Friday, May 19th, 2017
SKI to SEA Kicks Off Race Season in Bellingham and 12 Weeks of Summer Events
Todd Elsworth

Each weekend in and around Bellingham there is inevitably a race or some fun outdoors event that brings the community and visitors together to enjoy sports and our recreational bounty. The full scope is outlined at BasecampBellingham.org .

The “Grand Daddy” of them all is the iconic SKI to SEA Race on the Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend each May.

SkitoSea16Map

The team relay race starts at the Mount Baker Ski Area and finishes at Fairhaven’s Marine Park. Up the street is the added fun of the FAIRHAVEN FESTIVAL with live music, vendors and children’s activities.

SKI to SEA was founded in 1973 by Bellingham Chamber of Commerce committee member and Olympic medal winning skier, Franz Gabl. Gabl, wanting to revive the 1911 Mount Baker Marathon drew inspiration from a multi-sport relay in Switzerland. As a result, the Ski to Sea Race is a draw for people from around the globe.

Sunday, May 28
The Ski to Sea Race is a multi-sport relay race open to all persons 15 years or older. A team consists of 8 racers (2 in the canoe leg) for the seven race legs. Pick Your Leg!

S2Slegs

Bellingham Races June – August 2017

The various legs of Ski to Sea highlight the human -powered outdoor recreation that flourishes here: running, mountain biking, cycling, paddling, kayaking, downhill skiing / snowboarding, and cross country skiing. While the last two are limited to winter months, the first five are especially abundant in the summer.

Here’s a list of summer races in Bellingham to enjoy as a competitor or a spectator.

Saturday, June 3
Girls on the Run Spring 5K
Girls on the Run encourages positive emotional, social, mental and physical development. Participants explore and discuss their own beliefs around experiences and challenges girls face at this age. Designed to allow every girl to recognize her inner strength, the Girls on the Run curriculum inspires girls to define their lives on their own terms.

Saturday, June 10
Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day
IMBA’s Take A Kid Mountain Biking Day strives to encourage communities in the U.S.A. and around the world to join together and ride mountain bikes with kids. Take A Kid Mountain Biking Day (#TKMBD) events range in size from a few kids and families to several hundred gathering at a local park or trailhead. Free to the public. Hosted by WMBC and RRAD!

WMBCTakeaKID

Saturday, June 17
Bellingham Canoe and Kayak Sprint Team – Bellingham Regatta is open to sprint canoe and kayak, surfski, OC, and SUP. There will be 200m, 500m, 1000m, 2K and 5K races. The Regatta is open to all ages.

Saturday, June 24
The Padden Triathlon is an excellent first, second or twenty-second triathlon. Our course is simple, beautiful and well staffed. In an effort to make this a race you’ll enjoy year after year, we’ve made everything as simple as possible, so on race day you can focus on the event. Our goal is to make the Padden Triathlon the best organized, most affordable, chip timed event you’ll do all summer.

Saturday, July 8
Chuckanut Footrace– This point-to-point, seven-mile trail race starts at Marine Park in south Bellingham and finishes at Larrabee State Park, the oldest state park in Washington. The course follows the legendary Interurban Trail, which threads through the Chuckanut Mountains and features gorgeous views of Chuckanut Bay and the San Juan Islands. View the course map here. Buses will take runners back to the finish line and will leave with regularity. The finish-line party at Larrabee State Park will include live music, food, and drink. Age-group awards will be given, three deep in each five-year category. Top three male and female finishers will also be recognized.

NEW!
Saturday, July 15
Lake Whatcom Triathlon -Olympic-distance triathlon comes alive again this year with the Lake Whatcom Triathlon (LWT), an official timed event that welcomes athletes and relay teams. The race includes a 1500-meter swim on Lake Whatcom, 40km bike ride along North Shore Drive and Y Road, and a 10km run around the trails of Whatcom Falls Park, with the transition area and start/finish lines at Bloedel Donovan Park. The event will draw beginner to elite athletes, in individual and relay divisions, and will include a vendor area for athletes and spectators.

Friday, July 14 – 15
RAGNAR – Northwest Passage from Blaine, WA to Langley, WA.
RAGNAR – Northwest Passage– For centuries, explorers, Vikings, and adventurers sought to navigate the illusive Northwest Passage. Today, a similarly daunting journey takes place for participants of the Ragnar Relay Northwest Passage! You’ll begin your journey in the city of Blaine, then run relay style from point to point along a course designed by runners for runners. The gently rolling countryside will offer spectacular views, charming shops and quaint villages, and a peaceful starry night sky above. Runners traverse all the way to the coast then they will cross Deception Pass and finish in Langely, WA where the festivities of the Ragnar Finish Line await your team. This course is designed for runners who love to take it all in, and we are limiting the number of teams allowed to 500. This late summer adventure will sell out, so get in and secure your team’s spot today.

Saturday, July 22
Northwest Run-Archery Classic
Hamster Endurance Running is directing the second Run-Archery competition in the US. Competitive and Novice categories. Bringing together two great sports in this biathlon style adventure. Family friendly, with special family and youth pricing.

Saturday, July 29
Tour de Whatcom– The rides are awesome. You get to see everything: Mt Baker, Lake Whatcom, valleys, rivers, lush farmland, beaches and Puget Sound all in one fairly level ride. Whatcom Events is proud to be working with Whatcom Community College on a one-time ride offered only in 2017. We will honor Whatcom Community College’s 50th anniversary by linking several of the College’s early county locations in a ride that will be approximately 50 miles long. Details are still in the works for this ride but registration now open. We’ll have a route map and more information posted here soon. Visit whatcom.edu/50 for a complete event schedule.

TourdeWhatcom

 

Sunday, August 6
Bellingham Youth Triathlon has been initiating kids to the sport of triathlon since 1999. We work hard to create an environment of accomplishment for everyone involved. Each participant is awarded a medal as they cross the finish line, we encourage everyone to stay for the prize drawing at the finish where pretty much everyone wins something fun.

Friday, August 18 – 19
RSVP – Ride from Seattle to Vancouver BC & Party – Enjoy 188 miles of scenic back roads (106 miles/3500′ on day one and 82 miles/2400′ on day two). You start at the north end of the University of Washington’s E1 parking lot, spend the night in Bellingham, and finish in downtown Vancouver, Canada, the next day. The finish line festival includes a no-host bar, barbecue and music.

Saturday, August 26
WONDERMUD will feature: 22 dirty obstacles including 8 mud pits that combine athletic stamina and your childhood fantasy of playing in the mud. You will need endurance to complete the course, humility to wallow in the mud and a smile to show off at the finish line. The 2017 course is approximately 1.75 miles and will take anywhere between 30-60 minutes to complete.

Wondermud

Sunday, August 27
Chuckanut Classic -(formerly Chuckanut Century) is the Mount Baker Bicycle Club’s signature ride. Come ride one of the most scenic rides in Washington. With many routes offered you can pick your distance ranging from 25, 50, 62, 100, or the double metric century of 124 miles.

For a complete list of races and events in and around Bellingham check out the Bellingham Whatcom Tourism Event Calendar.

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About the Author:

As the Executive Director of Recreation Northwest and the founder of the Bellingham Traverse and co-founder of Kulshan Quest Adventure Race, Todd promotes outdoor recreation and brings people together to enjoy, preserve and improve the places where we play. He enjoys biking, hiking, paddling, skiing and will try anything twice. Get connected at RecreationNorthwest.org.