Parents Say They Were Visited By Child Protective Services After Running Marathon With Their 6-Year-Old Son

Two Kentucky parents have claimed that Child Protective Services paid them a visit after they allowed their six-year-old son to run a marathon.

Ben and Kami Crawford came under fire after they shared the news that their son Rainier had completed the 26.2 mile Flying Pig Marathon in Cincinnati, Ohio, on May 1. A seriously impressive accomplishment for a child of that age.

The six-year-old crossed the finish line in eight-and-a-half hours, a time which his proud parents were quick to post on their social media platforms. However, not everyone was impressed, and some social media users attacked the Crawfords for physically pushing their child too far.

Some were so outraged that Rainier had been put through such a strenuous run that they complained to CPS, prompting officials to pay the Crawfords a visit and question their son.

Now, Ben and Kami - who share six kids and often enjoy running as a family - have taken to Instagram to hit back at their critics, and explain to their 13,800 followers that Rainier's participation in the marathon was entirely voluntary.

Alongside a snap apparently showing their son being interviewed by CPS workers in the garden, they shared a statement describing the experience as "scary".

"Yesterday Child Protective Services (CPS) arrived at our home unannounced and interviewed our children, parents & grandmother," they wrote.

"Someone reported that we dragged Rainier after mile 13 and across the finish line, pulling him against his will. All 8 family members and eye witnesses (including police officers), and our hours of footage reveal a different story - That Rainier is a young human who was very determined to finish and was never dragged ONCE on the entire 26.2 mile course," the parents continued.

They went on to say: "Calling a government agency to have children taken away from someone because you don’t like them or something doesn’t 'feel right' or because you can not conceive of a six-year-old that enjoys running, is morally reprehensible."

In response to their posts over, many of the family's biggest fans have taken to the comments section to defend the family.

"I just don't see how you could force him to run the marathon," one person wrote. "If there's one thing I know about kids it's making them do something they don't want to do is sometimes impossible. I'm so sorry your family is going through this."

A second supporter added: "Anyone who took the time to watch your videos and get to know your family from afar would know that the amazing thing your young son has accomplished is tremendously far from abuse. It’s INCREDIBLE! Sending all of you well wishes and kind thoughts. Don’t let the haters kill your spark!"

And in a FAQ to the press, the parents insisted that Rainier "was very excited" about running the marathon after watching his siblings also compete in races.

"This is the 11th marathon we have done over 9 years and every one has been with children," the parents added. "We have never gotten attention from the media and were content to share our own story with our small social media following."

The parents also clarified that Rainer did cry during the marathon after "he had a fall". However, they added that every member of their family has cried during marathons.

"These experiences were very limited compared to what has been reported," they wrote.

Despite their insistence that Rainier participated in the marathon voluntarily, the Crawfords continued to receive criticism and abuse online.

Eventually, they released a lengthy statement on Saturday which was published in full by MailOnline, and reads: "We have never forced any of our children to run a marathon and we cannot even imagine that as feasible practically or emotionally."

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