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The Mountain Runners Film Screening
May 24 @ 6:00 pm - 8:05 pm
Watch the movie “The Mountain Runners,” at the Pickford Film Center, in anticipation of the opening of the Museum’s exhibit, “Mountain Runners: America’s First Endurance Race and its Legacy Today.” The film tells the story of the Mount Baker Marathon, America’s first mountain endurance/adventure foot race. First run in 1911, the grueling 28-to-32-mile race to the glacial summit of Mt. Baker and back lasted only three years due to its dangers.
Mountain Runners: America’s First Endurance Race and its Legacy Today
May 27 – September 10, 2023 | Old City Hall
On Thursday, August 9, 1911, as the hour of 10 p.m. fast approached, 20,000 spectators swarmed the streets of Bellingham to witness 14 contestants embark on the first recorded mountain adventure race in American history. Competitors raced from the bay city at outrageous speeds aboard stripped-down automobiles and an old Iron Horse toward two competing trailheads at the foot of Mt. Baker. Disembarking from their contrivances, they ran in darkness through dense forest, on snow and ice fields, over glaciers and crevasses, against savage storms and whiteout conditions to the 10,781-foot summit and back again. All for a cash prize in gold. No one could have predicted a year earlier that the opening of the Mt. Baker wilderness to tourism, development and potential national park status would depend in part, on the outcome of a race involving loggers, laborers, coal miners and packers, a student, a timber-cruiser, a wrestler, a poultry breeder and a bedspring maker.