The Junior Ski to Sea is set to return this year on Saturday, May 13 after a three-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic and will look a little more like the race it emulates.
Whatcom Events, the event planner that organizes Ski to Sea, Mt. Baker Hill Climb and other events in Whatcom County, has added a downhill ski or snowboard leg and a kayak leg to the now four-leg relay race. The ski/snowboard leg will virtually handoff from Mt. Baker Ski Area to Lake Padden where the run, mountain bike and kayak legs will take place.
Assistant race director Sarah Beck said the race organizers are hoping to have over 60 teams compete in this new format of the race.
“The purpose of the approach was to introduce kids to the lifelong recreational activities that are so unique to Whatcom County,” Beck said.
The race is open to third to 12th grades, or children eight to 18 years old, with three divisions of varying distances and three subdivisions based on gender. The relay legs range from a half-mile to nearly three miles, the mountain bike leg being the longest at 2.7 miles for the middle and high school divisions.
Whatcom Events has partnered with other local nonprofits to provide equipment for racers at no charge and will also have team scholarship opportunities available, according to a March 8 news release. Instructional clinics for the bike and kayak legs may also be available to help better prepare racers.
Registration is open and more information can be found on the skitosea.com/jrrace. Kids looking to join a team or teams looking for a racer are encouraged to use the race message board at bit.ly/41YA4Jn.