Here is a recent article in The News Reporter by Jefferson Weaver confirming no harmful algae has been found at Lake Waccamaw...
Lake Waccamaw has avoided an outbreak of the sometimes toxic blue-green algae blamed for killing pets and sickening people in a number of states.
In an email to organizers for the Take The Lake personal challenge, Waccamaw Riverkeeper Cara Schildtknecht said recent tests at the lake (requested by the State Parks) showed no hazardous algae.
Mark Vander Borgh of the Division of Water Quality and a team of specialists checked four locations at the lake, and came up with no signs of toxic algae.
“They sampled 4 sites and found no evidence of blue-green algae. They took water samples, DO and pH measurements, and did a visual check,” Schildtknecht said. “All looks good on the Lake.”
“With that information in hand, I think we can safely assume Lake Waccamaw is safe for water recreation,” Schildtknecht wrote.
Register for events online:
- Avoid the line – register online! at https://runsignup.com/Race/NC/LakeWaccamaw/TaketheLake-- Choose from four free events and two that require registration fees. Find out more about events at takethelake.org.
-- Register and train for your run, walk, bike ride, paddle or swim.
-- Your fee for the 5K and 1 Mile Swim covers professional event timing, safety and logistics, plus a T-shirt, and a portion of your fee will support trail improvement in Lake Waccamaw State Park.
Check with your doctor before beginning a new exercise program.
Walk, run, ride, swim or paddle regularly, increasing your distance.
Drink water before you get thirsty.
Recruit friends and family members to join you.
Wear sunscreen and bug spray; watch out for fire ants on the roadside.
All adults and children in the bike events must wear helmets. No exceptions!
Every participant in the 4-Mile Swim must have an escort boat; line yours up now.
In the homestretch:
Setup Events can take online registrations up to 30 minutes before your paid event. Walk-up registration is available for free events.
Saturday, Aug. 31:
8 a.m. 5K certified by USA Track and Field (registration fee)
8-10:30 a.m. Take the Lake Celebration at Elizabeth Brinkley Park goes on during events, featuring children’s games and a breakfast fundraiser.
9 a.m. 5K awards presentation
9:30 a.m. 1-Mile Fun Run (free)
10:30 a.m. 10-K Bike event (free)
Sunday, Sept. 1: Event-free day. Take it easy!
Monday, Sept. 2 (Labor Day):
8 a.m. Traditional Lee J. Greer 4-Mile Swim leaves from Dale’s Seafood or the dam, depending on wind direction (free)
8:30 a.m. 1-Mile Swim starts and finishes at Dale’s (registration fee)
12 noon 6-Mile Paddle from the dam to Dale’s (free)
By Diana Matthews firstname.lastname@example.org
“It’s a year of rebuilding for many,” Take The Lake organizers say, in an epic understatement. It’s also the year for the undecided TTL watcher to become a first-time TTL participant.
For 2019 the Take The Lake committee has taken on Part One of a three-year rebuilding project.
They did it to accommodate the reality that many Lake Waccamaw people and institutions are still facing a long road of recovery from Hurricane Florence. It takes a lot of hard work by dozens of public health and safety officers, town officials, volunteers and Lake Waccamaw State Park rangers, to pull off a full-scale TTL.
“They were there for Lake Waccamaw” in the harrowing aftermath of Hurricane Florence, my friend and magazine editor Stuart Rogers said to me the other day. Now that she is head of the TTL committee, Stuart could not ask those same people to make the level of sacrifice and effort they have on past Labor Day weekends.
That’s why she and her fellow committee members have streamlined their approach: they are holding shorter events and also hiring an outside race coordinator to handle registration and recordkeeping.
The shorter events appealed to me, as I am also in a building mode. So, look out, Lake Waccamaw, here I come: 2019 will be my first year to join the TTL kayak event.
In my once- or twice weekly training outings, I’m up to about three miles, which takes me over an hour in my little, non-speedy beginner’s kayak.
Up till now the TTL Paddle event has been the province of people stronger than I am, who were willing to be on the water for four to six hours, enduring sun, dehydration, fatigue, hideous cramps and whatever weather came their way.
(And a whole lot of weather can come your way on Lake Waccamaw in one afternoon.)
In 2017 I interviewed the amazing Chet Sechrest after his fourth TTL X-Treme. He recommended Gatorade, energy gel packs, sunscreen, a long-sleeved coolshirt, hat and gloves. This year we kayakers, including the super-capable ones like Sechrest and just ordinary folks like me, will cover six miles one way. The TTL committee has figured out logistics for us to get back to our starting place and pack up our crafts at the end.
When it comes to paddling skills, I am trusting what my instructor friend Fish told me in one kayak lesson two years ago. “Slow is steady, and steady is fast.”
Fish taught me to hold the paddle correctly and use one arm to push while pulling with the other and winding my body first one way then the other to create spring power from my core muscles.
Prior to that one lesson, I didn’t have anything you could call “technique.” I still am no expert, but I think I’m developing a little muscle memory each time I paddle on Lake Waccamaw.
“I can do this,” I tell myself, “even if I’m not the fastest. I know I can do the distance if I build up to it. Besides, just being on the water is a good thing.”
Every time I go paddling, I see something I wouldn’t have seen on foot or in a car. You can see turtles, ducks, schools of fast moving little fishies, and the even faster birds that eat those fishies as you push-pull your way along.
On one of my first outings, I was sitting quietly in a patch of grass near the dam when a great blue heron dove past me and caught a large fish in its talons. I watched it climb back up into the blue sky carrying the weight of its wriggling, dripping dinner.
Sometimes Wow is the only word.
My new goal is to paddle to the sandbar at the outlet of Big Creek and back.
I’ve been on Lake Waccamaw when the surface of the water was still and when it was choppy, with and without rain. I’ve known it to turn from one condition to the other in a hurry, just when I was approaching my turnaround point, so that I had to race the weather back. Sometimes, when the wind turns against me, it feels exactly like I’m paddling uphill.
Whatever conditions I run into — including some that make me reconsider my outing — I tell myself, “It could be raining (or blowing or choppy or hot and muggy) on Labor Day, so I’d better practice and get used to it.”
Saturday I paddled out of a rain shower into a clear area, but with mist ahead; as the sun shone from behind my right shoulder I saw a partial rainbow seeming to beckon me onward.
If you decide in favor of trying one of the weekend’s four challenges for the first time, I wish you well, and I look forward to seeing you there.
"Thank you" Southeastern Community College for sponsoring Take the Lake AND featuring Take the Lake in Southeastern Community College Presents. View the entire program here.
One of the shorter events available this year is the 1-Mile Swim on Labor Day Monday. The event will leave from Dale's at 8:30 a.m. with a 1/2 mile swim out and 1/2 mile swim back. A personal escort is not required for the 1-mile swim. We will have certified lifeguards (thanks YMCA!) in boats following swimmers. (Note: A personal escort in a boat or kayak IS required for the 4 mile swim). Thinking about making the "Big Swim," but not sure you can make the distance? Give the 1-mile swim a try this year and make the 4-mile swim your goal next year. We hope the shorter distance events will encourage new participants to "Take the Lake" Labor Day weekend! Register online at takethelake.org/register.
Here's a look at the certified 5K route leaving from Elizabeth Brinkley Park and the 1-Mile Fun Run route. The 5K starts Saturday morning, August 31, at 8 a.m. and the Family 1-Mile Fun Run starts at 9:30 a.m. The 10K Family Bike is at 10:30 a.m. We'll have a fun family celebration with games, food, and fun at the park while events are underway. Register for events online at https://runsignup.com/Race/NC/LakeWaccamaw/TaketheLake. Packet pick-up will be at Body Shapers Wednesday and Thursday before Labor Day weekend, at Take the Plate pasta supper and morning of the event.
5K route - 8 a.m. start Saturday, August 31 at Elizabeth Brinkley Park
1 Mile Family Fun Run - 9:30 a.m. start Saturday, August 31 at Elizabeth Brinkley Park
Take the Plate pasta supper fundraiser is Friday, August 30, at Lake Waccamaw United Methodist Church
Laythan and Gracie Stocks stopped by Lake Time Vintiques with their grandmother, Julie Stocks, to check out the youth-sized Take the Lake t-shirts. Marie has youth and adult size shirts available at Lake Time. Body Shapers in Whiteville is helping us with t-shirt sales, too.
T-shirts available online at https://runsignup.com/Race/NC/LakeWaccamaw/TaketheLake. Thank you to our t-shirt sponsors: Columbus Regional Healthcare System, The John A. McNeill Family, Liberty Healthcare, Lake Waccamaw Lions Club, Hills, Friends of Rube McCray Memorial Library, Council Tool, ATMC, Southeastern Community College, Carolina Sports Medicine, BB&T, International Paper and Joe's Barbeque.
Stop by Body Shapers in Whiteville and see Jeff & Cindy Faulk and Donnie Hammonds to purchase your 2019 Take the Lake t-shirts. Body Shapers will offer packet pick-up Wednesday, August 28 and Thursday, August 29 from noon to 6 p.m. each day. T-shirts also available for purchase at Lake Time Vintiques (photo coming soon!). Youth to adult size XL are $12 each and 2XL $13 each. Ladies v-neck shirts available (run small, so size-up). Order t-shirts online and pick them up at packet pick-up at Body Shapers, Take the Plate, or during TTL weekend before your event. Click on this link for online registration: https://runsignup.com/Race/NC/LakeWaccamaw/TaketheLake
Take the Lake would not be possible without our generous sponsors! We are grateful for their support and for providing a fun, family-friendly weekend of fitness challenges for Columbus County.
Special "thanks" to Body Shapers and Lake Time Vintiques for help with t-shirt sales and Brett Gore for setting out the lake buoys for the swim events.
Take the Lake t-shirts are almost ready! We will let you know when they are available for sale at Body Shapers in Whiteville and Lake Time Vintiques in Lake Waccamaw. You can pre-order t-shirts online during registration, and 5K and 1-mile swim participants receive a t-shirt as part of their registration fee. Youth to adult sizes are $12 each and 2XL are $13 each. THANK YOU to our t-shirt sponsors - Columbus Regional Healthcare System, Liberty Healthcare, The John A. McNeill Family, ATMC, Carolina Sports Medicine, Council Tool Company, Friends of Rube McCrae Memorial Library, Hill's Food Stores, International Paper,
Joe’s Barbecue, Lake Waccamaw Lion's Club, and Southeastern Community College
The 11th Annual Take the Lake is Labor Day weekend at Lake Waccamaw. Online registration is open at www.TakeTheLake.org. Here's a look at the 2019 schedule of events.
Events this year take place on Saturday, August 31, and Monday, September 2, with a schedule of shorter events with a 3-year plan to add back the long distance events as Lake Waccamaw recovers from Hurricane Florence and improvements are made to Lake Wacccamaw State Park trail system.
Friday, August 30 at 5:30 p.m. is the annual Take the Plate Spaghetti Dinner fundraiser at Lake Waccamaw United Methodist Church. Eat-in or take-out. Donations accepted
Saturday, August 31 - All events start and finish at Elizabeth Brinkley Park in Lake Waccamaw
*8 a.m. 5K certified by USA Track & Field. Start and finish at Elizabeth Brinkley Park. Registration for this event is $20 thru June.
8 a.m.-10:30 a.m. Take the Lake Celebration at Elizabeth Brinkley Park with children’s games & breakfast fundraiser
9 a.m. 5K awards presentation
9:30 a.m. 1-Mile Fun Run at Elizabeth Brinkley Park - Free
10:30 a.m. 10K Bike at Elizabeth Brinkley Park - Free
Sunday, September 1 Event-free day
Labor Day Monday, September 2
8 a.m. Traditional Lee J. Greer Labor Day 4-Mile Swim. Leaves from Dale’s or the dam depending on wind direction - Free
*8:30 a.m. 1-Mile Swim leaves from Dale’s on a front and back route. Registration for this event is $20 thru June.
Noon 6-Mile Paddle from the dam to Dale’s following the perimeter of the lake. Route will be determined by wind direction - Free
For more information visit www.takethelake.org or on www.facebook.com/takethelake
Editor's note: Grant submitted this article several years ago for a "Take the Lake Corner" series of articles. I really like this book he reviews Younger Next Year and it's point of view and easy way of explaining the importance of a consistent exercise program. It "makes sense" and it "doable." As with any new exercise program, consult your physician before beginning.
By GRANT EGLEY, Take the Lake Steering committee
The phrase, “You have to age, but you don’t have to get old,” may not make sense to you, but it is the message of Younger Next Year, a New York Times best seller about health and fitness.
The authors, Chris Crowley and Henry S. Lodge, M.D., say that you can’t turn back time, but you can turn back your biological clock. The secret is to adopt a healthy lifestyle, which includes regular exercise early in life and continuing it for the rest of your life. Do that and you can feel like a 50-year-old when you are 80. The authors’ language is frank, but they want to impress you that your life is at stake.
They say that too many people are dying or becoming disabled at a much too early age. It is not about just living a long life; it is about being healthy and active while living a long life. Vigorous regular exercise, at least brisk walking, is the most important component of an active and healthy lifestyle. They also emphasize that you should not start an exercise program without first checking with a medical doctor.
“Some 70 percent of premature death and aging is lifestyle related. More than 50 percent of all illness and injuries in the last third of your life can be eliminated by changing your lifestyle in the way we suggest,” according to the authors. “Once you pass the age of 50, exercise is no longer optional. You have to exercise or get old. Life is an endurance event. Train for it.”
The book’s take-home message is that most people can be active and productive up to their 80s if they follow a few rules of a healthy lifestyle. Too many people simply do not prepare themselves for a long and healthy life.
This book is mainly for the age 20-50s crowd because they need to start now and prepare themselves for later years. Those over 50 can also benefit from reading the book, but it is difficult for them to break the harmful habit of many years of a sedentary lifestyle.
Lodge says that vigorous regular exercise is very important because it improves the efficiency of our circulatory system. Losing weight, improving endurance and increasing muscle strength are important benefits of exercise, but maintaining an efficient circulatory system is the main benefit. Each one of the billions of cells in our body needs to be supplied with oxygen and food, and to have carbon dioxide and waste products removed. Fine capillaries of the circulatory system provide this service. If the service fails, bad things happen. For example, when tiny coronary arteries servicing heart muscle cells are blocked, we have heart attacks. Lodge says, “Hearts don’t fail; coronary arteries do. They get blocked, they clot, and we die.” Exercise (also proper diet) helps prevent blockage of the circulatory system in general.
Exercise stimulates blood flow throughout our bodies. With regular aerobic exercise, our bodies build new networks of capillaries that service the cells. Lodge says that at rest, only 20 percent of our blood flows through the muscles, but with exercise that number rises to 80 percent in a trained athlete. We all are not trained athletes, but we should similarly benefit to some degree.
We started life with a body capable of being very active for many years. Science now says that in order to keep this capability, we must continue to be active throughout our lives. The sedentary lifestyles of too many of us lack the activity needed to maintain that capability. Regular exercise can fill the void created by the sedentary lifestyle. In other words, exercise can help make up for the lack of a healthy lifestyle.
The above is only a sample of the authors’ statements about the benefits of exercise and a healthy lifestyle. It is not a typical how-to-do-it book. Its main message is to start an active lifestyle early in life and continue it because “your life is at stake.” I urge you to take a look at this book.
I stopped Tim and Edna Dowless' shop to take a sneak peek at the 2019 Take the Lake t-shirts. They are super soft and comfy. Check out the women's v-neck design. Youth to adult sizes $12 each and 2XL $13 each. You can order t-shirts online during registration. Soon t-shirts will be available for sale at Body Shapers in Whiteville. We'll announce when the order has been delivered.
Are you ready to Take the Lake? 2019 Registration is OPEN! Use this link to access our new online registration powered by RunSignUp. For the 5K and 1-Mile swim with entry fee, register during June for the "early bird" discount. https://runsignup.com/Race/NC/LakeWaccamaw/TaketheLake
Happy Spring! The Take the Lake Steering committee has been busy making plans for a super fun 2019 Take the Lake event this Labor Day weekend.
We have an updated and refreshed schedule of events we think will be fun for families and dedicated fitness buffs. We hope the schedule accommodates our awesome participants, volunteers, and the LW EMS, LWPD and LWFD, LW City staff and LWSP Rangers that served us so faithfully during Hurricane Florence.
It's a re-building year for many, and the TTL steering committee has a 3-year plan to work our way back to the awesome weekend of fun, fitness challenges and fellowship everyone loves.
Thanks for your support as we introduce in the next two weeks the new and refreshed 2019 Take the Lake. Registration will open June 1, 2019.
Thank you to Tim and Edna Dowless for our new TTL logo design.
The swim will start at Dale's and finish at the Lake Waccamaw dam.
Thank you to everyone who came out this evening to take part in our 2018 Take the Plate festivities.
The personal endurance challenges begin Saturday morning with the Walk/Run. Both the 16 mile and family fun 6.5 mile walks begin at Elizabeth Brinkley Park. Those who have pre-registered for the 16 mile walk can begin any time after 7:15 a.m. The full release start is at 8 a.m. The family fun walk will begin at 8:30 a.m.
Personal endurance challenge event two is the Paddle on Sunday morning. This event begins in the Dale's Seafood parking lot at 8 a.m. We expect this 14 mile event to take between 3 to 6 hours to complete depending on the fitness level of the participant.
Sunday afternoon is time for the Bike events. The 16 mile Bike/Hike that will run through the Lake Waccamaw State Park begins at 2 p.m. at Elizabeth Brinkley Park. The family fun ride begins at 2:30. Remember - a bike helmet is required for both rides. Our course monitors will be removing riders from the course if they are not wearing a helmet.
Monday we celebrate the traditional event that started it all - the Swim across Lake Waccamaw. The 4 mile swim will begin at 8 a.m at either Dale's Seafood or the Lake Waccamaw dam. As wind direction determines the course, please check the Take the Lake Facebook page for start location. Signage will also be posted with direction for the starting point.
Monday also sees the toughest challenge of the weekend. The X-Treme combines all four events and distances into a single day. This event's start is again determined by wind direction and will either be at Dale's Seafood or the Lake Waccamaw dam. Signage will indicate the location. The event begins at 6:30 a.m. and participants must finish by 10 p.m.
Thank you again for being a part of the 10th anniversary Take the Lake event!
Come out to join the fun as we officially kick off Take the Lake weekend with the annual Take the Plate Pasta Supper in the Lake Waccamaw United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall.
Online registration for the 2018 Take the Lake events is closed.
You will still be able to register on site the day of the event.
Thank you for your support of Take the Lake!
We are just 3 1/2 weeks away from Take the Lake weekend.
It is important to remember that even the family events represent personal endurance challenges that require preparation. Make sure that you are taking time on a regular basis to train in the heat to match the conditions of the weekend.
Remember to train for the bike ride wearing a helmet as we require every rider to wear a helmet for the entire bike ride. Although a portion of the full ride will require a dismount to push the bike along a trail in the Lake Waccamaw State Park, the helmet is still required.
As part of our commitment to safety, we will be providing water stations every 2 miles along the route. Volunteers will also be stationed throughout the course to provide support.
We look forward to seeing you at Take the Lake 2018!
Our website issues have been mostly resolved, meaning the time to register is now!
The password protection error message has been eliminated.
If you have any additional problems with the registration process, contact our webmaster - Melissa Hopkins.
Take the Lake would not be possible without our generous sponsors. Thank you for supporting fitness and good health in our community!
Thank you to our sponsors!
Columbus Regional Healthcare System
The John A. McNeill Family
Carolina Sports Medicine
Council Tool Company
Friends of Rube McCrae Memorial Library
Hill's Food Stores
Southeastern Community College
Baldwin Woods Pharmacy
Dale's Seafood Restaurant
Powell and Powell Law
Sam’s Pit Stop
Special Service Sponsors
Body Shapers Fitness Center
Lake Time Vintiques
The News Reporter
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?
movies -- please!
Visit our Sponsor Page, or Contact us if you would like to be a part of the largest community fitness event in Columbus County!