Children’s Running: How Far Is Too Far?

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Sep. 13, 2011
More and more families are taking part in races together. Photo: The Globe and Mail

More and more families are taking part in races together. Photo: The Globe and Mail

Most experts agree that children should not be entered in marathons and half marathons.

As races continue to increase in popularity, more and more families are taking part in them together. One example of this recent phenomenon is the Savoie family who completed the Calgary Marathon 5K earlier this year. “We’ve kind of made running a family affair,” admitted husband and father John Savoie.

Race organizers are noting more parents taking part in 5K and 10K races with their children than in years past.

Jay Glassman, the race director GoodLife Fitness Toronto Marathon says family racing “is a great way to get your kids into health and fitness, and it’s a great bonding experience for a lot of families.”

But how far is too far for children?

Most experts agree that the half marathon and marathon distance are too far for young children, and most longer-distance races prohibit minors from taking part. For example, the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon requires runners to be 18 or older on race day.

For More: The Globe and Mail

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Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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