It’s party time in Bellingham, It’s Ski to Sea week, the race, parties, parades.
The first modern day Ski to Sea race was run in 1973, but it’s origins runs back to 1911. It is a seven-legged, 93-mile (150 km) long, team relay race from the Mt. Baker Ski Area to Bellingham Bay.
The race is held every year on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend in Whatcom County, Washington starting at the Mount Baker ski area and runs through the towns of Glacier, Maple Falls, Kendall, Everson, Lynden, and Ferndale, finishing at Marine Park in the historic district of Fairhaven in Bellingham.
Although everyone races on the same course, teams are segmented into eight divisions: Competitive, Whatcom County, Recreational, High School, Masters, Veterans, Family, and Corporate.
The Ski to Sea Race from Mt. Baker to Bellingham Bay dates back to the Mt. Baker Marathon held from 1911 to 1913. The marathon pitted man and machine against rugged terrain of Whatcom County, taking participants over treacherous roads and trails to the top of the mountain and back.
The foot race to the top of Mt. Baker was a publicity stunt focusing the government’s attentions on the region, with an eye toward getting the North Cascades area designated as part of the National Park System.
It was in 1973 that the Mt. Baker Marathon was reborn and renamed the Ski to Sea Race. The relay race was designed to showcase the recreational opportunities and beauty of Whatcom County. The Race attracts participants from all over the world.
Image Courtesy of michaelastley via flickr.com