Ski to Sea: A Scenic Showcase of the Northwest

It requires mental fortitude, physical stamina, group cohesion, and most importantly a clever team name.

For over 40 years the Ski to Sea relay has been sending 'NW Male and Female Action Figures' scrambling 90 miles from the slopes of Mt. Baker to the Puget Sound. Through mud, snow, rivers and winding mountain roads, the scenic route showcases the diverse assembly of recreational activities in the Northwest. This past Sunday, Peter, Danielle, and I drove the WALLY1 van to the village of Fairhaven on the edge of Bellingham Bay to celebrate the finish of the epic race at Marine Park.

Throughout the afternoon, neoprene racers, doing their best to represent the accumulated exhaustion of their teammates, beached their kayaks and sprinted up the shore to ring the finish bell. We had a chance to meet a few of the ruddy-cheeked adventurers, like Anna and Brad, who stopped for a photo at our Northwest Profiles Photo Program. Anna roped Brad into paddling the kayak section for their team, The Hustle, just two days prior. 'He was the only one with kayaking experience,' Anna said. 'Yeah, but I've only kayaked twice,' Brad quipped.

With team names like Nooksackulous, Grub's Pain Brigade, and Solar Powered Chainsaw, the distinctive flair of the Northwest was on full display at Ski to Sea.

See for yourself in our favorite photos from the event:

Craig, from Tri-Cities, on recumbent bike
Craig, from Tri-Cities, wants to start the Ski to Sea's first recumbent bike leg.

Rob, from team Nitro Paced, with bicycle
'There's just enough mud on the course to make you look good. It only takes a little,' says Rob from team Nitro Paced.

Team Grub's Pain Brigade
Tom, Captain of team Grub's Pain Brigade, had this to say about group cohesion: 'Just make sure you're not in the bathroom when the other guy shows up.'

Anna and Brad posing with wood carving
Anna, posing with Brad, braved a pack of 464 cross-country skiers in the crowded race start. Yikes, that's 928 ski poles!

Trophies made from recycled sports equipment
Relentless recyclers lent their artistic vision to one-of-a-kind trophies made from recycled sports equipment. The trophies were given to the top finishers in each leg of the race.

Look for us next on June 4th as we join Stan McNaughton, President and CEO of PEMCO Insurance, at Relay for Life in Arlington.

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