MAY 11, 2024

Participants and Race

Whatcom Events introduced the new Jr. Ski to Sea Race in 2023 that emulates the Ski to Sea Race itself. The purpose for this new approach is to help introduce kids to some of the life-long outdoor recreational activities that are so unique to Whatcom County. The Jr. Ski to Sea Race is a team relay race open to all persons between ages 8 – 18 years. The relay consists of downhill skiing or snowboarding, running, biking, and kayaking. We are allowing racers to do TWO legs.

The race will take place in two locations: the Mt. Baker Ski Area and Lake Padden. The Skier or Snowboarder will check in at the Heather Meadows Base Area while the rest of the team members will be meeting at Lake Padden. We will have two mass starts, the Ski/Snowboard leg at Mt. Baker and the running leg at Lake Padden; the mass starts allows the ski racer travel time to join the rest of the team at Lake Padden. The Timing Chip/Wristband at Lake Padden must be passed between teammates at each leg exchange of the race. All participants must wear a bib designating the team number with the number clearly visible.

Acknowledging that the new format will be more gear intensive, Whatcom Events is partnering with several local non-profits to provide equipment where needed at no charge, so this is not a barrier to anyone who wants to participate. Scholarships for Team Entry are also available, see the Scholarship & Gear Rental page for more information.

Questions?  Call our office 10 am – 4 pm, Monday – Friday at 360-746-8861 or email jrrace@skitosea.com

Registration and Fees

Team Captains (in most cases a parent/guardian) are the first to register so that a TEAM NAME can be created. At this time, they will select a division and create a team name. Once the Team is paid in full, your Team Captain will create your TEAM by inviting individual racers (using racers or parents’ email) to the team using the Online Registration system. Team Captains are able to make changes to team name or division until March 15th. Prior to race day the team captain and all team members must acknowledge the hold-harmless release forms online. All racers under 18 years of age by race day MUST have the consent via signature of their parent or legal guardian on the form. All registration is online.

Before March 15
Early Bird – $140

After March 15
Regular – $160

Early bird deadline ends March 15, at 11:59 pm. After this time, the entry fee will increase $20 per team. Registration closes at 5:00 pm the Wednesday before the Race.

Substitutions must be made online before registration closes by the team captain ONLY. Any substitutions made after registration closes, must be handled directly by contacting Whatcom Events. It is the sole responsibility of the team captain to ensure that the correct names are submitted online.

No refunds will be given for any reason once a team is paid. Our message board is also an excellent source for connecting with other racers to complete your team or if you have a cancellation.

Scholarship and free gear rentals are available upon request on the Scholarship & Equipment Rental tab. There is a separate application form to complete for each request.


It is important for all racers to show their bib numbers when crossing the exchange areas. In the event that the race needs to be stopped before the finish of the final leg (due to many reasons including weather and/or other safety related issues) the following guidelines will be used: The last leg of the race where three (3) teams in a division have recorded a finish time as of the time of the stoppage of the race, will be the official finish of the race for that division with regards to teams receiving podium awards.

1. Each team will be assigned two timing chips that you collect at Packet Pickup with your team bag. These chips are associated with your team bib number and cannot be switched with any other chip. One chip will be for the Downhill Ski/Snowboard leg, the second timing chip is for the start/running leg taking place at Lake Padden and are to be treated as if it were a baton, by being passed from one team member to the next during the event. NO CHIP—NO TIME.
2. A Chip Timing test will be made during Race Packet pickup.
3. Each racer should secure the chip on their being (preferred method is on your wrist) in a way where it will not be lost. Team Members are responsible for securing the chip in a manner suitable for their leg of the race.
4.Once a team member at Lake Padden finishes their leg of the race, there will be a finish line and a chip timing trigger area clearly marked. As you cross the finish line of your leg you should have the chip in your open hand, ready to pass to your next TEAM MEMBER. The chip sensors will be set up so that participants will be able to proceed through the timing gate normally. It is your responsibility to make sure your chip is recorded and passed off to your Next Leg Team Member.
5. The Downhill Ski/Snowboard racer AND the Kayak racer must return their timing chip after they cross their finish lines. There will be volunteers to collect the timing chips.
6. The timing chip is the responsibility of the team. A team will be disqualified if it does not finish the race with its team Timing Chip/Wristband. Unfortunately, teams that lose or forget their timing chips are ineligible for winning Awards.

Race Divisions & Rules

As a team captain, when you register you select which Division & Subdivision you will compete in. All three divisions (Elementary/Middle School/High School) have sub-divisions based on gender. We rely on The Honor System and ask Team Captains to make sure their entire team is in compliance with the chosen division.

We want to extend the opportunity to all participants to choose which grade level they will want to compete on based on skill level (for example, if you have a 5th grader who has kayaked since a very young age and would like to compete at the middle school level, they are more than welcome to do so).

1. Elementary (3rd grade – 5th grade) at 9am
2. Middle School (6th grade – 8th grade) at 10am
3. High School (9th grade – 12th grade) at 10am

The Sub-divisions will be:
Male– All male team
Female– All female team
Mixed– (combination of any gender)
*racers identifying as non-binary, may join the subdivision of their choice

Conduct and Consent
The Committee reserves the right to disqualify any team who does not abide by established race rules or whose equipment is deemed to be unsafe for the event in which the person is entered. A team may also be disqualified if any team participant, parent or affiliate displays unsportsmanlike conduct.

All racers, parents and/or guardians grant permission to all of the foregoing to use any photographs, video, or any other record of this event for any legitimate purpose and understand that their name will be listed in the results page of the website.


Can a parent race with their child?
A: Only on the running leg can a parent race with their child

What kind of watercraft can the racers use?
A: Solo kayaks and SUPs are allowed (as well as inflatables) but no canoes.

What do I need to do to for my child to compete at a higher level?
A: Use the Message Board to find a team competing in your desired level.

How can I find a team for my child?
A: The Message Board allows you to post a message for your child wanting to race or search for teams looking for a racer.

What if I want to race but don’t have the gear?
A: Say no more! Fill out our Equipment Application to secure the equipment necessary for you to race.

Is there any way I can race if I don’t have the means to pay the entry fee?
A: YES! Thanks to our sponsors you can apply for a free team entry. Fill out the scholarship application here.

How can I get the latest news about the race?
A: Our Facebook & Instagram pages keep you up to date on breaking news and allows you to communicate with other racers. We also send out regular newsletter with important race information.

What happens if a racer discovers that they cannot race a day or two before race day?
A: The Team Captain is responsible for obtaining a replacement racer. The Replacement Racer parent or guardian MUST also sign the Hold Harmless Form before race day or on-site at the Race Day Meeting held for that particular leg of the race.

Who do I contact if I have a question about the race? 
A: You can email us at jrrace@skitosea.com or call our office at 360-746-8861.

Course & Course Map

Elementary Division

Downhill Ski/Snowboard Leg:

8:00am: Ski Gear Rental (if applicable)
8:30am: Mandatory Safety Meeting for Ski Leg
9:00am: Ski Leg Starts

The downhill Ski/Snowboard meet at the bottom of the Heather Meadow Rental Area, the race course for 2024 is not confirmed, it will longer than last years course. It will be longer than last year’s course.

NOTE: racers will have to hike close to a ¼ mile with 100ft in elevation gain to return to parking lot.

-30 mins transition to getting back to the car.
-1.5 hrs. drive down to Lake Padden


11:30am: Mandatory Safety Meeting for Run, Mtn. Bike, & Kayak Leg
12:00pm: Running leg starts.

The running portion will commence from the WEST entrance at Lake Padden for approximately 2 miles

Mountain Bike
Once in possession of the timing chip, mountain bikers will go around the lake for approximately 2.6 miles.

After getting the timing chip from the mountain biker, racer will kayak in Lake Padden for a distance of a mile.

Middle & High Division

Downhill Ski/Snowboard

9:00am: Ski Gear Rental (if applicable)
9:30am: Mandatory Safety Meeting for Ski Leg
10:00am: Ski Leg Starts

The downhill Ski/Snowboard is a mile race that will first hike up part of 7-Hills and ski directly down to the bottom of the Chair 2 (nearly ~150 foot descent), hike up Mitzi (please note that this is near a 200-foot elevation gain) then ski down Border and pass the finish line near the bottom of Chair 2 ski lift.

NOTE: racers will have to hike close to a ¼ mile with 100ft in elevation gain to return to parking lot.

-30 mins transition to getting back to the car.
-1.5 hrs. drive down to Lake Padden


1:30pm: Mandatory Safety Meeting for Run, Mtn. Bike, & Kayak Leg
2:00pm: Running leg starts.

The running portion will commence from the WEST entrance at Lake Padden and will be a distance of 2.6 miles around the lake counterclockwise.

Mountain Bike
Once in possession of the timing chip, mountain bikers will go around the lake via the main trail and Padden Horse Trail for approximately 2.7 miles.

After getting the timing chip from the mountain biker, the racer will kayak in Lake Padden for a distance of near 2 miles.


Downhill Ski/Snowboard: Helmets are to be worn by all racers. The downhill skier will be required to use downhill skis, boots, and bindings. The use of Randonee and Telemark ski equipment is allowed with compatible boots and bindings. Leather (hiking or non-ski) boots, climbing skins, slings, and backpacks to carry skis/boards are not allowed. The snowboarder is required to use a snowboard, snowboard bindings, and snowboard boots. Ski poles are allowed. Both skis must be removed when the racer starts to hike up Mitzi. OFFICIALS WILL BE STATIONED AT THE BEGINNING OF THE CLIMB TO MONITOR EQUIPMENT COMPLIANCE. Air pods, ear phones/buds, or similar music/audio systems are not allowed to be used by the racers while competing.

Run: Air pods, earphones/buds, or similar music/audio systems are not allowed to be used by the racers while competing.

Mountain Bike: Helmets must be worn at all time during the biking leg. Air pods, earphones/buds, or similar music/audio systems are not allowed to be used by the racers while competing.

Kayak: All racers must comply with the following safety rules or be subject to disqualification:
1. Racers may use any type of kayak (including inflatables) or a stand paddle board (SUP)
2. All paddlers must wear a standard U.S. Coast Guard approved TYPE III vest-style inherently buoyant Life Jacket (PFD) *and* have a whistle. Your PFD must be worn properly fastened on your body at all times during the race. All inflatable PFD’s, whether Type III approved or not, are prohibited.
3. All kayaks/SUP’s must be paddled by one person.
4. All surf skis require a paddle leash attached to the boat OR a boat leash attached to the paddler.
5. MP3, iPods or similar music/audio systems are prohibited while racing.

Mandatory Pre-Race Meeting:

The meeting will give the latest updates on the racecourse. It is important that all racers ATTEND this meeting.

At the bottom of Heather Meadow Rental Area:

8:30am: Elementary Ski Division

9:30am: Middle & High School Division

West Entrance of Lake Padden (by the bathrooms):

11:30am: Elementary Ski Division

1:30pm: Middle & High School Division


Please contact us if your organization would like to be a Sponsor of the Ski to Sea Race. We can help to grow your business around this event that serves as the unofficial kickoff to summer! Our Sponsors are the key to putting on this amazing volunteer-based event and our goal is to provide you with the most exposure and reach possible with the Ski to Sea community. This is an excellent opportunity for your organization to increase its visibility by joining us in our mission to promote outdoor recreation while supporting local charitable non-profits. Your sponsorship participation positively impacts our local community and businesses. Please email jrrace@skitosea.com or call the Ski to Sea office at 360-746-8861 for more information.

Scholarship & Equipment Opportunities

We would like to express our sincere thanks to our generous sponsors who have made these scholarships available to our racers.  They have donated their race entries to financially relief racers of any burdens the entry fees may pose. PLEASE NOTE: full and partial scholarships are only granted to unregistered teams as a whole and NOT individually. Once you apply for the scholarship, it will be processed and reviewed by a member of our team who will then contact you with a code for you to register your team free of charge.

In addition, we have teamed up with our community partners at the Mt. Baker Ski Area, WMBC, and Lake Whatcom Paddlers to alleviate racers of any gear barriers they may face. If you are a registered racer and need ski, snowboard, bike, or kayak gear, please fill out this form for courtesy equipment rental. Rental requests will only be accepted through midnight on Monday, May 8th.

Our message board is also an excellent source for connecting with other racers to complete your team.


By volunteering, you join in making the Jr Ski to Sea Race fun and safe. All volunteers receive a Ski to Sea beanies and a snack on race day.

All volunteers must accept our Hold Harmless Agreement in the volunteer form below. All volunteers must be 15 years of age on Race Day. Minors must print and have a parent sign the waiver while those over 18 can sign via e-signature.

Packet Pickup

Packet Pickup will occur the day of the race. Skiiers/Snowboarder will get their timing chip at Mt. Baker before the race starts and the Lake Padden Running leg racer will get their chip and packet before the first leg.


The top three teams in each category will receive a locally-made medal at the Award Ceremony at the culmination of the race. Winning teams will be announced at Lake Padden.