Wildwood Games brings racers to Appling

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APPLING, GA (WFXG) - The first ever Wildwood Games wrapped up Sunday in Columbia County after a weekend of biking and running.

Close to 220 people from 12 states competed in the games this weekend. Randy DuTeau, executive director of the Columbia County Convention and Visitor's Bureau, said the games appeal to such a large crowd because of the type of sports people compete in.

"The active lifestyle type sports have really taken off the last few years with events like the Augusta Half Iron Man and the USA Cycling National Championships," he said. "So we were able to really kind of tap into that same niche and these people that really want to get out and be active but at the same time do something a little bit different."

The race brought out people of all ages, including 12 year old Benjamin Zeismer and 8 year old Victoria Maxwell who both ran the 10 K. Both of them started their active lifestyles at a very young age.

"My parents thought it would be a nice idea if I did a cross country team, and I liked that idea too. We did that for a few years and I just started doing races and stuff," said Benjamin. 

"When we moved here we started running on the trails out here, and Victoria just started coming along with us with the family and fell in love with it," said Victoria's mom Amanda.

"We ran six miles. The weather is perfect, it wasn't too cold it wasn't too hot, it was just perfect," said Victoria with a  smile.

As the youngest runners, Benjamin and Victoria show that the games really do appeal to people of all ages across the nation.

"They appeal not only to the elite athlete who probably has a good opportunity and a good chance to come in here and win, but there's also the person who has to challenge themselves. So that's why these events, I think, work well for us but they also work well for this area," said DuTeau.

With the addition of disk golf and open water swimming next year, many competitors agree they'll come back to compete in the games.

DuTeau said the next Wildwood Games will most likely be taking place in  May 2015, so if you missed the games this year, you may want to start training now for the next games.

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