Registration now open for 20th Annual Race for the ARK

Runners compete in the 18th Annual Race for the ARK in 2017.

Registration is now open for the 20th annual Thrivent Financial Race for The ARK.

The event is set for Aug. 24 in historic downtown Summerville.

Race proceeds benefit The ARK of South Carolina, located in Summerville, particularly with the agency's work providing comprehensive support services to families living with Alzheimer’s or related dementia.

The event funds ARK programs not just locally but in five surrounding counties and also goes to cover costs of memory screenings, resource fairs, educational workshops, support groups and respite centers.

The event includes a 5K run/walk and 1-mile fun run. Both races begin and end at St. Luke's Lutheran Church, located at 206 Central Avenue. The 5K race starts at 7:45 a.m. and the 1-mile fun run kicks off at 8:45 a.m.

“We are eager to welcome participants, spectators, and volunteers from all across the Charleston area,” said Peg Lahmeyer, executive director of The ARK. “Not only do we have so much continuing community support year after year for the for Race for the ARK, but it is such a fun and exciting event for participants and families with the 5K run/walk as well as the 1-mile fun run.”

This year, each 5K participant will receive a memorable medallion at the finish line. There will also be additional activities for participants and their families to enjoy after the race.

Registration for the 5K run/walk is $35 with a T-shirt and $25 without a T-shirt. Register for the 1-mile fun run is $10 or $30 for a family of four (T-shirts are not included with the fun run registration).

Registration and packet pickup will be noon to 6 p.m. on Aug. 23 and 6:30-7:30 a.m. on race day in St. Luke's Fellowship Hall. Day-of registration for the 5K is $40. Day-of registration for the 1-mile fun run is $15 or $35 for a family of four.

Awards will be given to the top three overall female and male winners as well as winners among several different age groups. Plus, $100 will awarded to the first female and male to break the course records.

Youth Running Teams from local schools are invited to compete in the Youth Team Challenge. Registration for Youth Teams can be done through high school coaches and online. Students who participate enjoy a great training run and fun competition to start the running season. Registration is $35 with a T-shirt and $25 without. The deadline for team registration is Aug. 12. Students under 18 must have the parent or guardian waiver signed.

Businesses can create teams of five or more runners as part of the Corporate Challenge. The winning team (combined best times) will receive a hand-crafted traveling trophy to display for one year. The cost is $350 and the deadline to register is July 22.

More than 86,000 people are living with Alzheimer's in South Carolina, the state with the eighth highest Alzheimer's death rate, with a 122 percent increase in deaths since 2000. ARK officials said that number is only expected to rise in the next several years, reaching 120,000 by 2025.

For more information or to register, visit the race website or contact Megan Severn at info@thearkofsc.org.