Many Miles Together: My Daughter and Her First 5k

I think Ella is happy to be standing next to her Lycra clad dad.

Despite what my ramblings on triathlon may insinuate, I truly love being a dad. Sure, between the exploding diapers, crying while running, and finger painting using my bike chain’s oil, it can be hard. But from the bottom of my monitored heart, I love my little ones.

Today was an especially proud moment for this dad. Today was the West Valley Spring Run Off in Kalispell, and I got to have the kind of special day that no level of Ironman branding of fancy expo could ever recreate. I got to run with my seven year old daughter in her first 5k.

So, in the vein of “like father like daughter,” let’s start the West Valley Spring Fun Race Report, penned with significant contributions by my little Ella.

Pre-Race Routine

As for me, I woke up with a horrible combination of allergies and/or cold. Nothing too crazy, but definitely less than ideal.

For Ella, she was already awake and ready to run by the time I knocked on her bedroom door. For nutrition, she gobbled down a buttery Costco bagel. I took her advice and did the same with a cup of coffee. She reminded me not to drink too much because too much coffee makes my tummy hurt when I run.

We headed over to the school to pick up our packets about 30 minutes prior to race start. Parking was a cinch fortunately, and we got our packets without a problem. It was a bit frosty out, in the lows 40’s, but we were dressed perfect. Ella was particularly jealous of my race belt as I didn’t have to worry about being poked with safety pins.

We did a quick warm up jog into the school and then it was time to go!


Off we go!

When we started the race, Ella says she was really excited. I let her control the pace as we headed out along the path. There were a couple of little hills on the path, but Ella felt they weren’t really a problem. We got passed by two girls running with a dog, but it didn’t look like the dog wanted to run much, and we passed the doggie a couple of times.

At the single turn in the route, we saw a police man, and both Ella and I waved and made sure to thank him for helping to keep the roads safe. Ella thought he seemed pretty happy to be there and he waved back.

At about 1.7 miles, we came to the turnaround where they had water. Ella says she was really thirsty then and she was happy to have some water. We had two cups, and then started running back home to mommy and Kit and Eve. Ella says that it felt much easier on the way back. She also got worried that I wouldn’t be able to keep up with her at the end when she wanted to go “really fast.”

We kept running the whole way, even when Ella’s tummy started to cramp. Little trooper listened to daddy and kept her pace steady to the end. When we rounded the entrance to the school, Ella says she was really excited. Lots of people were cheering for us. Ella was really excited because they had cold water.

Bringing it home!

After we finished, we got asked a trivia question for a prize. The question was “What is the common name for Calcium Carbonate.” Luckily, my answer of “chalk” got Ella a cool orange flashlight. Actually, chalk is made more of gypsum these days, but I figured that was what they were going after since it was a school sponsored race. I digress. Here’s the data!


I had a great time running with my little Ella. And from the sound of it, we have lots of races together coming in the future. I know it won’t be long before little Kit joins in too. I will truly cherish days like today forever, especially since I know it won’t be long before she leaves me in the dust.

Now, time for a post-race interview with Ella!

1.       What was your favorite part of the race?

I liked the trivia questions along the race course.

2.       What was your least favorite part of the race?

My stomach cramps.

3.       What was the coolest thing you saw in the race?

The horses running along the side of the course.

4..       Are you excited for next race?

Yes! With daddy!

About Ironvan

From couch potato to Ironman triathlete in 2 years.

Posted on May 20, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Very cool!!! Congratulations Ella. You were right, Daddy did have a hard time keeping up with you!

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