a marathon and we can’t indeed imagine that as realizable nearly or emotionally,” they wrote. “This time, after soliciting to join us, we allowed our 6-year-old to train and essay it.”
“We asked him numerous times if he wanted to stop and he was truly clear that his preference was to continue.”We didn’t see any sign of heat prostration or dehumidification and recognized his request to keep on going,” they added.
Ben and Kami Crawford of Bellevue, Kentucky, have faced backlash online after revealing that their six-year-old son, Rainier, ran the Flying Pig marathon with them.
The boy’s parents, who have over 46,000 subscribers on YouTube, went on to deny forcing “our kids to run for the clicks or the money.”
“Our videos earn $10-$30 per day on average.” “It barely covers the cost of the equipment,” they wrote. “We go to great lengths to prioritize our children’s health and day-to-day experience over sharing it with anyone else.”
In response to “what happened on marathon day,” the family stated that “you cannot bribe a child to train hundreds of hours and run 26 miles in the heat for a can of Pringles.”
Rainier Crawford, 6, was questioned by Child Protective Services after running a 22.6-mile marathon on May 1st, according to Ben and Kami Crawford of Bellevue, Kentucky
“Yes, we use concession and incentivization as parenthood styles, but we use them sparingly and with caution,” they added.”Our parenthood styles are unconventional, but we do not believe that allegations or arguments supported by incorrect data are salutary.”We appreciate everyone who came fraudulent support us on race day. it had been a fantastic experience, and we can not stay to inform you all about it.”
In response to a question about Rainier’s health, his family stated that he was “feeling great” and expressed interest in running a half marathon in the future.
Amid the counterreaction, marathon organizers also released a statement, explaining why they made an exception to allow the child to race.
“This decision wasn’t made smoothly,” wrote Iris Simpson Bush, chairman and CEO of the marathon’s parent association Pig Works.”The father was determined to do the race with his youthful child anyhow.
The intention was to try to offer protection and support when they were on our (medical, fluids and supplies) course,” Bush continued. “I take full responsibility for the decision and accept that it wasn’t the best course of action. Our minimum requirement for participation in the marathon of 18 years will be strictly observed in the future.
Rainier’s father told GMA on Friday that his son’s ability to finish the race was “pretty mind-blowing.”
“We are very concerned about our children’s emotional and physical health,” the boy’s mother added. “But we also care about their agency, so if they want to do something, we assess the risks and decide if it’s okay.”