April 18, 2018 / Corinne Whiting / 1889 Washington's Magazine

Race Day: Ski To Sea - Feeling the Rush from Baker to Bellingham

Talk to folk in Bellingham about the annual Ski to Sea event and the excitement is palpable. Dubbed the original adventure race, this team relay from the Mt. Baker Ski Area to Bellingham Bay comes steeped in history (it had its first run in 1973) and enveloped in beauty. With a stunning course that winds through Washington's Whatcom County, the much-anticipated gathering happens annually on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. It draws racers, spectators and tourists from around the globe-and culminate in a massive party. "Ski to Sea is a truly iconic Northwest event;' race director Anna Rankin said. "This May will be our forty-sixth year!" The race has traditionally featured teams of eight competing in seven different sports: cross-country ski, downhill ski/snowboard, running, road bike, canoe (two paddlers), cyclocross bike and sea kayak. Beginning this year, racers can participate in up to three legs (for one team or multiple teams.) Teams now consist of a minimum of three racers and a maximum of eight. The 96-mile course breaks down like this-a 4-mile cross-country ski starts the course, followed by a 2.5- mile downhill ski or snowboard. After an 8-mile run, racers complete a 42- mile bike leg. The fifth leg is a two­person, 18.5-mile canoe trip, followed by a 14-mile cyclocross bike leg and finishing with a 5-mile sea kayak journey. Read full feature here. 

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