3rd annual Ache Around the Lake race Saturday

Published 3:04 pm Friday, September 19, 2008

The winner of last year&39;s Ache Around the Lake, Landrum Family Practice physician Todd Walter, is this year sponsoring 26 runners from the Landrum High School cross country team to run in the race.

Dr. Walter said he is a fervent supporter of this event because it benefits St. Luke&squo;s Hospital Foundation while promoting something else he passionately believes in: fitness. He said his goal in sponsoring high school runners is to get teens active, sparking for them what he hopes will be a lifelong commitment to a healthy lifestyle.

Dr. Walter has been practicing medicine in the Landrum/Polk County area for more than 12 years and is a weekend hospitalist at St. Luke&squo;s Hospital.

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Dr. Walter ran the USATF-certified 8K race in 2007 in 30:25, and has been training for this year&squo;s Ache. He said he had no intention of winning the race last year, but entered only because he runs the lake twice a month as part of his regular training.

It was his friend John Cash, runner and cyclist, who told Dr. Walter he thought Dr. Walter could win when they started the race together last year.

Cash, owner of Tryon&squo;s Nature&squo;s Storehouse and sponsor of the coveted Ache water bottles, ran the 2006 Ache Around the Lake in 31:22. Cash has been involved with this local race since its inception, both as a competitor and a sponsor.

Both athletes say they are committed to raising money for health-related charities such as St. Luke&squo;s Hospital Foundation&squo;s &dquo;Excellence in Care&dquo; project.

With the goal to raise $1.5 million, the &dquo;Excellence In Care&dquo; initiative will fund state of the art technology for specialized orthopaedic procedures, advanced rehabilitative therapy modalities and enhanced surgical capabilities.

Ache Around the Lake is a run and a walk that invites everyone‐from competitive runners to leisure walkers‐to participate. Participants can register on race day in the Tryon Antique Mall parking lot, across from the entrance to Lake Lanier on Highway 176, between 6:30 and 7:45 a.m.

Race packets and organic pasta-to-go will be available for pick up Friday, Sept. 19 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Tryon Antique Mall parking lot.

For more details, call 828-894-2408 or visit&bsp; www.achearoundthelake.org.