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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.


meowhubbs meowhubbs 6 years
I think her should be charged with child endangerment! While completely amazing, running that far and that hard is not healthy for the young body of an 8 year old. I think she has an amazing sports future but for now... let her running be contained to the playground! :)
Camarogirl67 Camarogirl67 10 years
No. She should be busy picking her nose and stubbing her toes.
outofhere outofhere 10 years
I have mixed emotions. I'm amazed that she could accomplish this and want to say - well done! On the other hand she seems so young and I feel worried about that. The thing is, what about young gymnasts who train for hours a day, every day and at a very young age or young figure skaters?
tlsgirl tlsgirl 10 years
I don't know how I feel about it either way, but it's amazing that she was able to complete it!
screammylungzout screammylungzout 10 years
omg! i missed the first part and thought it was a regular marathon, not realizing how much she actually did. that's wayyy too much for a little girl.
tabloidprincess tabloidprincess 10 years
no I don't think it's okay for a child to run a marathon.
mocelebgossisme mocelebgossisme 10 years
bigestivediscuit bigestivediscuit 10 years
I don't think it's only the age that is the biggest issue here but the distance. It does seem like the distance would be brutal for even the most experienced runners and I'm not really sure the body of an 8 year old child could withstand that kind of constant exertion.
astanisz astanisz 10 years
I think its terrible. I wonder if she REALLY wanted to run the marathon or just wanted to please her father.. My bet would be on pleasing the father..
Food Food 10 years
I'm not sure how I feel about it, but it definitely is inspiring and remarkable.
randomname12345 randomname12345 10 years
When does this little girl find time to go to school? It sounds like all she does is run all day. While athletics and fitness are important, how is she going to grow up to be a productive member of society if she can't think for herself?
ktacce ktacce 10 years
:/ i feel awful for her, even if she "wanted" to do it, it can't be good for her in the long run!!
pixelhaze pixelhaze 10 years
The health of the child is foremost. I'm no expert, so maybe before deciding to run the child should be taken to a doctor who would know about this kind of stuff (a sports therapist?) to get checked, see if she's healthy, get training and nutrittion recomendations, etc. And if the go ahead is given, keep up with regular visits. She was able to complete it and as far as we can tell is fine, so if that is the case then I am amazed and inspired by this little girl. If it suddenly comes out that the dad pushed her for money, recognition, or to break some record, I'm calling it child abuse. And let's hope she really did come out of this fine and healthy. (PS - was this for some kind of a charity? I've never heard of a 55 day marathon)
nefertiti nefertiti 10 years
I don't know about this. But I really think it'll depend on the individual. I think the father only had her goal in mind when he pushed her.
Antsa Antsa 10 years
I just started training to run the Disney Marathon and I am not sure how I feel about this article. She seems very young to be running so hard, but then, it's better than her watching tv or playing video games all day. I'm totally undecided on this. I need to go check out the links in the article.
leeluvfashion leeluvfashion 10 years
I think it's fine if she stays healthy. I say " You go girl!" I could never do that; well, i could if I trained however I don't want too,lol.
Hollisterbabe01 Hollisterbabe01 10 years
i hope she is still getting the proper nutrition! and that she is eating her veggie, protein. calcium and is taking vitamins to strengthen her bones!
Hollisterbabe01 Hollisterbabe01 10 years
I think it is fine if the child is up to the challenge and does not suffer from any emotional, physical, or mental stress! and as long as they have gone to the doctor to get her checked out and see if her little body can take that amount of stress! and as long as the parents are sure that there daughter is ready and has her mind and and body is into it then go for it!
rubialala rubialala 10 years
It seems like it would depend on the child. If a child has the mental, physical, and emotional ability to take on something like that, and a parent is able to gauge that about them, then I say go for it.
sammyof2 sammyof2 10 years
im definately not an expert but i would think thats to much work for someone so young
tchan01 tchan01 10 years
My family is originally from Hainan...and it's an island :-P
MichelleA MichelleA 10 years
i dont think that was good for her health at all! Im glad she made a goal and then achieved it ..but her dad could of said "you can run but not that far" limits people!!!
lisabunny lisabunny 10 years
That's over 40 miles of running a day! It seems almost abusive to me.
ktownpolarbear ktownpolarbear 10 years
55 days! that's ridiculous. an 8 year old who's still growing shoudln't be running for periods anywhere near that long.
Chikeebabe Chikeebabe 10 years
I have an 8 year old daughter and support her in everthing she does. But there is a fine line between support and pushing. I think it's the parents job to monitor their child, especially in something like this, where an 8 year old has no concept of mortality or injury. If my daughter wanted to run a marthon, I would let her. BUT, would constantly monitor her well being and be her biggest cheerleader at the same time.
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