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Speak Up: 8 Year Old Girl Runs Marathon

I recently read that an 8 year old Chinese girl has just completed an astonishing 55 day, 3,558 km (2,211 mi.) marathon from her hometown of Hainan to Beijing.

At first I was thoroughly impressed with the abilities of this little girl to finish such an impressive feat. However, then I started thinking about it more... This could not have been good for her little body. Word has it that it was her idea to run, but an 8 year old does not necessarily understand the rigorous training that would have to go into preparing for such an event. Her father (pictured above on the bike) apparently got major criticism due to his pushing her along in her training program. Especially since the main reason most marathons have an age limit is because it's not a good idea to make any child do large amounts of strenuous exercise.

However, she completed the run, she's fine and I'm sure she's more than thrilled with having achieved her goal -- Something that is great for any child's self esteem.

What do you guys think about this? Is it OK for such a young child to run in (and train for) such an event? Should the father have pushed her because he knew she wanted to achieve her goal? I know you've got some good thoughts, so speak up and share them in the comments section below.


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