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Two parents from Kentucky said that they were visited by Child Protective Services after they allowed their six-year-old son to run a marathon.

The parents, Ben and Kami Crawford, allowed their son Rainier to complete the 26.2-mile Flying Pig Marathon in Cincinnati, Ohio. The marathon took place on May 1st, and lasted eight and a half hours. The parents' decision has prompted online criticism and even led to complaints reported to CPS.

The Crawfords are now addressing the controversy and have issued a series of statements. They've denied claims that they ‘dragged’ their son through the race and insisted that unwarranted claims by medical professionals that running such long distances can be detrimental to a child’s health ‘generally cite obscure sources’.

The two took to Instagram on Monday and posted a photo of Rainier sitting shirtless in their garden while being interviewed by CPS social workers. They said that the process was ‘scary’ for their son.

Additionally, they added on social media: “This was a scary process because usually children are interrogated away from parents against their will, and their answers determine the agency's legal rights to take away the kids.”

Despite their insistence that Rainier’s participation in the marathon was on his own accord and voluntary, criticism has continued. They also shared that his ‘food, liquid, electrolyte intake and temperature’ were monitored throughout the race.

As a result, the parents issued a lengthy statement to MailOnline. A portion of their letter read: “We have never forced any of our children to run a marathon and we cannot even imagine that as feasible practically or emotionally."“Yes, there were tears. He had a fall and every single member of our family has cried during marathons. These experiences were very limited compared to what has been reported and despite the incredible physical and emotional difficulty of running a marathon the amount of his crying is comparable to what we would have experienced had we stayed home on a Sunday morning.”

They concluded: “You cannot bribe a child to train hundreds of hours and run 26 miles through the heat for a can of pringles. If you can't see this you are lazy or not listening.

"Our parenting methods are unconventional but we do not think accusations or arguments with incorrect facts are helpful."

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