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‘Grin and Bear It Run’ means more healthy kids


The Grin and Bear It Run, presented by Good Teeth, Great Grins (a collaborative effort between Blue Fish Dental and Deschutes Pediatric Dentistry), jump-started the Bend running season in style Saturday with music, fun activities, great weather and fabulous prizes, not to mention three great running events.

This year’s event, a 5 & 10K run-walk, enjoyed 280 participants.

Robbie Donohue, from Bend placed first overall in the 10K men’s with a time of 35:33 and Jay Whitney, from Bend placed first overall in the women’s 10K with a time of 45:41.

In the 5K event, Anya Katz from Bend placed first in the women’s with a time of 25:23 and Merle Nye from Bend won the men’s with a time of 18:04. The complete race results are available on the Time 2 Race website at Runners on the 5 and 10 K course ranged in age from 7 to 79 years young.

The 1 Mile Family Fun Run, presented by Quota International of Central Oregon, also enjoyed its fair share of participants, with nearly 150 kids, parents, and even grandparents participating.

And for many children (and even a few adults), this was a first-time event.

“The Grin & Bear It continues to be a great outreach and provided wonderful support for our services,” explained Holly Remer, the program’s executive director.

Introducing the love of running to community members and families continues to be the heart of this event.

The corporate and team component was again a favorite with Mosaic Medical, for a fifth year, receiving the award for the largest team in attendance.

“Outdoor competitive runs rely heavily on volunteer support and Healthy Beginnings is fortunate to have such great volunteers involved in their fundraising efforts and screenings as well. Over 60 volunteers participated in today’s event,” said Shelley Irwin, the program’s Volunteer Services Specialistm with volunteers from almost every high school in the county offering their support.

This year’s event generated over $5,000 in prizes and awards and nearly $36,000 in sponsorships and run entries – dollars dedicated to supporting children and families in the community.

The proceeds will support three of the 18 community screening clinics Healthy Beginnings offers throughout Central Oregon.

The Grin & Bear It continues to be the largest fundraiser and friend-maker of the year and has grown from a starting point of less than 100 runners in 2003.

“Thanks to such great support from volunteers and the community, this event continues to grow and improve every year as it provides an avenue to showcase the importance of early childhood screenings,” Remer said.

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