Ache for a good cause

Published 8:00 am Tuesday, October 18, 2022

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There’s a fall chill in the air, the leaves are changing into bright colors, and Halloween is just around the corner. That can only mean one thing: It’s time for “The Ache Around the Lake.” 


Since 1991, the foot race known around here as “The Ache” has been the anchor fundraising event for The Foundation for St. Luke’s Hospital. The race raises funds for things like ABC, 3D mammography, and the new Revolution Apex CT scanner. The Ache Around the Lake is an annual two-state race held at Lake Lanier, weaving between Landrum, SC, and Tryon, NC. The Ache Around the Lake 8K (4.97 miles) is the event’s signature event and is a challenging hill course! The race begins on a descent, only to greet you with the “Grunt 1” just over a quarter mile into the challenge, the steepest hill on the course. Following the Grunt are other hills that quickly bring the burn to the legs of even the strongest runners. 

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But wait! There’s something for everyone.


The Ouch 2 Mile is the easiest race of the day and provides excellent views but with a little less burn. With a relatively flat course, this is the perfect family race. And not to be left out, there is a Kids 1 Mile Fun Run.


The Ache earned a reputation as one of the “biggest little races” on the racing circuit in the Carolinas. The course features beautiful mountain lake views and a challenging USAT&F-certified course. Local elites, power walkers, and weekend racers flock to this demanding venue in the Foothills every October. 


 As mentioned above, The Ache benefits The Foundation for St. Luke’s Hospital. This 501(c)(3) organization raises funds for the non-profit St. Luke’s Hospital. St. Luke’s Hospital is a Joint Commission-accredited hospital providing primary and acute healthcare services to Polk County, North Carolina, and the Upstate of South Carolina.


Since 1991, The Foundation’s Ache Around the Lake 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.


The Foundation for St. Luke’s Hospital depends on the philanthropic generosity of our residents, local businesses, and community foundations. Your benevolence helps to fund hospital initiatives that advance the health and well-being of Polk County and the surrounding region.


Winston Churchill once said, “We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.”


This year, youth who live in Polk County can register for FREE to run the Ache thanks to the Generosity of the Ann Jacob Toms Fund at Polk County Community Foundation!  To learn more about the Ache, call Amanda Thompson at (828) 894-2693, or email her at You can find the link to sign up for the race on The Foundation For St Luke’s Hospital’s Facebook page or by searching for our event on  I hope to see many of you out there on the course with me at Lake Lanier on October 22nd at 7:30 AM! Or, should you choose to participate in the race virtually, I hope to see you sporting your shirt around town! A great race for a great cause is a great welcome to fall! 


If you have a healthcare topic of interest or a question, send me a note at Also, please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or visit to learn about top-rated St. Luke’s Hospital and our new world-class services.