Those who aren't competing in this year's Ski to Sea race still can turn out to watch the action at various points or just head to the Fairhaven Festival not far from the finish line.
The 93-mile, seven-leg relay race Sunday, May 26, goes from Mt. Baker Ski Area to Marine Park in Bellingham, where the kayakers who finish the last leg sprint up the beach to ring a bell.
Best place to watch canoe leg: Any of the bridges over the Nooksack River between Everson and Ferndale; shorelines near the Guide Meridian and Hannegan bridges.
Best place to watch mountain bike leg: The Marine Drive trail system, near the end of the leg.
Best place to watch kayak leg: The finish at Marine Park in Fairhaven. There are other views from Zuanich Point Park and Boulevard Park.
Course conditions are expected to be smooth, with good snow on the mountain, not much mud on the mountain bike trail and a Nooksack River running low and slow for the canoe leg.
The first finishers cross the line in the early afternoon. With nearly 500 teams competing at various athletic levels, teams will dribble in over a few hours.
In addition to the beer garden at the finish line, a special ceremony will be held to honor a team full of injured combat veterans. The awards ceremony will be at 6 p.m.
The Fairhaven Festival has its own beer garden along with live music, commercial and crafts vendors and lots of food options. The festival opens at 10 a.m., with the beer pouring starting at noon.
Parking at the finish line, festival and kayak launch area of Zuanich Point Park is always difficult, so shuttles are offered.
Two separate routes:
Western Washington University (C lot by the Wade King Recreation Center) to Fairhaven;
Downtown (Boundary Bay Brewery) goes to Zuanich Point Park (Coho/Roeder Avenue) or Fairhaven (12th Street and McKenzie Avenue).
Shuttle departs from each location every 15 minutes from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. (except Zuanich, last shuttle leaves at 6 p.m.). Last shuttle departs Fairhaven at 8 p.m. to WWU and downtown.
Cost is $3 for an unlimited ride ticket for the day, exact change only. Tickets will be sold at WWU C Lot and in front of Boundary Bay Brewery.