Candy before tacos may sound a little backwards, but not if you are running a 5k through Richland’s Candy Mountain Preserve like we did last week. In fact, tacos were the perfect prize at the finish line, waaay better than a finisher’s medal!

Humble beginnings

A few months ago, as part of Anderson Law’s annual meeting, we watched the movie McFarland, USA. It’s a story about Coach Jim White and his team of hard-working, young cross country runners. You wouldn’t normally expect that a movie about cross country would be very engaging, but the fact that it was true to life really added a lot. Additionally, seeing a team rise from the most humble of circumstances to become state champions really was motivating. At the end of the movie, we talked about how it made us feel to see the dedication and teamwork pay off for this committed coach and his team. I guess it didn’t come as much of a surprise that we decided that running our own 5k could be motivating in its own way. It’s not like it was something crazy like a marathon!

That meant that we needed to start training for it. Some of us got new shoes, others got a treadmill. Some focused on walking or hiking more regularly, and others set up actual training plans. We talked about prizes and really couldn’t come up with anything that we thought would motivate us. That is, until someone suggested that we see if we could pay one of our prior clients to bring his taco truck. Indeed, he could and was happy to do so. [Side note: buying a taco truck with a personal injury settlement could be one of the better investments I’ve seen, especially since it is now a family business.]

Race to the finish line

Last Friday was race day and everyone was ready to go. And, even if they weren’t, they still showed up! Most of us brought family and friends, so we ended up with nearly 50 people on the mountain. It was awesome to see so many people having fun together and hiking or running in a place that they had never been. Unlike Badger Mountain, the most famous “mountain” in the Tri-Cities, Candy Mountain doesn’t get too much traffic. In fact, when we were there, we only saw about 3 other groups of people. Some people finished in half an hour, others took twice as long, but everyone looked much like one of our younger runners in the photo below. Can you see her excitement as she approached the finish? I’m sure it wasn’t just because of the tacos.

What did we learn? First, we want to do it again and more regularly. We have supported this kind of thing in the past, and we want to keep doing it. Second, we need to make sure that everyone has the right shoes. Even though the trail is well groomed, wearing a pair of Vans for a 3-mile hike is not the most comfortable choice. And last, there’s nothing like getting together and eating some good food after putting in some honest work. We’re already planning our next adventure! Let us know in the comments below what you have planned so we can take notes.  

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