Families

New location, same fun for this cherished Whatcom County family activity

The 2014 Junior Ski to Sea Race featured a sack race. The 2018 Junior Ski to Sea Race will be held on May 19 at Zuanich Point Park, featuring running, Hula Hoop partner race, biking, soccer and an obstacle course.
The 2014 Junior Ski to Sea Race featured a sack race. The 2018 Junior Ski to Sea Race will be held on May 19 at Zuanich Point Park, featuring running, Hula Hoop partner race, biking, soccer and an obstacle course. The Bellingham Herald file

The Junior Ski to Sea Race is an annual tradition in Bellingham. It helps reinforce a sense of community and it encourages athleticism and teamwork, said Shelli Jones, marketing coordinator for the Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

The Junior Ski to Sea Race is an annual relay race organized and hosted by the Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber of Commerce & Industry. It’s for participants who are in third grade or older.

“Area children can’t wait to be old enough to compete,” Jones said. “They watch their older siblings form their 6-person team, choose a fun team name, decide on a theme, design T-shirts or costumes and practice their individual legs.”

The 2018 Junior Ski to Sea Race will be held on May 19 at Zuanich Point Park on the Bellingham waterfront.

“At the Bellingham Chamber of Commerce, we look forward to the community involvement,” Jones said. “Parents and children stop by our office, excited to share with us their team name or theme. In some cases, we’ve seen kids compete as third graders and now they’re in eighth grade.”

Each year, six-member teams register to participate in a five-leg race consisting of running, Hula Hoop partner race, biking, soccer and an obstacle course.

There are three races and three divisions per race:

▪  Morning elementary race for third-, fourth- and fifth-graders starts at 8 a.m. with check-in and course walk-through; the race begins at 9 a.m.

▪  Middle school race for sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders and community race for anyone in third grade and older, starts at 11 a.m. with check-in and course walk-through; the race begins at noon.

▪ Afternoon elementary race for third-, fourth- and fifth-graders starts at 1:15 p.m. with check-in and course walk-through; the race begins at 2:15 p.m.

“2018 will be exciting since we are moving the race to Zuanich Point Park in Bellingham,” Jones said. “There will be construction at Lake Padden this spring, and Bellingham Parks Department asked us to relocate the race this year. We’re very excited to develop the race course along the Bellingham waterfront. We’ll have more space for food truck vendors, and we’ll be using the Squalicum Boathouse for a special kids’ event.”

This year, there is also a design contest so kids in grades 3-8 can enter a design to be on the official race T-shirts that go to every racer.

“This is a fun way to get more kids involved and excited about the race,” Jones said.

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