Monday, May 28, 2012

Ski to Sea Relay Race

Each year Bellingham hosts the Ski to Sea relay race. It begins way up on Mt. Baker and winds its way down for about 100 miles to the shores of Bellingham Bay in Fairhaven.

It's not your average relay race. The course involves several modes of transportation with teams that specialize in each. It begins with a 4 mile cross-country ski followed by a 2.5 mile downhill ski or snowboard loop. The next leg goes to a runner going downhill 2,200 feet over eight miles until the bicycle leg begins for another 42 miles.

At Everson, the canoe team takes over and paddles down the Nooksack River (a bit fast and full right now) to Ferndale 18.5 miles away. After they pull ashore, the mountain bike team member takes off for a hard 12 mile peddle to Squalicum Harbor in Bellingham. That's where Wayne and I watched the race. Colourful kayaks were lined up and waiting for their mountain biker to arrive so they could launch.

I know all of the legs were grueling, but Sunday on Bellingham Bay was not the best time for kayaking.

Once they rounded the breakwater it was 2 to 3-foot waves all the way across. Some overturned and some turned back. At least there were lots of boats watching along the way to provide assistance if needed.

Those were some tough kayakers! They sure deserved a cold (or maybe warm) one when they got to Fairhaven. -- Margy

4 comments:

  1. It doesn't get much more exciting than that, Margy. Wow!
    — K

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

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  2. That's a hard days work! Your new boat looks like it will be a lot of fun! We made the weather jump to mid summer this weekend - 97 yesterday.

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  3. I admire athletes. Anyone participating in this race would have to be multi-talented!

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  4. Such a unique race - I would imagine it would be interesting to watch. The kayaking over the big waves would be tough. I much prefer to kayak on calm waters.

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