A US couple have claimed they were visited by child protective services after allowing their six-year-old son to run a 42km marathon.
An American couple who have been criticized for allowing their six-year-old son to run the Flying Pig Marathon in Cincinnati have revealed they were visited by Child Protective Services (CPS).
Ben and Kami Crawford, of Bellevue, shared a photo on Instagram of a public servant interviewing their son Rainier, “who has categorically decided he wants to run a marathon”, the New York Post reports.
In the caption, they wrote that Child Protective Services arrived at their home unannounced on Friday “and interviewed our children because community leaders call it wrong to run with children.”
Adding: “This must stop.
“Our children have emotional breakdowns, NOT because of racing, but because of a mob that has been weaponized by the most accomplished and famous individuals in racing.
“They state that kids running are abusive and provide no data or facts. The reports and position are wrong. Hundreds of witnesses including police and hours of video footage corroborate.
“When are you going to apologize and retract?”
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District Attorney Steve Franzen of Campbell County, Ky., confirmed hello america that child services had visited the Crawfords, but said no decision had yet been made in the inquest.
The Crawfords addressed the backlash in an Instagram video posted recently.
“The real thing we were accused of was dragging Rainier, like physically dragging him down the marathon course past mile 13 and across the finish line,” Ben said.
“If you saw our picture of the finish line, we all held hands for probably the last one, like, 0.2, 0.3 miles (500m). We talked about it beforehand, as if that was what we were going to do.
“I don’t know if I should be angry. I like to believe that people do the best they can. They’re not trying to ruin our lives or, you know, they’re probably legitimately scared for our kids. But also, it’s like, where’s the line? »
Kami added, “I feel like we’re doing what we’re passionate about. It would be a little tragic to stop all that.
The Crawfords previously responded to criticism they received after the 26.2-mile (42 km) race, noting that they had been accused of being “irresponsible and even abusive” after allowing Rainier to compete.
“On May 1 our family of 8 completed a full 26.2 mile marathon,” they wrote earlier this month. “This is the first marathon our whole family has run together. Our 5 older children waited over an hour at mile 25 and after 8 hours and 35 minutes we all crossed the finish line together.
“We’ve never forced any of our kids to run a marathon and we can’t even imagine it being practical or emotionally feasible. We’ve given all of our kids the option for every race.
“Last year two kids ran it without us… This year after begging to join us we allowed our 6 year old to practice and try it. Both parents gave him a half chance of completing it and were ready to pull the plug at any time if he asked or if we saw his safety at risk.
The Crawfords said they had asked Rainier “many times if he wanted to quit and it was VERY clear his preference was to continue.”
In an Instagram story, one user said “Campbell County CPS” had been notified, to which the Crawfords replied, “CPS investigated us for doing much crazier things and considered us safe parents for our children.”
Parents faced further backlash after posting an Instagram photo of their son holding stacks of Pringles chips, sharing that the boy was “physically struggling” during the marathon.
Olympic marathon runner Lee Troop has criticized parents and race organizers for allowing Rainier to participate in a marathon.
“Kid stopping every 3 minutes after 20 miles, crying and emotionally distressed. Parents are bribing him to finish and he will get Pringles. Parents see no problem in allowing this to happen. It’s all wrong in there!” he said in a tweet.
This article originally appeared in the New York Post and has been reproduced with permission.