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Former Boxers teaming up to promote running in community

Pacific alums Kellen Peters and Kelsey Owens help organize Forest Grove Run's summer track series for third straight year
by: Chase Allgood Kellen Peters (kneeling) offers some words of advice to participants in a 100-meters hurdles race at a weekly all-comers track meet last summer at Lincoln Park Stadium. Peters, a 2005 Forest Grove graduate and a former Pacific cross country standout, co-founded the meets in 2009.

Pacific University cross country and track and field alums Kellen Peters and Kelsey Owens have a passion for running. And for the third consecutive summer, the duo plans to share that passion with the Forest Grove community.

The two former Boxers are the driving force behind Forest Grove Run's All-Comers Track and Field Meet Series, which begins its third season on the Lincoln Park Stadium oval next Monday. The series will feature a range of races from 50 meters to 5,000 meters, as well as field event competitions in the high jump, long jump, shot put and discus.

The meet series will run each Monday from June 27 to July 18 with field events beginning at 5:45 p.m. and running events commencing at 6:30. The entry fee is $5 per meet or athletes can sign up for all four meets for $15.

In addition, Peters and Owens are coordinating two additional summer running opportunities thanks in part to a grant from the Run Portland running club.

Forest Grove Run will host a youth track and field clinic next week for ages 7-14. The three-night clinic runs from 6 to 7:30 p.m. from June 27-30. The clinic will teach basic foundations and techniques for different track disciplines and teach basic skills such as warm-up, stretching and form drills.

The youth clinic costs $45 for pre-registered athletes and $50 for athletes who sign up on the first day of the clinic. Participants will receive a water bottle and free entry into the remaining three all-comers meets.

For those who prefer the streets to the track, Forest Grove Run is also sponsoring free training group runs for walkers and runners of all abilities. The runs take place every weekday until July 28 with the goal of helping prepare runners for the Viking Vengeance 5K race on July 28.

Monday, Wednesday and Friday runs begin at 6 a.m., while Tuesday and Thursday runs begin at 7 p.m. All runs begin at the World's Tallest Barber Pole at Lincoln Park.

'Our ultimate hope is that this training group will increase people's participation and preparation in the Viking Vengeance,' Owens said.

Peters, a 2005 graduate of Forest Grove High School, ran two seasons of cross country and track and field for the Boxers. Owens, who originally hails from Tacoma, Wash., was a 2007 NCAA Division III Cross Country All-American and holds Pacific records in the 800 meters,1,500 meters and 5,000 meters.

For more information on all three events, or to register, please visit Forest Grove Run's web site at www.forestgroverun.com.

NOTE: The all-comers meet series, track and field clinic and group runs are not sponsored by and are not operated by Pacific University.