5K Race Report – Hills Edition

by Lance Ekum on · 28 comments

Wait and Hope
Creative Commons License photo credit: Pandiyan

“The woods are lovely dark and deep, but I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep.” ~ Robert Frost

5K Race Report

Race:  Saturday morning, 8:30 AM.  Local state park.  Small event.

Saturday morning started with beautiful weather for running.  Temperatures in the upper 60’s.  Our whole family was running the race.  There were maybe 150 people entered in the race.  We’ve run this race the last four years.

The thing is, we know this course.  Unlike the first year.  We know, the first half of the course is mostly uphill.  And just when you think you’re done…another hill!  It’s a fun run for me, because it’s a trail run.  Usually I run on the road, so getting out into the woods to run is a fun change of scenery and pace.

And this year was no different.  The hills came.  The hills continued.  And we ran.  And some of us walked parts.  And we all finished.  Hot.  Smelly.  Exhausted.  Inspired.

In our family, I finished second.  I ran the whole race.  My oldest son (13) had finished a couple of minutes before me, and … he walked a couple of the hills.  I guess I didn’t run all that fast!  Shortly after, everyone else in my family came in.

What’s interesting about this race, is that is is partially sponsored by a local micro brewery.  So, at 9 AM in the morning, there’s a half-barrel of beer.  This seemed weird to me the first year we did this.  Now…I like it!  Everyone else (in my family) likes the fact that they have doorprizes they draw for after the run.  We came home with a case of soda and several golf balls.

Due to technical difficulties at the event, they did not have a printout of the times – that’s ok.  My (our) time was nothing to write about (hey, what am I doing then???).  I finished, and that was success for me!

Lesson in All Of This

So, the lesson to be had from this:  Some battles are uphill battles.  And in those battles we face, we have the choice to stop on continue on.  And when we continue on, victory is ours.  Maybe it’s not a first place award.  Maybe it’s not fame or fortune.  But, in conquering the uphill battles, the victory we achieve is a personal one.  It is ours, we have earned it.  Completion has come through our hard work and perseverance.  These are victories that last.  We come out better for having completed the task at hand.

When we’re faced with difficult situations, the personal victories we’ve faced during some of the uphill battles life has thrown at us will make us better prepared to face these new challenges.  So, when the next uphill battle comes into your life, if it’s one you really want…continue on.  The victory, whatever that is for you, is waiting!

Lance writes stories from his heart, aiming to inspire and motivate, as you align more fully with YOUR true peak. When he's not here, you can find him hanging out with his family, riding a bike, or just generally acting goofy.   Sign up for the Thoughts from the Treehouse newsletter and get additional inspiration in your email inbox!
Lance Ekum
View all posts by Lance Ekum
(Visited 22 times, 1 visits today)

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

workout mommy August 11, 2008 at 6:46 am

I love the fact that your whole family did the race! Great job on finishing–and you are right, it doesn’t matter what your time was, all that matters is that you got up, ran, and finished!

workout mommys last blog post..Chores? Ignore them!


Writer Dad August 11, 2008 at 7:56 am

Going uphill is no problem. It means that a nice reprieve is just a moment away.

Writer Dads last blog post..The Great Equalizer


RooBabs August 11, 2008 at 9:34 am

Great post! What a fun family activity. I hope that when I have kids, I can get them into running, but if not they can just ring cowbells on the sidelines.

Love the idea of overcoming uphill battles. I feel like I’m trudging uphill through the mud, wearing flip flops, so I’m looking forward to that victory at the top. Thanks!

RooBabss last blog post..How I Snagged a Husband (Random Photo of the Week)


Mark Salinas August 11, 2008 at 12:53 pm

Always good! Very nice indeed! 🙂

Mark Salinass last blog post..Heart Zone Training


Marelisa August 11, 2008 at 3:51 pm

A family 5K, that sounds great. Running up hill is a killer. I need to start entering races again. Maybe reading your blog will give me the motivation I need!


Vered August 11, 2008 at 5:30 pm

I love the distinction that you make between a victory that’s acknowledged by outside rewards such as fame and fortune, and a victory that rewards us with self-development.

Vereds last blog post..I Am Watching You


Urban Panther August 11, 2008 at 6:10 pm

I just heard about a run where you race from pub to pub consuming a pint in each place! Can you say ‘dehydration’?! Very cool having the whole family run. Not so cool being bested by your 13 year old *grin* I only do one race per year, and I don’t do it to win. I have no desire to put my body through what it would take to do that. But I do it because the training requires discipline, and the actual race requires some serious self-motivational talks about 3/4 of the way through it. And at the end I can say to myself “Whatever I set my mind to, I can do!” This carries me through for six months, then I start training for the next race.

Urban Panthers last blog post..A night at Navarra


Lanceman August 11, 2008 at 9:27 pm

@Workout Mommy – Thanks, it’s a fun race to run as a family since it’s on the smaller side. Although personal improvement are important to me, for this race, I am always just happy to complete it. One of these years, I’ll work on improving my time, but for now, yes, I’m thrilled to have did it!

@Writer Dad – Well, yes, that is true. In life, and in this race. We did eventually get to a real nice downhill stretch, and it felt great! Just like life, when we’ve put in a hard fought uphill battle, the downhill seems that much sweeter…

@RooBabs – Thanks! Well, all of our kids are “into” running, but they do this one because it’s fun as a family…and there are prizes. I think it’s great because they are exposed to running, and then can decide for themselves whether they like it or not. And it’s one more way to keep them active and off the couch. Flip flops in the mud…now that would be a challenge. I think we all face moments like that in our life. And that is what makes the top of the hill so sweet.

@Mark – Thanks, it was great!

@Marelisa – Thanks, and yes, hills are a killer!! What gets me is the young kids cruising up the hill faster than I can run downhill. Showoffs!!

@Vered – You know, the older I get the more this means to me. I think it’s the internal victories that really mean the most, and can bring us lasting joy.

@Urban Panther – Race from pub to pub — I’m not sure I’d finish that race! Well, not running, anyway. Yeah, I can beat the other kids yet, but the 13 year old just continues to beat me at everything (basketball, running, push ups, math, riddles, …). Well, I could still sit on him… That’s a great philosophy on the run you do. Great plan!


Rachel D August 11, 2008 at 10:16 pm

That is wonderful that you and your family were all able to do that together and made it! It always feels so great when you accomplish what you set out to do. 🙂

Rachel Ds last blog post..My Quest to Cut Out High Fructose Corn Syrup


Evelyn Lim | Attraction Mind Map August 11, 2008 at 10:22 pm

It’s nice that you get to do it with your family. There is so much togetherness! It’s great that instead of giving up, all of you completed it. Inspiring!!


Barbara Swafford August 12, 2008 at 12:52 am

Hi Lance,

What a great family outing. Just think of what you’re teaching your children. I think that’s awesome. I also how you equate running a race (often uphill) to life. We all face uphill battles in our lives, but like you said, if we continue on, victory is ours.

Barbara Swaffords last blog post..NBOTW Authors – Where Are You Now


Lanceman August 12, 2008 at 7:50 am

@Rachel – It sure does feel great, thanks!

@Evelyn – Thanks!

@Barbara – It was a fun family outing! And, yes, I’m hoping the kids are all learning something from this, or will look back on it someday and really see value in it. Thanks!


FitMom August 12, 2008 at 9:56 am

Great advice. Love running races. Hoping someday my whole family would participate in one- altho may be more likely to be a bike event than a running one.

FitMoms last blog post..Take the word “diet” out of your vocabulary!


April August 12, 2008 at 10:34 am

Hey your blog is great! I love the Robert Frost quote! He is from VT!! (Well was)

Never did care much about who wins but find people who run these things to be very inspiring!! Just finishing is a great accomplishment!! I am so glad you stopped by to comment on my blog!

Aprils last blog post..Week 1 of my Summer TC down!! Boy am I tired!


Dr. Cason August 12, 2008 at 2:51 pm

I agree with the others! How cool that your family was with you.

Those are the memories that will stay with them. “Hey remember the time I beat Dad in the 5K?” Yep you’ll hear about that again! 🙂

Dr. Casons last blog post..Tators Anyone?


Annette August 12, 2008 at 3:28 pm

Love the quote…I love Robert Frost. I am so inspired by the way your family stays healthy together and has so much fun in the process. We need more parents out there like you. It’s obvious to see that you take your job very seriously. You are leading your kids on an amazingly incredible journey that will keep getting better.

Here’s to more uphill battles and challenges to face. Bring ’em on 😉

Annettes last blog post..HYC Update/Weigh In


Lanceman August 12, 2008 at 8:03 pm

@FitMom – Races are a fun environment to be in! I’d like to do a bike event, but I’m probably the only one in my family for that…

@April – Yep, for me finishing is accomplishment enough. And maybe to improve from year to year. But then, I would probably need to run a little more than I have recently!

@Dr. Cason – It was cool (and hot!)! Yep, I will hear about that again I’m sure…

@Annette – Thanks, you are too kind! Bring on the hills!


Sara at On Simplicity August 12, 2008 at 9:26 pm

Congratulations! Your story is part of the reason I want to get back into running. It’s always so thrilling to test yourself and see what you can truly accomplish!

Sara at On Simplicitys last blog post..Teaching Tweens Simplicity


carly August 12, 2008 at 10:46 pm

Great post. I am jealous that your whole family are runners. Mine just roll their eyes at the mention of a jog. It is a great thing to do together.

carlys last blog post..Time to Clean the Garage


Lanceman August 13, 2008 at 5:02 am

@Sara – Thanks! That is the fun part, the competition and reaching a goal you have.

@Carly – Thanks, but I would use the word runners lightly. We run, but not all that regularly. They like events like this because of the challenge, and the possibility of awards. Me – I’ve given up on the awards!! It is a great way, though, to keep everyone active.


Kim August 13, 2008 at 8:15 am

Way to finish! I’ve always considered those who finish as winners.

Kims last blog post..Finishing things


Mama C August 13, 2008 at 4:41 pm

What an awesome family experience! It was so fun to read this. I started running earlier this year, when my 3rd child was about 4 months old. In June I did my first ever 5k race. I was so happy just to finish. It was a huge accomplishment for me, and felt so good to do something different from anything else I had ever done before, (especially in this period of my life when it is so easy to find reasons not to do the things I love.) Reading your post makes me even more determined to keep up with the running.


Davina August 14, 2008 at 12:39 am

Hi Lance. I’m starting to get caught up on making the blogging rounds. I was at a weekend workshop and things got way ahead of me. I enjoyed this post.

I liked how you pointed this out… “…when the next uphill battle comes into your life, if it’s one you really want…continue on.” That is true that we can choose our battles.

And, I have to say that Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening, by Robert Frost is my ABSOLUTE most favourite poem in the world! We had to memorize it in grade 6 and I’ve loved it ever since.


Lanceman August 14, 2008 at 5:15 am

@Kim – Thanks!

@Mama C – Thanks! And congratulations to you on your 5K! Doing that while having a small baby – that’s what is awesome!

@Davina – That is a great poem, isn’t it. I think 6th grade is about when I learned it too. It’s a classic. Choosing our battles – that’s a key to life. No need to go up all the hills, just the ones worth going up.


Glen Allsopp August 16, 2008 at 6:15 am

I agree with the first commenter, it’s great that your whole family did this together.

I was a runner for 8 years so appreciate the effort it goes into finishing some longer events when you are a little out of shape.


Lanceman August 16, 2008 at 7:49 am

Glen, thanks for stopping by! It was a great family event. There really is something to be said for effort and practice – in my case, I hadn’t put as much in as I should have. I did ok, but I definitely could have done better had I been better prepared.


Nathalie Lussier August 17, 2008 at 6:43 pm

Congrats on the 5K race! 🙂 Always encouraging.

I really agree that maintenance is important! I especially like the idea of writing a “things to do before I die” type of list. It gets you thinking about what’s really important.

Nathalie Lussiers last blog post..Money Talks: How Do You Talk Back?


Lanceman August 17, 2008 at 8:55 pm

Nathalie, thanks! A “things to do before I die” list is an excellent way to see what it is you really want to accomplish. I think just the process of creating this list gives you a better understanding of yourself, and that’s important.


Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

Previous post:

Next post: