13 year-Old Girl Runs 50 mile Ultramarathon

This is amazing. Ultrarunners really do come in all ages, skill levels and sizes.

For a 13 year old to accomplish something like this is unbelievable. The average age of most ultrarunners is around the age of 55. At almost 40,  I am considered to be towards the younger end of the spectrum. It is rare to see twenty-somethings at ultrathons. Ultrarunning takes a level of maturity, self-discipline and willingness to endure that is often lacking at the more youthful ages.

As a parent,  I would not encourage or allow my son to tackle one of these when he is at a similar age. I worry about potential long term damage to bone and other structures in someone who has not yet physically matured.

Nevertheless, this story is amazing. When I am in a bad spot at mile 35 or 40 and feeling sorry for myself, I will keep this story in mind.


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3 responses

  1. This story has sparked a lot of debate, and I agree with you in parental terms. It;s one of the reasons they state female gymnasts should be 16 when diving olympians dont have an age limit…. but she seemed to want to do it, and seemed to do it well, so in some ways while I am not totally comfortable with it, I also say Kudos!

    August 16, 2008 at 10:31 am

  2. I am not sure about this one…. I just watched it, and the emotion at the end was so touching and made me cry, but I would never let my daughter do it. Sometimes that is exactly why a parents job is so hard; because you have to love your children unconditionally, make every opportunity available to them, but know when to set the boundaries, and to say no. They may not understand it at the moment, but just as we have learned to understand some of the seemingly crazy rules our parents set for us, they too will one day hopefully understand, that their best interest was at heart. I actually worry about the emotional impact of this , besides the obvious physical implications.

    August 18, 2008 at 9:56 am

  3. Yes, this stirred mixed emotions in me too. I was inspired and touched but I also was concerned that others who are not physically ready/able might try to do the same.
    There is some scientific evidence that too much very long distance running in one's youth could potentially interfere with future running potential and possibly have other serious long term implications.
    Tim Noakes MD in his comprehensive and well-written book "The Lore of Running" suggested that we focus on shorter faster events when young and only move up to longer distances later. I agree. We have our entire lifetime to think about running one of these. There is no need for any of us to rush into trying something like this until we are ready.

    August 18, 2008 at 5:40 pm

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