Sunday, May 25, 2008

Ski to Sea

The annual Ski to Sea Race from Mt. Baker to Bellingham Bay can be traced back to the Mt. Baker Marathon held from 1911 to 1913.
In 1973, the Mt. Baker Marathon was recreated and called the Ski to Sea Race. The Race, now a relay, was designed to showcase the recreational opportunities in Whatcom County. The Race has evolved into the "Grand Daddy" of all races, attracting participants from all over the world. In 2005, the Ski to Sea Race was featured nationally on the "Fox Sports Northwest" network, reaching 3.2 million households.

Every Memorial Day weekend teams come from as far as Japan to participate in the Ski to Sea. The legs of the race are as follows.

Cross Country Ski - 4 miles
Downhill Ski - 2.5 miles
Run - 8 miles
Road Bike - 36 miles
Canoe - 18 miles
Mt. Bike - 9 miles
Sea Kayak - 5 miles

Today was my first exposure to the event. I agreed to do the canoe leg with a friend from the gym. However, at 10:30 this morning they announced that the leg was cancelled because of dangerous conditions on the Nooksack River. This was the first time they have ever cancelled the canoe leg of the race. Yesterday's and today's high temperatures caused a lot of snow melt from Mt. Baker, which sent water levels high and fast.

(Finish line for the Road Bikes.)

(If you look really hard you can see Guy and I executing the time chip hand off.)
(I am dashing to the time chip pad to stop the clock for the road biker. If the canoe leg had been going on we would run to our canoe, haul it to the river and head 18 miles down stream to Ferndale.)
(More exchange pictures)

Nooksack River

Lonely Canoes

Emilie and I

Final leg of the race.

The Kayaker gets to ring the bell when they cross the finish line.

What a long day! Our team finished 2nd in the Competitive Mixed Team division with a time of 7 hours and 25 minutes.


Alice said...

Sorry your leg of the competition was cancelled. Your dad told me about it Sat. night. I was hopeing you guys would be able to show them what you had. A second place win is really something to brag about. Great pictures and it sounds as if you guys are having fun and enjoying all the neat things Bellingham has to offer.

Tanya and Michael said...

Wow, that looks like SO much fun! I can't wait to be living there this time next year and try out this awesome race. I would have loved to have been there already! (And sorry your canoe was 'snow-melted out'. Bummer.