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Community, alumni join 10th annual run event that aids youth running and cross country programs in Forest Grove

NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER OERTELL - Forest Grove's Tyler Shipley (42) begins the 5K at the Viking Vengeance Race to benefit the Forest Grove High School  cross country team and youth running programs. Shipley won the 5K event in 16:24.
Viking Vengeance marked a decade of success last Thursday, pushing enthusiasm — and money — over the finish line for the Forest Grove High School cross country and youth running programs.

The event is a 10K and 5K fundraiser and involves participation from current and former athletes, community members and coaches.

"It's a community-based event designed to raise money to help fund our running programs," said FGHS varsity track and cross country coach Adrian Shipley. "But in a lot of ways it's just an event for the community and alumni to come together."

Shipley said the money raised from the event helps to replace lost or damaged uniforms, subsidize summer running camps and help with entry fees for weekend invitationals during the season. He also emphasized its importance in maintaining the Forest Grove youth running program, which allows kids in fourth- through eighth-grades to run and race during the school year for free. Neil Armstrong Middle School doesn't have a cross country team, so the youth program gives kids an opportunity to compete, while familiarizing them and their parents with the sport.

"It's great," Shipley said. "Kids can qualify for regional and national events, and it allows them to compete in events with neighboring communities like Hillsboro and McMinnville."

Shipley said his high school team puts on an altitude camp every summer at Crescent Lake in Klamath County. The money raised from Viking Vengeance helps fund the week-long camp and sponsor sthose unable to afford the cost.

"Some of the camps available to kids are pretty expensive," Shipley said. "I'm not comfortable asking kids to spend the type of money they're asking, so I put together some outings and this helps us keep it affordable."

NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER OERTELL - Forest Grove's Shelby Krieger, 11, starts the 5K at the Viking Vengeance race to benefit the Forest Grove High School cross country team.There were 29 runners in the 10K July 20, with Newberg's Zach Gingerich finishing first with a time of 36:31, while Hillsboro's Elizabeth Rinck finished second in 42:05. In the 5K event, 47 runners competed, with Forest Grove's Tyler Shipley crossing the line first in 16:24. Forest Grove's Sharon Kolb was the first female finisher in 22:32.

In all, there were more than 80 participating, and Shipley said that's what it's all about.

"It's really a community and alumni get-together," he said. "It's a fun deal with a little bit of competition mixed in."

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