Six years old ran 3:19 for 900m park run

Hi All, HELP

I am not a runner. However, we took my six yo along for a fun run which was around 900M. It is his first run and he placed second with a 1 sec margin to 1st place... We are totally shocked since we didn't expect him to place. Just to have fun. Before we look into classes etc is this a good time given his age?



  • Thank you in advance 

  • I think 6 is a bit young for classes ? Let him just have fun and carry on doing the occasional parkrun ? The important thing is that he enjoys it. I've seen too many kids pushed into sport too early and by the time they're 18 they have had enough and hit the pub. Sport should be life long.
  • parkrunfanparkrunfan ✭✭✭

    To be honest, a lot of people will read this and be pained by the simple fact that the question is being asked. As Cougie says just let him run when he wants to run, if he enjoys it then he'll carry on, if he finds something that interests him more then he may well not be bothered with running at all. Does it matter either way?

  • Simo429Simo429 ✭✭✭

    Only you know him to make that decision, if he enjoys it then his time makes no difference. If you are thinking wow that was amazing I should be pushing him to train then my answer would be consider the pressure.

  • I would never pressure him into sport. He loves it and may enjoy some athletics... He doesn't like the usual football etc. I wondered if it may be worth taking it a bit more seriously. Still in a fun way. Join an athletics club for example. I would never want to turn him off and agree its a journey for life 

  • HA77HA77 ✭✭✭

    If he can hold the pace for another 100m he'll have the world record for 6 year olds over 1km.

    I think the important thing at that age is to learn the motor skills involved with running and that can be done in any sport or game involving running.


  • Wow HA77 that is incredible. I checked his time again and actually it was 3.17sec 

    This is what I want, he clearly has speed but technique is surely needed to avoid injury 


  • HappychapHappychap ✭✭✭

    All the running clubs in our area wouldn't consider taking someone that young and probably quite rightly so.

    As Cougie et al said - kids have way too much pressure on them at the moment as it is.  Let him enjoy all of his activities and then in a few years if he still has the inclination - you could take him along to a running club that specialise in junior runners.

  • Our eldest (now 8) has been going to a local athletic club once a week for the last couple of years and loves it, so if he'd keen I would recommend it whether or not he's a potential world record breaker.

  • runner-manrunner-man ✭✭✭

    Was this 900m fun run properly measured? Would expected to be 1000m but 900m seems a odd distance.

    There are junior parkruns about which are 2000m for kids aged 4 to 14. These are more aimed at fun rather than competition.

    Not many clubs would take a 6 year old because its too young. The pressure in coaching, demands, improvement for a young person is too much to handle.

    Also, not to dent your child's performance, there was one kid faster than him. Even by one second.

  • Mr PuffyMr Puffy ✭✭✭
    Had the winner's Mum started a thread then?
  • This is an inspirational story and you should nurture his talent by doing more Park Runs and he should be signed up with a junior athletics club. It is never too young to encourage  kids to live their dreams. 



  • the winner could have been 12.....and if its a fun run I would also think the distance is probably not accurate..


     look at local athletic clubs but some will not take them till 8..........out of interest has he actually asked if he can go to a club or run more

  • DachsDachs ✭✭✭

    Whilst I don't think your tone implies you're going to be in any way pushy, rather just keen for your son to enjoy doing something they're good at (which I can entirely sympathise with), I'd still echo the comments by others above.  6 is too young for any formal running training, and our local ACs don't take them until 8 or 9.

    Looking at the all time under 13 rankings for events like the 800 and 1500 does make for some interesting reading I'm afraid - with a couple of notable exceptions (e.g. Adam Hickey), it is a list of "who on earth are they?".  Many of them had stopped running by 20.  Let him run for fun now and then and that's it for a good 5 or 6 years.

    Incidentally, the 3rd place on that all time U13 1500m list did so in a race last year where he finished a second ahead of me, gallingly.

  • DeanR7DeanR7 ✭✭✭

    even if it was 800m thats still a decent time for a 6 yr old.

    most athletic clubs wouldnt tak anyone under 8yrs old.  i couldnt get mine in until he was 9

    the sort of "training" they do at this young age is 50m sprints, wait at the back of the queue and repeat for about 10 times.  its not that scientific and its certainly not timed.  if the local club wont take him until he is older then there is nothing stopping you putting 2 jumpers down 50m apart on a playing field and doing some sprints for fun.  do not time them



  • A random list someone compiled of kid's times are not a world records There are no world records for 6 year old distance runners. 

  • Are you really asking "should we start formal training because he might have the potential to be a world class runner"? I don't really know the answer by the way but I wonder why you need advice on this. I've generally let my children do what they want to do, especially at that age when I don't want to put them off or force them down one avenue  the expense of closing off other possibilities.

    Round here I think most children start at athletics clubs around the age of 8 or 9. At 6, if he's keen to pursue it more formally how about asking at school. Our primary does running club for KS1.

  • HA77HA77 ✭✭✭

    Surely this is a wind up? 

  • tricialitttricialitt ✭✭✭

    Let him be a kid, and don't sign him up for training. If he's a much faster runner than all his friends, he'll enjoy running rings round them at school. It would be a terrible waste for him to miss out on all the other sports he'd like to try, because he's tied up doing running training stuff.


  • Nose NowtNose Nowt ✭✭✭

    If this lad had hit a golf ball 300 yards, I don't think anyone would say that he should be prevented from having a little bit of coaching to get his technique a bit better.  You wouldn't say "oh he's only six, just let him whack it".

    And I don't see the argument that "the top runner at age six doesn't often go on to win the Olympics".  That's true of every sport.

    And as lou diamonds says, his little one has been going to an athletics club since the age of six. Maybe those opportunities aren't widespread but our local club takes them from five or six..  all fun stuff.

    Victoria - This sort of question always meets with quite a bit of negativity on here, but you asked a perfectly reasonable question - and one that I'd expect any proud parent to wonder about.   Just keep it fun, no pressure.

  • But if he could drive a formula one car at the age of 6 faster than Lewis Hamilton...okay stupid analogy...but you started itimage

  • DustinDustin ✭✭✭

    Most clubs don't take them until Junior school (we take them from year 3, so 7 turning 8), mainly as they lack - as a group - any real disipline to listen and learn for 45mins  - hour.
    I do coaching for this age group and we keep it mixed so some sprints, some distance, some track, a bit of jumping and throwing. There are few competiotions sadly - U9s have races in cross country, and just a handful of track meets.
    My own view is they should enjoy it and not be overly pushed, they soon work out what they like / don't like. Just don't get them running 5ks every week....

  • I would echo the junior parkrun approach - Sunday morning timed run for 4-14 year olds that is just a fun run with a bit of competition thrown in. If he wants to keep turning up for that, maybe he's got some interest.

  • runner-manrunner-man ✭✭✭

    My advice is you have a child who can run. Rather than think, this kid got something. Use the next couple of years to encourage your child to run in a fun way. For example, run from one spot to another, then back. Treat it more of a game. Find a fun run or junior parkrun but please not every week. Once a month to start with, then twice. When he's 8, if he still got the same potential, then approach a running club.


  • get him playing a team sport....that way he can run around all day without realising it  image


  • VDOT52VDOT52 ✭✭✭
    There is nothing quite the overzealous parent wanting to start 'training' their little one, when it comes to starting me wondering why we don't have to have psychiatric assessments before being allowed to breed.
  • Tommo81Tommo81 ✭✭✭
    What Nose Nowt said.

    Victoria came on here asking for some advice because she noticed her lad might have some talent. She hardly comes across as the overzealous parent. I mean she's not suggesting that he's the next Samir Haddad.
  • What VDOT52 said. Maybe not need a shrink but needs a reality check. 

  • That's harsh, she has clearly come here asking for advice, not to brag or be a pushy parent.


    Victoria - at that age it is important for children to do lots of different activities and movement patterns to avoid overuse injuries and imbalances as they grow. With that in mind I would avoid restricting his activity to just running right now, get him doing jumping, climbing, throwing, any movements that he enjoys and keep him fit and healthy! By all means take him to junior parkrun events now and then, but don't talk about times too much if it will make him feel pressured to perform.

    Have a look at what your local sport facilities offer - many areas have coach led sessions for little ones where they throw tennis balls, jump in sand pits, play running games etc. All important skills to develop but in a fun game setting!

    I hope he continues to enjoy running whether he turns out to be a future Olympic champion or not image

  • When threads like this crop up I sometimes wonder if people like Andy Murray's mum ever asked the Internet for advice about her talented son. And I guess she didn't because they would have told her not to be so ridiculous and get herself to the loony bin pronto.
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