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.
Several area nonprofit organizations will have important creative work done for them free of charge during a 24-hour blitz early next year if they apply and are accepted to the first CreateAthon event in Columbus County.
The event will bring in talented graphic artists, as well as video and radio experts from around the region to produce printed materials, advertisements, public service announcements, short
Start your holiday season and winter right with a brisk run through downtown Whiteville. The oldest footrace in Columbus County, the Pecan Fest Run will start at the Chamber of Commerce at 8 a.m. Saturday. Run or walk the 5K, 8K or one-mile routes, and after you finish, you'll be right in the middle of the exciting Pecan Festival!
It's fall, and time for deep thoughts, so share your thoughts in ways that matter in two surveys:
Click on the image or here to R.S.V.P.
Scroll down for our 2014 video or to take our survey!
Catch this video from action caught with a GoPro during the three days of our event this year. Click the full-screen icon in the lower-right corner for the full effect!
Members of the Columbus County Photo Club have been hard at work all weekend, shooting, cropping and uploading thousands of photographs of you, and they have enough ready to help you celebrate your achievement!
They all volunteered in this fundraiser for Take the Lake and the club, which is one of the strongest and most fun photo clubs in the region. They meet monthly, go on field trips and have cool little contests to help keep you shooting. So, enjoy their work, buy a few pics for good causes and maybe even join the club!
Most of the day was gorgeous, with a heavy afternoon shower cooling things off for the last 50 or so walkers. Times have been entered here, with names for all the people who preregistered.
See you tomorrow for the Paddle Challenge starting at 8 a.m. and the Bike & Hike (no hike this year) starting at 2 p.m., or Monday for the Swim starting at 8 a.m.!
The talented photographers of the Columbus County Photo Club will be out in force this weekend, shooting thousands of photographs of our walkers, runners, paddlers, cyclists and swimmers.
You should be able to see your photos shortly after (we hope the same day of) each Personal Endurance Challenge, at the Take the Lake page on the club's website.
Weather in the form of heavy rains all summer gave the 14 Take the Lake X-TREME! competitors a break Saturday as organizers closed the state park for the race, shortening parts of the routes. But the weather came back and dealt a blow all day.
The swimmers entered the water in the twilight of 6:40 a.m., forced by southerly winds to change from their preferred start at the dam.
A steady chop along the four-mile route took down one competitor, but the leader, Mike DeCinti
Get Hungry, Get Ready, Go! Don't miss out on Take the Plate Friday night at Lake Waccamaw United Methodist Church. It's a great opportunity to load up on those carbs to power you through the weekend. EVERYONE is invited, so you don't have to Take the Lake to Take the Plate!
Body Shapers gym in Whiteville has filled two team posters and is starting on a third, with more than 60 "members" on their team ready to participate this weekend.
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
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!