Whoever said, "the race is long, and in the end it's only with yourself" didn't have an older brother. If you and the family head over to the local track, the oldest and youngest children will almost always decide that someone has to be declared a winner and someone has to be declared a loser. In most cases, the older child will win, the younger child will cry and the entire proceeding will turn into a debacle. Unless you get creative.
Age group classifications and staggered starts are common in participatory footraces across the United States and the world. If it works for adults, why not for kids? Without telling your children what you're up to, time each child individually over a quarter mile. If Bobby finishes in 2 minutes and Jacob finishes in 2 minutes, 45 seconds, stagger the next quarter-mile race. Bobby doesn't get to start until little Jacob is 45 seconds around the oval. True, there will still be a winner and a loser but both will be so winded, it'll be difficult to brag or cry.
The final tradition can be done with a nice, slow, even pulse -- but it will still inspire you.