Friday, September 13th, 2013
Racers Ready? September Run, Bike and Paddle Events in Bellingham/Whatcom County
Todd Elsworth

September in Whatcom County is packed with fun events that get you outside and active. The races that take place during the month showcase some of the best ways to get out and play around here- Road Biking РRide 542; Running РFairhaven 15K; Road Biking- Chuckanut Century; Row and Paddle- Samish Row & Paddle; Multi-sport Relay (Running, Mountain Biking, Road Biking, Trail Running, Paddling, and a Team Trek) Bellingham Traverse; and Running in The Bellingham Bay Marathon.  Check them out below.

Ride 542 – Mt. Baker Hill Climb

Sunday, September 8th – Ride 542 – “Most riders choose to ride up 24.5 miles, grab some food and their gear then coast back down to Glacier for a 50 mile day (the ride down is NOT timed).¬† Some riders will be doing 100 miles with two full laps (the U-DUMB riders – Up Down and Up Mt. Baker). The RIDE 542 course showcases the Mt. Baker Highway, a.k.a SR 542. The route winds up and along the¬†Nooksack River, through giant old growth cedar groves dripping with vibrant moss, and passes under calving glaciers and countless alpine peaks. 4,300+ ft. of climbing mark the course, with gradual grades dominating until the last 2.5 mi. where the road turns skyward. 23 miles are through undeveloped wilderness area managed by the¬†USDA Forest Service and Washington Department of Transportation. It all ends at Artist Point– the western most access to the North Cascades National Park and the view is awesome.”¬†Hosted by NORKA Recreation.

Ride 542

Tim Chandonnet Photography

Fairhaven Runners 15 K

Saturday, September 14thFairhaven Runners 15K – “If you are looking for one of our community’s best events, this 15K (9.3 miles) will be one to remember.¬† The course winds along Bellingham Bay featuring well staffed aid stations, awards, food, entertainment, chip timing, tech shirt and good times.¬† Our cut off times are generous enough for walkers averaging 19 minutes per mile or better.¬† Registration will be capped at 1000 people, so register early.” Hosted by City of Bellingham Parks & Recreation.

Fairhaven 15K

Tyler Mitchell Photography

Chuckanut Century

Sunday, September 15 “The 2013 Chuckanut Century¬† ride is one of the most scenic rides in Washington. With many routes offered, you can pick your distance ranging from 25, 38, 50, 62, 100, or the double metric century of 124 miles. Although all cyclists should be fully prepared when they take to the roads you can enjoy the added security of knowing that there is ride support if needed and food stops with a wide variety of high-energy food and drinks along all of the routes.

No matter which route you choose, you’ll be treated to Whatcom County’s finest roads and sights. As you ride the south loop you’ll have views of the San Juan Islands while overlooking Bellingham, Samish, and Padilla Bays along with stunning views of Chuckanut and Blanchard mountains, also known as “where the Cascade mountains meet the sea.” The north loop offers spectacular views of Mt Baker as it stretches to meet the sky at 10,781 feet, as well as incredible views of the Canadian Cascades, Mt Shuksan, the Twin Sisters, Birch Bay, and Vancouver Island.

The 25 mile loop is perfect for the family, parent and child, or the first timer to an organized event. All routes start and finish at the legendary Boundary Bay Brewery.” Hosted by Mt. Baker Bicycle Club

Samish Row & Paddle

Saturday September 21 – 9:20 am
Come join The Samish Row & Paddle  for one of the most popular paddling & rowing races on the West Coast. Lake Samish is a beautiful venue, with great spectating, protected water and great race headquarters and facilities. There are more than a dozen different racing classes for all levels of competition; from recreational paddlers to Olympic athletes.

Bellingham Traverse

Saturday September 21 – 12:00 pm
The Bellingham Traverse is a multi-sport event celebrating the life cycle of wild salmon and the natural and urban challenges of their journey. Solo, tandem and relay teams challenge themselves and one another on a rugged course that highlights the City of Bellingham’s Parks, Greenways System, bike-friendly roads, and open water opportunities for recreation. The Traverse Course includes a 5.5 mi. Greenways Run, 6 mi. Mountain Bike, 18 mi. Road Bike, 3.4 mi. Trail Run, 3.6 mi. Paddle, 0.65 mi. Team TREK to the finish at Boundary Bay Brewery.

Check out the maps of each leg¬†and watch¬†NWTraverse TV¬†to see what it’s all about.” Hosted by Recreation Northwest.

Traverse Paddle

Pat Kennedy Photography

Bellingham Bay Marathon

Sunday September 29
The Bellingham Bay Marathon – Come experience the natural beauty of Bellingham Bay, San Juan Islands, mountain views and a touch of trail in Bellingham, Washington. Enjoy what many runners have commented is “the most beautiful marathon in the Pacific Northwest.


Looking for more local and regional races, check in at or Recreation Northwest Event Calendar.

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About the Author:

As the co-Executive Director of Recreation Northwest and the founder of the Bellingham Traverse, 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

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