Lake Oswego's 32nd annual Lake Run draws 2,000 participants and provides fun for entire families
by: Vern Uyetake, 
Regina Selbe of Milwaukie celebrates as she crosses the finish line of the 12K race.

Lake Oswego was a happening community last Saturday morning thanks to the efforts of the Lake Oswego Junior Women's Club and countless volunteers.

The local service club held its 32nd annual Lake Run and close to 2,000 runners and walkers took part. And now the rewards for all that hard work are about to be paid forward because a number of local charitable organizations are going to receive some very sizeable donations thanks to the Lake Oswego Junior Women's Club.

Saturday was a perfect day for a run and the turnout for the event proved it. Compared to the past five years, the 2008 Lake Run had the second highest turnout with 1,931 runners and walkers between the 5k and 12k events. The turnout was an increase of more than 120 people compared to 2007 and within 50 runners of 2006 when 1,982 people participated.

Winning the 5K race this year was Lake Oswego's James Levins. The 29-year-old ran the course in 15:53, beating his closest competitor by 36 seconds. For the women, Jennifer Teppo, 49-years-old from Vancouver, Wash., ran the course in 19:50, beating her closest competitor by 51 seconds. Of the 857 runners who ran the race, only 11 beat the 20-minute mark.

In the 12k, Danny Gonzales of Lake Oswego won the race with a time of 40:10. For the women, Allie Gruner of Lake Oswego won with a time of 50:07.

'The Run went wonderful,' said Lilly Pacioni, one of the co-chairs of the event. 'The weather held up and it seemed like everyone had a good time. Plus a lot of people stayed for the festival after the run to check out many of our sponsor booths as well as enjoy great food from Blue Sage Café and Booster Juice.'

Obvious to many who ran on Saturday, was the increase in the number of kids that were involved in the 5k race this year. This upswing was due to a new twist that Lake Oswego Junior Women's Club added to the Lake Run to spur on more community involvement.

Called the School Challenge, the idea was to get schools to compete against each other with the local school garnering the greatest number of registered participants winning a $1,000 donation from the club. For the first year, Forest Hills Elementary School and Lake Oswego Junior High School both earned $1,000 for their respective schools.

Pacioni thanked everyone that participated in the school challenge.

'For a first-year event (the school challenge), we really hope to see it grow next year,' she said.

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