Prepare to Ache

Published 7:30 pm Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Ache Around the Lake has become known as one of the biggest little races on the Upstate S.C. and Western N.C. racing circuit boasting gorgeous mountain lake views and a challenging USAT&F-certified course.

The Ache benefits St. Lukes Hospital Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization that raises funds for non-profit St. Lukes Hospital. Since 1991, The foundation has raised funds for patient room renovations, hospital beds, heart monitors, automated medication dispensing, central registration and emergency room waiting area and adding digital mammography to the radiology department.

Two race courses are available, The Ache race, an 8k course, and The Ouch fun run. Both runs start on Butter Street.

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The Ache course

The Ache race is an 8k course that starts on Butter Street with a sloping downhill, crosses over the dam and then up a short steep hill referred to by local athletes as the Grunt hill. The run follows the lake in a counter-clockwise direction on West Lakeshore Drive, winding around five miles of continuous lake road. This is an 8k USATF (4.97 miles) certified course with varied terrain. Scenic views of the lake and mountains are visible throughout much of the race.

Water/aid stations will be set up near the following locations: Caledonia Road (shortly before mile 1), Dug Hill Road (shortly before mile 2), and Lennox Road (before mile 4), as well as at the finish.

The Ouch course

The Ache race and The Ouch both will start together on Butter Street. They will both come down the hill together and go onto Lake Shore Drive. The Ouch participants will then split from The Ache racers by staying straight on East Lakeshore Drive and heading towards the Tea House.

Participants will enjoy a very flat first half mile all the way to the Tea House, where they will be rewarded with beautiful views. After a short gradual hill Ouch participants will take a left on Cut Through Rd. and continue to climb by taking a left on Clark Road followed by a quick right on Butter Street again before starting the descent by taking a left on Lanier Drive. The course hits a short steep downhill before taking a left on Lake Shore Drive and heading up the final hill. Participants finish by taking a right onto the dam and across the finish line. This course is considered a “fun run” and is NOT USATF-certified.

Tea House brunch

In addition to running or walking around the lake, you can dine on the historic lakeside Tea House Restaurant. Brunch tickets include a donation to the St. Luke’s Hospital Foundation). All tickets must be purchased in advance. Please call the foundation office for tickets: (828) 894-2693.

Runners/walkers are welcome to enjoy the brunch after they make their way around the lake; however, tickets must be purchased in advance.


You can register for the Ache Around the Lake online at or by mail at St. Lukes Hospital Foundation, 101 Hospital Drive, Columbus, N.C. 28782. Make checks payable to St. Lukes Hospital Foundation.