August 23rd, 2012
In a warm-up for the big Take the Lake event Labor Day weekend, 11 solo competitors and two teams will swim across, and cycle, paddle and walk or run around Lake Waccamaw Saturday.
Named the X-TREME!, competitors in this ultra-event will attempt to complete all four Take the Lake Personal Endurance Challenges (PEC) in a single day. They first swim four miles, then they “bike & hike” 15 miles, paddle 14 miles and walk or run 15 miles for a 48-mile day.
Designed like an aggressive ultra triathlon with an added paddle, the course includes a swim that is twice as long as what most triathletes are used to. As intimidating as it is, however, this event has attracted mostly non-triathletes.
The day begins at 6 a.m., most likely at the dam, where the swimmers will take off to finish at the public beach at Dale’s Restaurant. The rest of the
event will be based on the lawn across from the public beach.
Residents around the Lake will see occasional competitors run, cycle, paddle or swim by. People who stop in at the beach will see competitors arrive and take off on another PEC, view their progress and race positions on the toteboard, and also take part in the “Before I Die…” wall.
Since many people have considered one or more of the Take the Lake PECs as items on their “bucket lists,” organizers created a 32-foot-long chalkboard at the Columbus County Arts Council, where it stayed through the month of June. A smaller version will be at both Take the Lake events this year for people to write the things they would like to do before they die.
The X-TREME! is different than the “classic” Take the Lake held over Labor Day weekend in several ways; first, it is a race, whereas the classic is not; second, solo competitors will complete all four PECs, where classic participants may complete one or more; and third, there is an entry fee for the X-TREME!, and the classic is free.
New this year in the X-TREME! event is the team relay, where up to four people take on the four PECs. Teams from Southeastern Community College and Lake Waccamaw have registered.
Participants in both events will sign a special waiver form for insurance, even though many have already “signed” online.
Pre-registration is not required for either event, though training is strongly recommended. Organizers emphasize that people should enter any of the PECs or the X-TREME! only if they have full intentions of completing them.
T-shirts and racing bibs may be picked up at the TTL Campus Store inside the Greater Whiteville Chamber of Commerce offices at 601 S. Madison Street in Whiteville, beginning Monday.
More information may be found at Takethelake.org, which can be accessed through an easy “school bus” link at Whiteville.com.
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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.
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