Ahhh Ski to Sea, the epic Memorial Day tradition in Bellingham. This is a seven-legged, 100-mile (160 km) long, multi-event race that starts on the ski slopes of Mount Baker, a 10,800-foot (3,300 m) volcano, and ends at Marine Park in Fairhaven, on the shore of Bellingham Bay. The race is made up of seven legs: cross country skiing, downhill skiing, running, bicycling, canoeing, mountain biking, and sea kayaking. This year was the 100th Anniversary of the race, and my 5th time participating. I was on a team from work, and had a great time as the cross country skier. I have done the canoe leg 3 times, but last year switched to cross country ski to experience the mountain section of the course. I am a convert! I love being on the mountain, and as the starting leg of the event it is really neat to experience the rush when the canon starts the race.
Sunday morning was early (leaving the house at 4:45…ug!) but was stunningly beautiful and clear up on Mt. Baker. The cross country course was perfect, the snow was not too icy and still not too soft. I only had one big crash…with the bruise to prove it…and completed my leg in 46:54…345th place overall. Exactly where I thought I would be. After last year’s equipment disaster it was nice to have a good baseline time to compete against next year.
The rest of the race went well. All of my teammates were happy with their individual results, and we ended up only finishing 7 places behind the other team from work. Awesome! Unfortunately the cancelled the kayak leg due to conditions (we were glad about this since our kayaker was a beginner) but it was a bummer that he could not race.
It was such a fun weekend. I am already counting down till next year!