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A Family Affair

Hubz running with my Mom early in the race
Do you think you'll still be running when you're 72 years old?  I sure hope I will. 

Would you try running for the first time at 72 years old, if you'd never run before?

This Spring my mother decided to do just that. She wanted to run a 5K race. 

She wanted the whole family to run, too. Unless you count my brother Adam who runs a couple of miles occasionally for fitness, no one else in my family runs. My father had a hip replacement two years ago and is plagued by arthritis. So this was a pretty big deal for my family.

After conferring with everyone, she signed us all up for a 5K (and my father for the 1 mile) in our small hometown in Kansas. With the Couch to 5K Program, and Hubz and I offering up advice and encouragement, everyone started training.

Except that I was sidelined with my tendon trouble. Other family members did varying degrees of training on a sporadic basis. Some did almost no training. But my mother did her training faithfully and put in 3 days of running for 10 weeks.

Even before race day, I was filled with pride and admiration for my mother.
Race day itself couldn't have been more perfect. The weather was ideal, cool and sunny.  
The whole family got to the start on time (no small feat!) and we fit in a short walking warmup. 

And then we were off! 

The race crossed the Spring Creek twice each way
on the out and back course

Hubz and I stuck with my Mom and everyone else ran their own pace. 

My niece was supposed to do the 1 mile with my father but as soon as we all took off there was no holding her back. She ran in spurts, and aside from a couple of shortcuts (ahem) she did pretty darn well. She might be the real talent in the family.

SIL Shannon, Niece, Mom and Hubz.

Brother Adam took the family win and 2nd in his age group

SIL Paulyn

Halfway there!
Notice the big blue sky, typical in Kansas.

Kansas field in the morning sunlight
Mom's triumphant finish! She even had a little kick at the end.

I am so proud of each and every member of my family for their efforts.  

I think everyone really enjoyed the race. Hubz won his age group and my brothers and mother all took 2nd in their age groups. Next year, my sisters-in-law and I will have to avenge being shut out of the awards. This may just become a new family tradition! 

The family celebrates

Brother David shows off his medal
The 5k was part of a weekend of events celebrating 150 years of the Union Pacific railroad. After the race we strolled around and tasted pork at the Big Blue Barbecue competition and looked at nearly 300 restored classic cars in the auto show on Main Street. 

This car was my favorite

Meanwhile my niece was still going strong, running around playing on giant carnival inflatables, one of which was a centipede with a rather visually disturbing exit.

Inflatable centipede

In church the next day, one of the other ladies my mother's age asked her if she thought she could train for a 5K. A seed is planted ...


  1. I am so impressed!! Congrats to the entire family!

  2. So cool! That will always be a great family memory.

  3. Congrats to everyone! What a great family experience!

  4. And Joann looks so great now. training has its benefits.

  5. This has to be one of the best race recaps I've ever read. Go mom!

  6. Love love love this! Way to pass on your passion, Kir...so impressed by your ma!

  7. So great of your mom to encourage and convince the family to do this all together, that is one of the best stories I've read in a long time. I think you should mention a turkey trot a d get everyone back out there in a few months!
    Congrats on such a great and supportive family!

  8. That's awesome! I have such respect for your mom, and it's so cool that you got the whole family involved in the event as well as the accomplishment!

  9. The smile on your mom's face is incredible! What an intrepid spirit she must have to pick up and try something new at 72. You must be so proud of her—and she must be so proud of you!

  10. I love this. Congrats to your mom!! So cool that you did it with her.

  11. Wonderful, Congrats to your Mom.

  12. LOVE this. your mom looks so happy! and Tom, very serious. :)

  13. This sounds like so much fun!

  14. Way to go Walcotts!! That is SO cool that your mom ran her first 5K at 72! Congrats to all of the Walcotts, but especially to mom!

  15. That is terrific! Family running is good running.

  16. That is so awesome, Kirsten - I love it! What a fun family event, and so inspiring to see your mom running her first 5k! Wow!

  17. What an amazing family event! I love that your mother started running at 72. Age is only a number, and she gives new meaning to familiar phrases like "where there's a will there's a way"! Your mom demonstrates that there are few true excuses for not being active! So cool.

  18. Wow, your Mom is the coolest! What a great way to get the family doing something together. I am so impressed. Don't think my Mom would ever do that! Looks like a beautiful place to run, too.

  19. I often feel like I was born, or at least taken home by the wrong family now that my father passed away. He was the only other runner. I wish I could get my family to all read this post and be inspired by it!

    Please give your mom a huge hug from me. She is amazing!! And congrats to your whole family!


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