Monday, June 02, 2008

Ski to Sea 2008

About a year ago SLF asked me if I wanted to get a team together for Ski to Sea in Bellingham. This event is well attended and very competitive – a fact I did not know until we signed up. I am always up for trying new things so of course I told him I would participate and help in any way I could.

Ski to Sea is a multisport relay race from the “top” of Mt Baker to the “sea” in Bellingham Bay. It is something like 140 miles. It starts with a four mile cross country ski, then a climb up a hill and downhill ski down, then an eight mile downhill run, a 27 mile rolling road bike course, 18 mile canoe, an eight mile mountain bike to the final kayak course. SLF got all of the legs covered except the canoe leg and the cross country ski so I called Kristen in MN and asked her if she wanted to participate and talked Sam (easily mind you) into using the canoe he built to paddle with me for the canoe leg.

Sam and Kim had the great idea of camping up in Bellingham for the weekend. It was Memorial Day weekend so we all had Monday off. I reserved a spot at Larrabee State Park (I learned yesterday Larrabee is the first state park in Washington – thanks Adrienne) and the four of us and Mack went up and camped Saturday night to Monday. I don’t know if it was because it was the first camping trip of the year, the wonderful weather, the very nice campsite (especially for a state park), the company or what but I couldn’t have had more fun.

The weather had turned hot a few weeks before and the race organizers were very concerned about the river. We were told well in advance that there was a chance the canoe leg would be canceled. I took Kristen, who had a stress fracture in her foot mind you, to meet SLF and they went up the mountain. Meanwhile, Sam, Kim, Mack and I took the canoe to a nice little park in Everson. While we were waiting for the prerace meeting we ran into Will Schmautz a friend of mine from college who was there with a team. Some of his team members were also guys I knew from college. It was so great to see him and catch up a little. His team was decent. They got 7th. ha Not surprising. Eventually, the race organizers decided the river was too high and cancelled the canoe leg of the race. Sam and I were very disappointed but it was better to do that than to drown in the Nooksack. I mean seriously, if I am going to die in a river I would rather have it have a better name than Nooksack. We did still get to participate however. Sam laced up his running shoes and took the timing chip from our road biker and ran it 20 feet over the timing mat. He didn’t even fall like a lot of people so we definitely were invaluable members of our team.

Kristen did great – broken foot and all - and our team did ok. We finished ahead of over 100 teams and seeing as SLF didn’t have a very strong leg I would say the rest of our team rocked.

Sunday afternoon we went and walked around the beach by Larrabee and we thoroughly wore Mack out as you can see from this picture:

We saw lots of Sea Stars and enjoyed getting to be on the water. On Monday we woke up to wet weather so we packed up a camp a little more quickly than we probably would have and headed home. Kristen and I ended up napping and doing laundry and just spending time together. Her visit made me very excited for my week in MN/WI the end of June.

Next year, Sam and I have decided we want to put a team of our crew together. Claim your portion of the race soon!

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