Monday, June 1, 2009

Multi Sport Races: Ski to Sea

Mountain Man is ready to kick some mountain biking butt.

Can we talk for a minute about how rad multi sport races are? To me for anything to be done well (health, resource use, life) there must be balance and variety. And I think multi sport races really embrace that.

There seem to be two types of multi sport races.
1) One (or a team of) athlete competes in a range of sports to complete the race. One of the most popular forms of this has to be the triathlon - swim, road bike, run.
2) A group of athletes team up and compete in different legs of a race, each leg consisting of a different type of sport. That's how Ski to Sea works, and I think it's a unique and fabulous race.

Ski to Sea takes place in Bellingham, Washington every Memorial Day weekend and it's kind of a big deal. This year about 410 teams (of 7, so about 2900 athletes) competed. The event is a relay race with 6 legs:
1) cross country skiing
2) downhill skiing/snowboarding
3) trail running
4) canoing
5) mountain biking
6) kayaking.

I mean seriously, how much fun is that? Each leg of the course is easy enough that it's suitable for recreational racers, but the big guns do come out to play (winning teams finish in an amazing sub 5h 30m).

As for me, I didn't race. I was on race support making sure our mountain biker was fed, hydrated, and otherwise taken care of. I must have done a good job because he had the best mountain biking time in his whole division!

Mountain Man is a pretty amazing athlete. Did I ever mention that?

So how about you? Have you ever participated in a multi sport race? Are you a punk like me
or do you actually get out there and test yourself on the course?

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