Ski to Sea Fanaticism


I know this blog has been a little quiet for several days, and I apologize.  After my last post about our wine tasting party, I got a sinus infection and was down for the count, plus it has been insanely busy at work, and then there was that little thing called Ski to Sea.

Ski to Sea, if you aren’t familiar, is our town’s version of a spring festival.  It’s a two week long celebration that includes a kiddie parade, a Grand Parade, a Carnival, a kiddie race, an adult race, and a Beer Garden.  I think the Beer Garden is the best part!  Anyway, Ski to Sea has been part of the tradition since I was a baby, but the last several years Jon and I have done what wise locals do and ske-daddled out of town for Memorial Day Weekend.  However, this year, Jon and I are saving up for a nine day vacation that is coming up (a first honeymoon of sorts – since we haven’t had one yet), and we decided to forego our Memorial Day wine tasting trip and stick around home for a change.

The groundwork had already been laid for staying home when Jon got a text from an old friend of his a couple of weeks ago asking if he was going to be around, and if Jon would consider taking over the running leg for a team in the Ski to Sea race.  The friend has gotten injured and wasn’t sure if he would be healed by race day.  Jon said he would, thinking the friend would surely heal up by the time of the race.  Alas, it was not to be.  So that’s how Jon came to be running in the Ski to Sea race 2012.  Again, a bit of background for the unfamiliar.  The Ski to Sea race is a 93.5 mile relay race consisting of 7 legs and 8 team members.  It starts at the ski area on Mount Baker and goes all the way down to the bay.  Cross country skiing, downhill skiing, running, road biking, canoeing, mountain biking and sea kayaking.  If you are wondering why 7 legs and 8 people, wonder no more.  The canoe is a two-person canoe.

So, now Jon is on the team – little did he know this commitment would basically require the entire weekend.  Saturday night was the pre-race party and logistical meeting.  Yes, they have to coordinate timing, carpools and “who needs to take whose stuff” so they will have warm clothes to change into after the race.  Then the final sentence.  To make the start of the race, they have to leave town by 4:45 am.  So Jon had to get up at 3:45 to get ready and be at his friend’s house at 4:30 to get to the other friend’s house by 4:45.  Yikes.  I considered going along for the ride, to be a supportive wife and cheer him on, but I was secretly elated when I found out the carpool car was full.  Well, maybe not so “secretly”.

You see the trouble with the early legs of the race is that they close the road to the mountain.  So even though Jon’s part of the relay would likely start at 8:30 – 8:45 am-ish, he had to be at the top of the mountain with the carpool at 7.  Then after the running leg of the race (which took him about 45 minutes), he had to wait until they reopened the road so the carpool could come back down the mountain to pick him up.  The road reopened at 10:30, so Jon had to wait another hour and a half after he was done running (hence the need for the warm clothes logistics).  All in all, Jon left the house around 4:20 in the morning and didn’t get back until after 1 pm.  All to run 45 minutes!  You can see why I so gracefully bowed out!

Jon did well, but says the running leg was brutal.  8 miles down a mountain – a 2280 foot drop in elevation.  Another team member calculated that with an average man’s running stride, the drop was nine inches per stride.  Ouch!  Jon was sore in the quads for days – actually a week later he is still a bit sore.  But the bright side is that their team got 2nd in their Division, and 20th overall (out of 500 teams)!  Yay Jon!  Not bad for a last minute substitution and no practice running downhill!  And I got a rather quiet day all to myself!  If I didn’t give you enough of a preview, and you want to read more about Ski to Sea

Jon’s 2nd Place Win Plaque!

After the race, in the evening, we went to a party at one of the team member’s house.  These were folks who were very cool, but didn’t seem to like wine, so sadly I had a weekend of drinking beer.  It’s been a long time since I had a Bud Light…  It reminded me that there’s a reason I don’t drink them – micro-brews and wine are much better!

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3 thoughts on “Ski to Sea Fanaticism

  1. I am still so proud that Jon’s team got 2nd place and 20th overall!!! I fee like I know a Bellebrity — a Bellingham celebrity 🙂
    Eww budlight. that is all I have to say about that.
    Thank goodness for full carpools that would have made for a very long day.

    • Budlight ewww… Agreed. I thought that’s why we grew up and become professionals, so we didn’t have to drink budlight! These guys were all doctors, dentists, lawyers and other professional-type-folk too!

  2. Pingback: The Mountain Runners | Wine and History Visited

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