Interview : Bellingham Bay Marathon

21 Mar 2015 07:00
Jean-Loup Fenaux
Focus on a race Interview
Credit : Adrenaline Event Photography

Hello, on September 27th 2015, you’ll be organizing the Bellingham Bay Marathon. Can you tell us where it is located?

The race takes place in Bellingham, WA – about 90 miles north of Seattle and 20 miles south of the Canadian border.

How old is the race and why was it created in the first place?

This will be the ninth annual Bellingham Bay Marathon. The event began as a fundraiser for the Bellingham Bay Swim Team (“BBST”). It is now a fundraiser for BBST and the WFC Rangers (“Rangers”) soccer club, both 501©(3) organizations. We also benefit other local youth non-profit organizations.


What kind of route have you set up for the runners? How would you describe it?

Our marathon course is a scenic point-to-point Boston qualifier starting near Gooseberry Point on Lummi Nation and ending at Depot Market Square in downtown Bellingham. The course features views of Bellingham Bay, San Juan islands, and North Cascade mountains, and we often hear it described as the most beautiful marathon in the Pacific Northwest.

Our half marathon, 10K, and 5K courses start and end at Depot Market Square in downtown Bellingham. Last year DailyBurn called our half one of the 50 best in the U.S., and each course features some of the same scenic views as our marathon. The half marathon and 5K courses are already USATF-certified, and the new 10K course will be.

For all of our courses, the surface is mostly road, with stretches of urban trail. Each course has some hills, but virtually no net elevation gain/loss.

Credit : Adrenaline Event Photography

How many runners do you expect on Sunday morning? What type of runners do you plan to attract?

We expect approximately 2,500 runners (total for all races). Our races draw a wide range of participants, from elite runners to casual walkers. Most of our participants come from out of town, but we also have strong local support.

Do you organize other races during the Weekend? If so, on what distances?

On race day we will offer a marathon, half marathon, 10K, and 5K. This will be the ninth consecutive year we have organized the marathon and half marathon, and the eighth consecutive year we have organized the 5K. 2015 also marks the “comeback” of our 10K, which we have not offered since 2007.

At that time of the year, what kind of weather can we expect?

At the time of our race, Bellingham averages a high temperature of approximately 65°F and a low temperature of approximately 48°F. There is typically some cloud cover, with chances of light rain and/or light wind.

Have you planned festivities around the marathon?

Our Race Expo featuring various vendors, clinics, and a pasta dinner will be on Saturday, September 26, at our host hotel, The Lakeway Inn & Conference Center. We also organize a Finish Festival including live music, food, and a beer garden after the races. Both of these have free entrance and are open to the public.

Credit : Adrenaline Event Photography

The race finished, what advice would you give a runner who has never been to Bellingham before? A good restaurant, a fancy sightseeing, a must-do activity?

Kick back, relax, and enjoy our Finish Festival! Bellingham/Whatcom County Tourism has great information and resources for other places to go, things to do, etc.

In a single sentence, what would you tell the readers of ahotu Marathons to make them register for the Bellingham Bay Marathon?

It’s a special event, in a special place (just ask our returning participants) – come experience Bellingham and “Run the Bay”!

Interview with Ben Twigg, Event Director. This will be Ben’s forth year helping organize the Bellingham Bay Marathon, and his second year as director. He loves being part of an event that is so meaningful to participants, enriching to the community, and beneficial to local youth non-profit organizations.