COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A Midlands gym owner is climbing miles to help raise money to find a cure for cancer through the non-profit organization called CureSearch.
According to CureSearch, their Ultimate Hike is the only national hiking fundraiser dedicated to fighting children’s cancer, and the original 28.3 mile event on the Foothills trail.
The Ultimate Hike program has raised more than $5 million for children’s cancer research to date, according to CureSearch.
Lori Lapin, a 30 year veteran of the health and fitness industry, and owner of Strong Foundations gym, embraces people who are trying to be healthy at “all ages and all stages of fitness.”
With a 12-14 week training program that caters to athletes of all abilities, Lapin and several of her friends found success on the trail.
“I believe so much in this organization and I love the sport of hiking so it’s just a perfect fit for me,” Lapin said. “The best part of the Ultimate Hike were the relationships that evolved. Our group trained really well and we were all so prepared. Working as a team made the experience very meaningful.”
The hike will take place on April 27, 2019 in Oconee County on the Foothills Trail, located on the border of North and South Carolina.
According to the CureSearch website, the landscape is “diverse, ranging from high rocky outcrops with views to the distant horizon, to quiet forests in deep valleys carved by bold mountain streams.”
Lapin did the hike in 2018 for the first time, and is now recruiting members to join her 2019 team. Training will begin February 2nd.
So what does training entail?
“We put the backpacks on our back, we do a lot of hill walking, Harbison trails, we go to the mountains, we try to get altitude,” Lapin said. “You can never think that you can’t do it. A lot of it becomes past the physical part it becomes such a mental game.”
Come hike day, Lapin says all the months of training becomes worth it.
“It doesn’t really hit you until the very end of the hike and you’re walking through and you’re on your 30th mile and you literally can hardly walk you can imagine what it feels like on you body and your feet,” Lapin said. “When you really see the stories and what these kids have gone through, it’s nothing that we can’t do”