Whether you live or vacation in Lake Lure during the summertime, there’s nothing better than cannonballs off the boat, beachside barbeques, chasing fireflies and hiking through lush mountain trails, unless of course you’re an athlete in pursuit of “bragging rights.” The season we have all been waiting for has returned, and it’s going to be one for the record books! On August 9-11, the Lake Lure Olympiad will host its 15th annual, one-of-a-kind sports event weekend, in the hometown destination where challenging courses meets friendly competition. Celebrating 15 sensational years, the team of organizers are geared up and ready to welcome athletes, volunteers, families and friends for a milestone event filled with top-notch races and fun experiences backdropped by our stunning Hickory Nut Gorge.

 Known for one of the most scenic, and demanding, race events in the Southeast, the Olympiad is expecting the biggest year in athlete participation since 2014. This year is showing a 62% increase in registered athletes with 37% of them coming from outside of North Carolina, and as far away as Australia and the Cayman Islands. This is excellent news for the nonprofit organization as it will lead to a more profitable, charity giving year, alongside the generous support and contributions from sponsors and continued partners. The rise in attendance also means more heads in beds, bodies in seats and foot traffic for all experiences and attractions throughout the county.

 Kay Dittmer, chairman of the Lake Lure Olympiad committee, shares her enthusiasm by stating “We are so proud of what we have accomplished over the past 15 years, drawing new visitors to our town, promoting health and wellness for all ages and benefiting local organizations that are so dear to our hearts. We would not be able to honor our tremendous achievements or pay tribute to the successes without the wonderful support from our community, host locations and its dedicated volunteers.”

The lineup of events has changed courses over the years from starting with over 25 events in one single weekend to building an impressive, nationally recognized “3 Races in 3 Days Challenge.” In celebration of the 15th anniversary, the Lake Lure Olympiad is sharing a glimpse into their outstanding performance over the past 15 years:

● Donated more than $315,000 to over 15 local charities and service organizations since its inception.

● Attracted approximately 1500 athletes from over 18 states and 5 foreign countries annually.

 ● Welcomed participants with over 200 volunteers every year.

● More than 20 regional and national media outlets cover the event annually.

 ● Over 100 younger athletes participate in the Junior Olympiad each year where the events are more about the fun than challenge. Scores are recorded and awards are given in different age brackets.

The festivities kick off on Friday night at Rumbling Bald Resort with the annual Opening Ceremonies featuring the 10K Dam Run, waterski performances and the lighting of the torch. Join us while we listen to music on the beach, enjoy good grub and cheer our athletes on as they cross the finish line.

 Saturday, athletes get a chance to strut their stuff on the course of the Triathlon, starting at 8:00 am from the beach at Rumbling Bald Resort. Immediately following, the younger generations show off their skills at the Junior Olympiad, hosted by the teachers and coaches from the Lake Lure Classical Academy. Both athletic events conclude by noon to allow for sightseeing and adventures to take place in the afternoon.

Then on Sunday, the events move to Chimney Rock State Park for the 5K run and 25-Mile bike races. Athletes continue to push hard and finish out the three days with medals, prizes and new found friendships.

Whether you are a hardcore athlete or here for the fun, passion will ignite the course this year. For more information visit www.lakelureolympiad.com and follow on Facebook@LakeLureOlympiad. 

Heather Meech, McConnell Group PR on behalf of the Lake Lure Olympiad Sports Event.