Lake Oswegan Kevin Clarke has crossed the Lake Run finish line 16 times…even when it meant traveling the 5,081 miles from Belgium where he was living for a couple years. Why?
“If I do a race, it’s going to be the Lake Run,” Clarke explains. “I like the springtime community aspect of it. It’s usually a beautiful day and you’re happy to be alive in Lake Oswego with the sun, all the green and the lake. Especially with the new course when you finish at Millennium Park, it’s like a local party going on at the end.”
But don’t just take his word for it. Here what a couple other runners have to say.
•Wendy Little: “I loved the hometown feeling,” explains Wendy Little who can lay claim to winning the women’s division more than once. “There was such an unbelievable feeling of support when I was racing to win the event,” as she recalls race volunteers cheering her along. The refreshments and festive atmosphere just added to Little’s runner’s high.
•Kevin Denny: “I like that it’s right in my backyard,” explains Kevin Denny who has entered the Lake Run half a dozen times. “I run to the starting line and I run home afterwards,” he adds. He also likes the fact that the course winds through neighborhoods, not city streets. That, combined with the natural beauty, provide lots of distraction.
Distraction might be needed when climbing up some of the course hills, especially everyone’s nemesis: McVey. “Nobody likes the hills,” admits Denny, except perhaps for him. “I kinda like them—they’re challenging,” he explains.
“I tell everyone it’s the toughest run in the Portland metro area,” says Lake Run enthusiast Clarke. He cites the climb up McVey in the first two miles to back up his claim. “But the last half mile is all downhill,” he adds, so you can finish looking like a five minute miler.
Registration is underway for this Saturday’s 36th annual Lake Run sponsored by the Lake Oswego Women’s Club and Lake Oswego Parks and Recreation. Events include a 12K for runners only, 5K Run/Walk, and a ½ mile Kiddie Dash for 11 years olds and under. Participants receive a price break by registering by May 10th.
In addition to the races themselves, organizers have added two additional events this year.
On Friday night, May 11, participants are invited to pick up their registration packets during Fun Night from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Millennium Plaza Park, 200 First Street, featuring food, music and entertainment. Packets can also be picked up on race day in Millennium Plaza Park starting at 6:30 a.m. and ending 15 minutes prior to the start of the race.
Race day, a Family Fun Festival will be taking place at the end of the race course in Millennium Plaza Park from 8 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. with food, crafts, entertainment and more.
What do you love or hate about the Lake Run? Let’s hear it!
Photo Credit: Richard McMillan