Recent years have seen a surge in the participation of children in distance running. It is not unusual for an aspiring prepubescent to run 10 to 15 miles daily and to participate in distance races, including marathons (26.2 miles).

While running is a natural activity that can maintain and improve aerobic fitness, racing and, particularly, training for long distances have their risks. Distance running may induce musculoskeletal, endocrine, hematologic, thermoregulatory, and psychosocial damage.

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