Porter Regional Hospital Hosts 3rd Annual Healthy Hustle

Porter Regional Hospital held their third annual Healthy Hustle 5K Run and Walk on a bright and beautiful Saturday morning. The event was held at Valparaiso’s Sunset Hill Farm and around 200 participants came to run, walk, and compete for the good of their health.

The event was used not only as a way to get exercise but as a fundraiser for Lakeshore Paws. Pam Rogalski, who is on the board and is a volunteer for the non-profit, monitored their table and handed out information in order to get exposure for their cause, “All around it’s just a wonderful organization. It’s great to start out the day here and then go to our own fundraiser tonight.”

Even if she wasn’t out there to run with the others, there was someone from Lakeshore who had that covered. “I’m not running today but another one of our volunteers, Willie, will be out there doing it for us,” she said.

Porter Regional decided to support Lakeshore Paws out of many other non-profit options due to their associate's support. “It’s great to benefit Lakeshore and to see that they get help to foster in need pets.” Patty Neely, who is from Porter Regional and acted both a cheerleader and organizer for the day said. “It’s always fun to see them, and it’s a good cause to support for our third Healthy Hustle.”

The race began at 8 am, everyone pinned on their bibs, and Porter Regional CEO Stephen Lunn welcomed them to the festivities. This was his first Healthy Hustle since he’s new to the area and has only been here for about two months. He didn’t fully participate in the run but made sure he was there for everyone who came out, “I’ll be walking along and cheering on all of the people who came out today. I’m thrilled to be here and to support a great cause like Lakeshore Paws.”

After the rules were laid out, the trek finally started around the hilly farm. The run went through the meadows, by the trees and back down a gravely walk way until the completed the final stretch across the freshly mowed grass. The race was sectioned into 12 different age divisions and then the top three winners were handed out medals. Overall Shawn Roberts and Rachel Marchard completed the race in just over 19 and a half minutes. Eventually all of runners crossed the finish line to complete their hustle. One statement could be heard through many of the runners after they were catching their breaths, but Glen Kucharyski summed up that perfectly, “I hate hills.” Kucharyski works for the maintenance department within Porter and has ran the 5K since the beginning, “I do about four or five races a year but this was good, it was a good run. I plan on doing this again next year, if I’m able to. I’m getting old, and older!”

Afterwards the athletes made their way to the Hickory Shelter to get their energy up with their choice of either bananas, apples, bread, and granola bars - which were provided by Strack and Van Til. After a good break, they were all welcomed back to the pavilion to watch the winners to pick up their medals. In the end the runners and their families left tired and satisfied. Next year Porter will host another hustle and another fun way to promote a good cause in a healthy way. Congratulations to all of the participants of 2014’s Healthy Hustle!

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