The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

September 30, 2012

Stanly Regional, United Way promote fitness with HealthWave 5K and Fun Run


Sunday, September 30, 2012 — It’s no secret that physical activity plays an important role in one’s health. But Stanly Regional’s hoping to shed some light on just how beneficial exercise can be for area residents with a new 5K and Fun Run, where the finish line truly becomes the start of something bigger.

The HealthWave 5K and Fun Run is scheduled for 8 a.m. Oct. 13. The route begins and ends on the medical center’s campus, with the 3.1 mile route meandering through the Forest Hills neighborhood streets. For those not quite up to completing a 5K, a Fun Run will also be available beginning at 8:45 a.m. A route map and directions are available on the event website,

“We want everyone in the community to make the commitment to exercise regularly,” said Al Taylor, president and CEO of Stanly Health Services, the parent organization of Stanly Regional Medical Center.  

“Many people need a goal to motivate themselves to exercise regularly, whether it be health-related or for personal reasons. It’s our hope this event will be the starting line for everyone to keep moving and staying as healthy as possible.”

Research shows that regular exercise can slow or even help prevent conditions such as stroke, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes and arthritis.

Holly Thompson, a registered nurse in Stanly Regional’s emergency department, is living proof of the benefits of exercise. Before beginning a regular exercise regimen, Thompson would get lightheaded and experience shortness of breath just from moving around the den with her three-year-old daughter. Now, over 80 lbs. lighter, she’s able to run 5Ks, half-marathons and even bikes regularly.

“I feel great about my accomplishments and plan to stick to this new lifestyle,” Thompson said.

“My first 5K is what really got me into the routine of being physically active and fit.”

Residents are encouraged to sign up now and begin training for either walking or running the 5K. There are a number of ways residents can find help in training, including Running 101 organized by the Uwharrie Running Club which meets as a group for organized runs. The race’s website also houses a training schedule for those who prefer to train individually.

Being part of a healthy community has always mattered to Stanly Regional Medical Center, but this race is part of a recent campaign launched to actively engage the communities it serves in becoming healthier as a whole.  

“What matters most to us as an organization are our patients, our community and the wellness of those in our community,” said Nicole Williams, director of Marketing and Service Excellence for Stanly Regional.  

“The idea behind this event is two-fold really, to benefit both our community’s health and social well-being.”

“First, we hope this run will introduce a healthier lifestyle to our friends and neighbors in an effort to improve their lives for years to come.”

Second, Williams explained that each participant’s entry fee plus any extra donation will be donated to the local charity of their choice in Stanly County. For example, if a family of four registers for the fun run and designates Relay for Life of Stanly County as its charity of choice, Stanly Regional will donate $40 to that organization.

“So as you can see, everyone wins this race,” Williams said.

The United Way of Stanly County is excited about the opportunity to partner with Stanly Regional for the HealthWave 5K.

“At United Way we realize that one of the basic building blocks of a good life is good health,” said Christy Bogle, executive director for the United Way of Stanly County.  

“We are grateful that Stanly Regional Medical Center is sparking change in our community and offering opportunities for people to improve their health and live a better life.”

Once the goal of accomplishing a 5K is complete, Stanly Regional hopes residents will continue to exercise and begin training for a half marathon (13.1 miles) in February.

“Our WaveRunners program will soon be entering its third year and we’re hopeful to carry an even larger crowd of runners to Myrtle Beach this year,” said Taylor, who helped organize the group and has participated in the half-marathon each year with the WaveRunners.

“In addition to becoming physically fit, our runners also raised over $2,500 for the Stanly Regional Foundation, which proves we can do great things for ourselves and others.”

For more information about the race, call (704) 984-4543 or log onto