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LAKE WACCAMAW, NC (WWAY) – For most of us Labor Day is a day of rest, but one Columbus County community is using it as a way to get in shape.

Started in the 1950s as a friendly challenge, “Take the Lake” has become a Labor Day tradition for Columbus County residents who are trying to promote a healthy lifestyle.

The three-day challenge has four events: swimming, walking, paddling, and biking. Ages of contestants in “Take the Lake” range anywhere from 8 to 80.

“Take the lake itself is not necessarily a race. It’s not competitive,” said Eric Brandt, an organizer of the event. “We don’t post times. We post people’s alphabetical accomplishments not necessarily in the order of their times. This is about improving health. It’s not about being a superstar.”

“We’re considered one of the unhealthiest counties in the state, so this here really shows we’re fighting back,” spectator Wayne Inman said.

Residents of Lake Waccamaw rally around the event by turning their homes into pit stops for competitors by offering water, rest and encouragement.

For the fourth year in a row more than one thousand people participated in the free event with close to 700 riders taking part in the cycling event alone.

Comment on this Story

  • Guest 10101

    — Murphy: Anything than can go wrong will go wrong.
    — McCartle: Murphy was an optimist.

    A perfectly good event that a lot of people enjoy and all you can do is find something wrong with it.

    While other kids were eagerly waiting for Santa at Christmas, you were probably concerned he’d get caught in your chimney and start a house fire.

  • Guest-of-the-day

    is worse on the body than doing nothing. I’d be curious as to how many strained muscles and pulled ligaments, not to mention out and out heart attacks come out of something like this.

  • I Took The Lake

    Valid point, but I weigh 320 lbs and I walked the complete 15 miles with only a little soreness the next day. This has been going on for years without major issues. It was a challenge indeed, but a wonderful feeling gained at the finish line.

  • guesty

    But don’t quit now, keep on walking and getting exercise.

  • Wilmington Observer

    Why do you weigh 320 pounds? If you felt “wonderful” after walking 15 miles, I would challenge you to walk 3 – 5 miles EVERY day and feel wonderful all of the time. You had a good start, now, do a great thing and keep it up!!

    Wilmington Observer


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