Mother who ignored her children after winning half marathon speaks out against criticism

The runner who went viral for ignoring her children while crossing the finish line of a half marathon race spoke out about the controversial video.

Last week, the Internet went into a frenzy after a video showed a father “pushing” his children into the path of their running mother, who was completing a half marathon. The clip prompted thousands of users to claim that the husband “sabotaged” his wife at the finish line by distracting her with her children.

Now, the mother has set the record straight about the viral moment. The runner identified herself as Luciana Grandi Lourenção and addressed her followers in Portuguese. In a video posted on Instagram, Lourenção revealed that she shares her two daughters with her husband, Pedro.

Lourenção, who described herself as a personal trainer, amateur athlete and street racer, according to People – explained that she and her husband decided that their daughters would accompany her when she crossed the finish line. However, Lourenção said there was no way to know if she would finish first and that there was a lot at stake because she was just a few steps ahead of another runner.

“There was no way for me to know that the second competitor was very close to me,” Lourenção said in Portuguese. He noted that he experienced a mix of emotions during the final stretch of the race, which prevented him from stopping to greet his daughters on the sidelines.

She ran the Presidente Prudente Half Marathon in Brazil with her brother, Téo Grandi, whom she is seen hugging in the video after crossing the finish line. Lourenção also celebrated with her daughters and her husband on the winners' podium, although viewers did not witness that moment in the video.

“I would have liked to have had a better arrival with them there, but I know that I will have other opportunities to do so,” she said, before describing Pedro as “an excellent husband” and “an incredible father.”

In the caption, he wrote in Portuguese as translated by Instagram: “I have an amazing family who loves sports. I appreciate the reference from my brother @teograndi, from my husband @pedrinhohblou, who is a super dad, and for all the messages of support we have received at this time.

“This race, which went very well for us, did not end at the finish line,” said Lourenção.

The now-viral video, posted by TikTok user @sinomar_reporter, showed Lourenção running down a hill and sprinting toward the finish line. Pedro stood on the edge of the grass and took his daughters' hands as he encouraged them to walk toward his mother. Instead, he veered away from it and crashed through the finish line sign. At one point, Pedro shrugged at the other spectators, apparently confused that he didn't stop to hug his children before completing the race.

The video, which has received more than 16.5 million views since it was posted on May 5, sparked an online debate about women pursuing their passions outside of being mothers.

“As it should!!! What a great achievement for her,” responded one TikTok user. “For ONCE we can NOT interrupt a mom and let her have her well-deserved MOMENT!”

“I’m glad she chose herself,” someone else said.

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