Lake Waccamaw, NC – The challenge of swimming across Lake Waccamaw is something that served as a rite of passage for generations. It was in the 1940s that Lee J. Greer formalized the process, encouraging hundreds of youth and adults to take on the challenge every Labor Day.
“I’m much more of a walker,” said Grant Egley, who in 2000 started holding annual walks around the lake that same weekend. “I wanted to help encourage more activity around the Lake.”
In 2008, in part to address the low health rating of the county, a pilot event was organized with paddling and cycling added to the events.
“We knew we had a beautiful setting and a natural course that would take advantage of that setting,” said Julie Stocks, chair of the Take the Lake steering committee. “We wanted to provide a personal endurance challenge that would allow anyone who was interested to ‘take the lake.’”
The distances vary for each of the events. Both the walk/run and the bike and hike are 16 miles. The paddle event is 14 miles and the swim is 4 miles.
For the already fit members of the community, the challenge of the weekend’s events was a significant challenge.
“The thing was, we wanted to continue to expand the reach to those who might not be as far along on their personal fitness journey,” said Stocks.
Over the past three years, a shorter walk and bike ride have been added to the event options. Each of these events are 6.2 miles.
“These family events are used to encourage those who might not be ready for a 16 mile challenge to take those first steps,” said Stocks. “We have seen an increase in the number of children taking part and bringing their parents along for the ride.”
The event, now in its eighth year, is still free for participants, although T-shirts and water bottles are available for purchase.
“We don’t want to prevent anyone from participating,” said Stocks. “We don’t need any additional barriers for people’s health. That is why there is no entry fee for the individual events on Labor Day Weekend.”
Those who truly want to challenge themselves do have the opportunity on Labor Day to participate in the X-Treme, where they participate in the swim, bike and hike, paddle and run/walk in a single day.
“The money we charge for the X-Treme, and the money from sales of the T-shirts and water bottles and any sponsorships, all go into putting on the event,” said Stocks. “We’re not a fundraiser. We’re not a race. We are a challenge. We simply place a goal in front of ordinary people to motivate them to do something extraordinary.”
While the official Take the Lake events are Labor Day Weekend, it isn’t a one weekend event. To truly enjoy participating, training must take place throughout the summer.
“Training, especially in a group of family or friends, provides an opportunity for bonding and engagement not easily achieved in today’s high speed, technology driven world,” Stocks said. “That said, technology is often used to track the progress of the training in a way that makes it fun for the participants.”
For those already fit members of the community, Take the Lake may not seem like an activity that makes sense for them to participate in.
“Like Lee Greer, we believe that inspired people do inspiring things,” Stocks said. “We see one person participate in Take the Lake and the next year they bring their friends, family and even coworkers. We would love to see some of our fittest members of the community pairing with a friend or family member who isn’t as fit. There is something energizing about sharing in physical activity with others.”
For more information about the 2017 Take the Lake, visit www.takethelake.org or call 910-641-1071.
As we get close to our 10th Take the Lake season,* it's fun to look back on the fun we've had, and the Take the Lake committee, volunteers, Lake residents and participants have had great fun with our different themes each year!
Begun in 2011, we have chosen themes to "tip our hats" to special groups of people, and also to give them a little extra motivation. We started with military veterans, and we have shared our fun with many groups of great people ever since.
Take a fun stroll through the TTL years, right here!
* 2008 - Pilot event, with about 100 people participating in all four PECs
2009 - First official Take the Lake
2011 - First Take the Lake with themes
2018 - The 10th Take the Lake Training Season!
CALLING ALL SWIM PARTICIPANTS!!!
The starting line for the Swim will be DALES. The finish line will be the dam.
Have a great event, and enjoy your Labor Day!
Tropical Storm who? Hermine couldn't keep us down, and we could not have asked for better weather for this weekend's events!
We are ecstatic by the amount of people who came out and participated in the Walk/Run and Fun Family Walk yesterday and the Paddle, Bike, and Fun Family Bike today! It was fantastic fun, and you all did a great job tackling those challenges.
The Swim is tomorrow and starts at 8:00 am. Assembly at 7:30 and instructions at 7:45 sharp. Participants, we cheer you, and wish you the best of luck! Take the Lake!!
Don't adjust those pixels because you are seeing correctly!
The annual "TAKE THE PLATE" kickoff event for Take the Lake weekend is this Friday, September 2, 2016 at the Lake Waccamaw United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall.
Come join us for food, fun, and fellowship as we recognize the "Be Prepared" aspect of scouting across Columbus County! Get your scrumptious spaghetti plate beginning at 5:30pm, and stay for our special program honoring all Eagle Scouts and Gold Award Girl Scouts, beginning at 6:15pm.
Can't stay? Come get your plate and a few for the family to take home and enjoy!
All spectators and participants welcome!
All donated proceeds benefit the ministries of LWUMC.
CALLING ALL LUCKY PREREGISTRANTS!!
Bibs for Take the Lake will be available for pickup at Body Shapers in Whiteville starting at 8:00 am tomorrow, Monday, August 29th. Pickup will continue through Friday, September 2nd.
Body Shapers is the one-stop shop for TTL gear, so grab up your one-of-a-kind 2016 Take the Lake T-Shirt while you're there!
The time has come, my friends!
Today is the LAST DAY to preREGISTER for Take the Lake. The website registration link will officially close at 11:59 pm.
Bibs for preREGISTRANTS can be picked up at Body Shapers from 8:00 am - 5:00 pm starting Monday, August 29th and will continue through Friday, September 2nd.
You WILL NOT be able to register at Body Shapers.
TODAY is the day to get your registration finished!!
Click the REGISTER NOW button and get typing! You'll be glad you did it today!
IT'S ALMOST HERE!!!
THE ONE YOU'VE BEEN WAITING FOR! THE ONE YOU'VE BEEN WORKING OUT FOR!
THE FAMILY EVENT OF THE YEAR!!
That's right, folks, Take the Lake weekend is less than two weeks away, and we can't wait to see ALL of you there!
There are only THREE days left to PREREGISTER!! That's right, just THREE MORE DAYS left to PREREGISTER!! You don't want to fight crowds on event day! You want the convenience of picking up your bib EARLY the week before your event(s)! You don't want to stand in long lines! You want to walk straight to that starting line and be ready to enjoy a great time with friends and family!
PREREGISTER TODAY!! Click that REGISTER NOW button, and get those fingers typing! In just a few short minutes, you'll be ready to go!
Have you heard there are TWO fun family events on Take the Lake weekend?
You talked, and we listened. We learned that many people feel the traditional 16-mile walk or 16-mile bike and hike is just a little too much, or folks would rather do an event the whole family can enjoy together. No worries! Take the Lake now has something for everyone! This year, Take the Lake will include a 6.2 mile Fun Family Ride AND a 6.2 mile Fun Family Walk. The Fun Family Walk will take place on Saturday, September 3rd and the Fun Family Ride will take place on Sunday, September 4th. Each event will start separate from the traditional walk and bike events (times posted on the individual walk and bike event pages).
But wait, there's more!!
The first 300 finishers of each Family event will receive one of these embroidered patches!!
So, slide your mouse over to the Registration button and PREREGISTER TODAY!!!
We can't wait to see ALL of you on Take the Lake weekend!
***Registration closes on August 26, 2016
Take the Lake is fast approaching, and we want YOU to be there!!
PREREGISTRATION is the best way to ensure you and your family have the most fun possible!
Remember, you can register multiple people for multiple events ALL at ONE time!!
NO long lines to stand in on event days!
Convenient bib pickup at Body Shapers the week before Take the Lake weekend!
Guaranteed finish times!
It's EASY!! No stress!
PREREGISTER for Take the Lake TODAY!
Registration closes on August 26, 2016.
Take the Lake is just over a month away! Can you believe it? With the addition of a second Family event this year, Take the Lake 2016 is sizing up to be the best year yet!
How can YOU make it even better? PRE-REGISTER!!
Pre-registration is the BEST way to be sure you are ready to go on Take the Lake weekend.
Here is why:
1. Register for ALL your desired events at ONE time!
2. Convenient bib pickup the week before Take the Lake weekend at Body Shapers , your one-stop shop for TTL gear.
3. NO LONG LINES to stand in on event days.
4. NO RUSHING to fill out paperwork. You can start your event on time!
5. Guaranteed time record of your chosen event(s).
6. IT'S EASY! Remember, you can register for ALL events at one time!
7. A better overall experience with your family and friends!
So slide your mouse over to the Registration tab and get those fingers typing!
Can't wait to see each and every one of you pumped up and ready for some fun at the starting line!
Take the Lake tee shirts are available for $10 each at Body Shapers in Whiteville and the Lake Waccamaw Town Hall.
Girl Scouts Maggie and Grace High, left, and Boy Scouts Alexander and Christopher Scott, right, join the Take the Lake committee in announcing this year’s edition of the annual event’s tee shirt.
The Scouts will be joined by their Scouting friends in participation for this year’s event, which is recognizing the “Be Prepared” aspect of Scouting. Take the Lake is slated for the Labor Day weekend.
Body Shapers hours are Monday thru Friday 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday 6 a.m. to noon. Lake Waccamaw Town Hall hours are Monday thru Friday 8:30 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Take the Lake committee members are Stuart Rogers, Ian Hooks, Coburn Powell, Julie Stocks, Walter Palmer, Donna Scott, Donna Egley and Melissa Hopkins.
The promotional materials for the 2016 Take the Lake Training Season have arrived. You will soon be able to pick them up at Body Shapers, The News Reporter, and Tip Top Florists, or contact us if you want some to hang up, hand out and help out!
The following is a Letter to the Editor of The News Reporter, written by former Take the Lake President and current U.S. Peace Corps volunteer Mark Gilchrist, in early September, 2015.
As nearly 1,000 people “took” Lake Waccamaw this weekend, I cheered every one of them on from 5,000 miles away.
I helped organize Take the Lake for six years, and when I left this summer for Peace Corps service in Moldova, I wasn’t sure how I would feel with it all going on without me. Well, turns out that I missed it very much, but I was excited and even giddy all weekend as I watched it unfold on social media and on Whiteville.com.
All of the organizers, volunteers, partners and participants did an incredible job and should be very proud!
The committee is already preparing their “Thank You” notes, so, I am writing this to thank one person
Swim Starting Line
The starting line location for the TTL swimming event on Monday, 9/7 will depend on the direction of the wind. Please check at the Dale`s Seafood starting location BEFORE going out to the dam.
If you were anywhere near Lake Waccamaw for the Take the Lake Walk / Run, you saw the cameras and the dedicated members of the Columbus County Photo Club in action! They hurried home and processed thousands of photographs and posted their favorites for you to enjoy (and buy!) on their website. Check it out today! Click here, or on the image above.
Due to rain and subsequent slippery conditions on the dam, the Bike/Hike will NOT be going through the park. Instead, the event will follow the "dry route." The route will begin at Elizabeth Brinkley Park, go Lake Shore, past Dale's and down Canal Cove Road to Waccamaw Shores, to the dam, then back to Elizabeth Brinkley Park for the finish.
Our Take the Lake weekend will kick off with a Take the Plate spaghetti supper on Friday, September 4, 2015 from 5:30 - 7:30 pm at the Lake Waccamaw United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall located at 506 Lakeshore Drive. The event is eat-in or take-out and donations will be accepted. The supper is open to everyone; not just Take the Lake participants.
Join the group and "fuel up" for this active Labor Day weekend!
Our t-shirts are a great way to show your participation and support of Take the Lake! You can purchase a t-shirt at Body Shapers on Madison Street in downtown Whiteville. The price is $10 through August 28th. Starting August 29th, the price of t-shirts will increase to $15.
Come on down and get one for the whole family!
Pre-registration (registration through the website) for ALL Take the Lake events (walk/run, paddle, bike/hike, swim) ends on Friday, August 28th. Starting August 29th, pre-registration will be closed.
If you decide after pre-registration closes that you would like to participate in a Take the Lake event, you will need to register on-site on the date of the event.
Take the Lake Getting Physically Fit Log Book
Start now to get ready for the Take the Lake Walk on September 5th. Follow the instructions and walking schedule on the Log Book back cover. Record your minutes walked during the 18 weeks leading up to September. Register for the TTL Walk/Run. Persons achieving the goals listed on the Log Book will receive the "Getting Ready for TTL Award."
Click here to download your copy of the Take the Lake Getting Physically Fit Log Book.
Get yourself in the mood for a great training season with this video of last year's events, then share the fun of fitness, the wonder of Waccamaw and the excitement of Take the Lake by sharing this video with your friends! Post it on your Facebook page and let everyone know that you support good health and fitness in Columbus County, North Carolina.
We're expecting a wildly colorful Take the Lake training season and Labor Day weekend this year as we pay tribute to artists.
Each year, we select a theme, which not only makes things more interesting, but helps us target a specific group in our community to give them extra encouragement to participate. We started this in 2011 when we recruited military veterans. The next year, we focused on teachers, in 2013 we "called the cops" with our law enforcement theme, and last year we harvested a crop of farmers.
We are thrilled to partner this year with the Columbus County Arts Council, because director Sally Mann is a blast to work with and is enthusiastic about the prospects.
Say, isn't it time to start training?
The 2014 Take the Lake committee would like to wish everybody a wonderful and happy Christmas and New Year. Speaking of New Year, what will you resolve to do in 2015? How about a few of our Take the Lake Personal Endurance Challenges? Remember, your fitness and wellbeing not only helps you, but affects your family, friends and those around you, so give the gift that's good all around!
Also, check out a few other things we've been busy with: Funnee Faces for Families First, and CreateAthon Columbus County.
Our 2015 Training Season Timer Clock is ready, thanks to our sponsors who contributed an extra $50. We offer the timer free to all fitness events in the county throughout the year and when possible, we'll place it on location at festivals displaying the time of day below our sponsors' logos. Here it is at the Pecan Festival in Whiteville. Would you like the clock at your fitness event? Contact us.
Take the Lake would not be possible without our generous sponsors. Thank you for supporting fitness and good health in our community!
Columbus Regional Healthcare
The McNeill Family
Baldwin Woods Gynecology ATMC
Council Tool Company
Southeastern Comm. College
Baldwin Woods Pharmacy
Dales Seafood Restaurant
Sam’s Pit Stop
Columbus County Health
Powell and Powell Law
Columbus County Photo Club
Southern Veterinary Hospital
Special Service Sponsors
The News Reporter
Body Shapers Fitness Center
Take a few minutes and reel through the years of Take the Lake, as we review the many themes and posters that have helped make fitness more fun in Columbus County! Click here
After spending several years at the very bottom of the County Health Ranking -- as the least healthy county in all of North Carolina -- we have improved our lifestyles enough to move up to 96, and we are proud to be so healthy!
Look at this!
The Weigh We Were - Photos and stories of people who have lost 100 lbs or more -- incredible and inspiring!
DID YOU KNOW...
that the second-most-popular Boy Scout merit badge in the U.S. is for Swimming? And the ninth-most-popular is Personal Fitness? Yes!
Six girls complete
all four PECs.
Are you ready boots?
movies -- please!
Bike & Hike: 436
Visit our Sponsor Page, or Contact us if you would like to be a part of the largest community fitness event in Columbus County!