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
from Lumberton touched the dam only two hours and 34 minutes later, with a 22-minute lead over three-time X-TREME! winner Thomas Mintz.
DeCinti then finished his 21-mile bike ride in a little more than an hour, with four swimmers still in the water.
Mintz took the lead during the 14-mile kayak race, an exhausting paddle through challenging weather. Organizers watched from shore as heavy chop filled the lake and rain pummeled the eastern shore. Mintz passed his challenger in the state park area, keeping the lead through the rest of the race to finish first at 10:30:14.
Two teams competed for the Red Shoe trophy. Jeff Faulk led the Body Shapers team, and Marjorie Hilbourn of Chadbourn led Couples who Play Together, Stay Together.
The teams turned in close times in cycling and paddling, but a strong finish by the Body Shapers runner consumed what lead the Couples swimmer enjoyed. Body Shapers took home the Red Shoe with a total time of just under 13 hours, only 22 minutes faster than Couples.
A new record was set this year as a 14-year-old girl completed the X-TREME! Saturday. Whiteville High School sophomore Jozi Patterson raced around the clock, finishing in 14:12:16.
Patterson was the youngest girl to complete all four Personal Endurance Challenges during Take the Lake two years ago as she celebrated her 13th birthday during the weekend.
Organizers are completing preparations for the “big” weekend coming up, with more than 1,000 participants expected. Unlike the X-TREME!, participants this weekend will not be competing, they can participate in any or all of the four Personal Endurance Challenges, and they pay no registration fee.
A carb-loading spaghetti dinner will be held Friday evening at the Lake Waccamaw United Methodist Church beginning at 5:30. The Walk/Run begins at 8 a.m. Saturday at Elizabeth Brinkley Park, with preregistered participants leaving any time after 7:10 a.m. The Paddle Challenge leaves the public beach at Dale’s at 8 a.m. Sunday and the Bike & Hike from the same area at 2 p.m. The Swim is scheduled for 8 a.m. Monday, either from the dam or Dale’s.
More details and last-minute updates are available from the event website at Takethelake.org.
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Thank you to our sponsors!
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Carolina Sports Medicine
Council Tool Company
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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
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