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St. Luke Hospital’s eighth Ache Around the Lake Sept. 21

Runners in the 2012 Ache and Ouch runs set off around the first corner on Lake Lanier. The annual race benefits St. Luke’s Hospital Foundation so the hospital can make important upgrades. (photo submitted)

Runners in the 2012 Ache and Ouch runs set off around the first corner on Lake Lanier. The annual race benefits St. Luke’s Hospital Foundation so the hospital can make important upgrades. (photo submitted)

Even in these sweltering summer temperatures, runners and walkers in the Polk County area are in training for the eighth annual Ache Around the Lake Run/Walk — a benefit for St. Luke’s Hospital Foundation set for Saturday, Sept. 21 at 8 a.m. at Lake Lanier near Tryon.

Ache Around the Lake is a community event that includes The Ache (8K or 5 miles) or The Ouch (a two-mile fun run).

The Ache was founded as a charity foot race in 2006 by two area runners — Scarlette Tapp and Katie Malone. The founders lived and often ran at Lake Lanier, the site of this annual, 8K, USAT&F-certified race and the accompanying Ouch fun walk.

The Ache has become known as one of the ‘biggest little races’ in the Upstate South Carolina and Western North Carolina racing circuit — boasting gorgeous mountain lake views, moderate weather and a challenging USAT&F-certified course. Local elites, power walkers and weekend racers enjoy this challenging race in the Carolina Foothills each fall. In 2012, there were 300 race participants and 30 race sponsors.

The Ache 8K course starts on Butter Street, sloping downhill. It then crosses over the dam and up a short, steep hill referred to by local athletes as the “Grunt Hill.” The run follows the lake in a counter-clockwise direction; winding around 5 miles of continuous lake road. This 4.97-mile certified course has many inclines and switchbacks. The last half mile is relatively flat. Scenic views of this hidden mountain lake are visible throughout much of the race. The Ache is a challenging course for runners.

The Ouch 2-mile course starts with the Ache on Butter Street. After coming down the first hill and onto Lake Shore Drive together, the Ouch participants split from the Ache racers by staying straight on East Lakeshore Drive. Ouch participants enjoy a very flat first half mile where they will be rewarded with beautiful views. After a short gradual hill, they bear left and continue to climb. Their ascent is followed by a quick right back onto Butter Street and a descent to Lanier Drive.

Through this segment of the Ouch, the views are simply breathtaking. Runners then hit a short, steep downhill before bearing left on Lakeshore Drive and heading up the final hill — a final reminder of why this race is called the Ouch. The walkers/runners then take a right toward the dam and cross the finish line.

While the proceeds of the first race were donated to the American Cancer Society, the race soon found a permanent recipient in the local hospital, St. Luke’s in Columbus.

Since 2007, proceeds from the Ache charity race event have helped St. Luke’s Hospital upgrade its radiology department to digital technology, as well as upgrade surgery, physical therapy, occupational therapy and pharmacy units.

This year, participation in the Ache Around the Lake or Ouch race will support the Activities of Daily Living (ADL) lab at St. Luke’s Hospital in Columbus and the goal is to raise $30,000 to help cover the costs of the simulated kitchen, tub, shower, curb and vehicle, as well as support other projects throughout the ADL Lab.

Activities of daily living are the self-care activities an individual usually performs in his or her home or common outdoor environments. They are the routine things a person frequently does such as feeding, bathing, dressing and grooming. They often incorporate the areas of work, homemaking and leisure activities.

St. Luke’s ADL Lab will consist of:

• A full bathtub and separate walk-in shower to practice standard tub/shower transfers (with or without the use of a tub bench or other adaptive equipment).

• A full kitchen to simulate the home environment including stove, dishwasher, refrigerator, microwave, range-hood and dining table. Patients can practice working and ambulating in a kitchen environment with or without assistive walking devices such as a rolling walker or cane. All kitchen items will be fully functioning.

• A set of therapy stairs.

• A ramp/curb simulator.

• A car simulator so that our patients can practice transferring into and out of a vehicle after their surgery or injury.

With the opening of the ADL Lab this December, St. Luke’s patients will have the ability to practice the tasks of daily living, as well as other ADL retraining activities related to the kitchen, home and community environments. The lab will serve to improve patient care and satisfaction, further enhance the hospital’s reputation in rehabilitative therapies, allow St. Luke’s to offer a wider array of support services to the community we serve and ensure that the ADL Lab advances our hospital’s dedication to providing exceptional care close to home.

There is a discounted registration cost for each race before Sept. 10. The price increases after that date until race morning. T-shirts will go to the first 200 registered participants.

Visit www.achearoundthelake.org to register or learn more.

– article submitted

by Jennifer Wilson