Baby Crawl-A-Thon Doping Controversy Divides Community

Baby Crawl-A-Thon Doping Controversy

By Liv of

A prestigious baby race in Minnesota has caused outrage after a 7-month-old girl was disqualified for “scooting and not crawling.” Test results received after the trophy was awarded revealed that the performance enhancing drug Gripe Water (referred to by users as “The Stuff”) was also used to improve her recovery and endurance.

The Crawl-A-Thon occurs every year in Podunk, Minnesota as part of the local SummerFest.  But this year’s race has been marred by controversy after the winner, Hailey Herkley, had her trophy revoked for not “properly” crawling, but pulling herself forwards and letting her feet drag behind, also known as scooting. Test results received after the race showed that she had been doping with the performance enhancing Gripe Water.

‘That’s the only way we’ve ever seen our baby crawl,” Herkley’s mom, Sally Herkley, told this reporter after the reward was revoked. “That’s all she’s ever done. The doctor told us it was a crawl–and they never told us that The Stuff could be used to make her go faster. Lots of babies use it. All her friends are on it.”

But SummerFest President Nancy Nitpick disagreed. She said that when babies scoot and don’t use the typical “bear crawl” on hands and knees, they’re clearly using some sort of performance enhancement. That’s why doping results were requested after protests from other parents.

There’s been a recent high-profile crackdown on performance enhancement in the Crawl-A-Thon set after a scandal involving eight-month-old Taleah Wilson, who was found to have The Stuff on a soother she had in her mouth during a White’s Falls, Wisconsin race. Mothers on the baby crawling race set were outraged.

Polly Perkins, whose daughter Winnie ended up taking the defaulted trophy in Podunk, said, “I can’t believe that other parents give their children The Stuff. Winnie’s diet is completely holistic–she only eats rice and vegetables.  Drugs like The Stuff are completely out of bounds. It really stunk because Winnie should have been the one up on the platform taking the prize.  Her dad took unpaid time off work to be there. Instead they delivered it by UPS yesterday.”

She added that she hopes Hailey is excluded from other events at SummerFest in the future, including the famed “Most Beautiful Baby” contest because “once a cheater, always a cheater.”

Nitpick said she verbally announces the rules before the race and makes it clear that performance enhancement is not tolerated.  She is now considering printing the rules in the newspaper before next year’s competition.


About the Author

Liv is the pseudonym reformed divorcee and single mom – now married, coparenting and working mother of three. She’s been featured on ScaryMommy, HuffPost Divorce, Your Tango, Club Mid and More at