In what promises to be another annual Ski to Sea tradition, race promoters are now waiving the entry fee for a select community non-profit team.
This year, the honor goes to “Resolutionaries,” a team from the Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center.
Race director Anna Rankin said another team contacted her about possible discounts for non-profit teams, but since there were no discounts on the entry fee, which can run up to $699, she went to the race’s board of directors with the idea. They liked it.
Now, each year, teams from local non-profits can submit applications for why they should be chosen to be highlighted.
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Only three submissions were returned this year, mostly because the idea was promoted for just a few weeks before Ski to Sea’s board had to select a winner.
“When you have an important message that you’re trying to get out to the community, and you want to do that through an event like this, but can’t necessarily afford the entry fee, I think it’s important for us to help people do the race and be able to get their message across,” Rankin said.
We’re thrilled by the opportunity. Everyone at the center is really excited to be a part of (it).
WDRC outreach coordinator Iris Maute-Gibson
The chosen team can pick any division to compete in, and “Resolutionaries” will take part in the Women’s Competitive division.
While it’s the first Ski to Sea for the WDRC, the team’s members—who range in age from 26 to their late 40s— all have previous race experience.
Iris Maute-Gibson, WDRC’s outreach coordinator, is starting her sixth Ski to Sea race. This year, she’ll be taking part in the canoe leg with Rifka MacDonald.
Also participating are: Courtney Viladas (cross-country ski), Taryn Born (snowboard), Jen Lamb (running), Danita Dunlap (road bike), Marissa McGrath (sea kayak) and Lean Macaluso (cyclocross).
While only Maute-Gibson and Macaluso are WDRC staff members, the other team members have contributed to or volunteered with the WRDC in the past.
Despite the fact that competition seems at odds with the notion of dispute resolution, Maute-Gibson said WDRC actually believes the opposite.
When you have an important message that you’re trying to get out to the community ... I think it’s important for us to help people do the race and be able to get their message across.
Ski to Sea race director Anna Rankin
In fact, the organization puts on several popular events highlighting healthy competition, including a bocce ball tournament held each May at the SportsPlex. Maute-Gibson said it’s the largest in the Pacific Northwest, drawing dozens of 4-person teams.
The WDRC also holds a cribbage tournament at Boundary Bay Brewery each September, as well as a “Wander to Wander 1K” that consists of running 0.62 miles down Cornwall Avenue from Johnny’s Donuts to Wander Brewery.
In addition to competing, the WDRC will host a table at the Village Green in Fairhaven during the Fairhaven Festival and offering several raffle items, including a free Porsche rental and a stay at the Chrysalis Inn and Spa.
Other staff members will help put on a potluck the night before the race or help drive, shuttling people where they need to go during the race.
“We’re thrilled by the opportunity,” Maute-Gibson said. “Everyone at the center is really excited to be a part of (it).”