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Aurielle Buermann: Assistant race director of Whatcom Events

CDN's weekly community profile

Aurielle Buermann at the Whatcom Events office Wednesday, May 22. Buermann is an avid cook, video game enthusiast, piano and drum player, outdoors lover and gardener. (Eli Voorhies/Cascadia Daily News)
By Audra Anderson Assistant Editor

Aurielle Buermann (she/her)

Age: 34

City: Everson

Lived here for: 18 years

Originally from: Anacortes

Notable: Whatcom Events assistant race director, Northwest Tune-Up on-site production manager, avid cook, video game enthusiast, piano and drum player, outdoors lover and gardener.

What does your job as Whatcom Events assistant race director entail?

A lot. It’s a lot of logistics, a lot of random tasks you wouldn’t even think about, a lot of equipment coordination. Lots of communication with different entities. It’s a pretty massive job. We do permits, we do everything to make the race [Ski to Sea] happen, a lot of meetings. It’s kind of a hard question to answer because just so much goes into it. I appreciate all the hard work of the race committee and the volunteers.

A large part of your job is helping to organize and manage Ski to Sea. What drew you to an outdoors/recreation-focused job?

I went to Western [Washington University] for kinesiology. I did personal training for a while; I coached high school track and cross country; I did gymnastics coaching; elder caregiving — just a bunch of different jobs. But I’ve always really enjoyed outdoor recreation and I love Bellingham, so this job is absolutely perfect for me. Because where else can you have a 93-mile, seven-leg relay that goes from a mountain to the ocean with everything in between? It’s a great way to highlight how awesome this area is.

What is your most memorable Ski to Sea moment?

I always am just blown away at the finish line, just seeing how it all comes together, and all the people there, the community there. I always try to take a moment and really appreciate all the work that went into it. And it’s hard to do because we’re busy that day.

Is that the first moment you feel like you can breathe in months?

When the beer garden closes, that’s how I feel for sure.

In what ways do you like to enjoy the outdoors?

I love snowboarding — that’s my favorite thing — so winters are my happy place. But I love mountain biking, backpacking, hiking, just getting outside.

How do you relieve stress after Ski to Sea?

I am basically catatonic for about a week, even though I still have to work. Just a lot of relaxing. I try to not have any plans and spend time with my pets and my husband, and sit outside, just mellow. Like I love working out, but I don’t even work out after [Ski to Sea], I’m like, ‘I just need to sit.’

Do you have any heartwarming stories of racers you’ve met?

It’s so fun when you’re out with new people, and they ask what you do, and I tell them, and they’re like, ‘Oh, I’m racing this year.’ And I get so excited. I’m like, ‘Tell me all about it. I recognize your team name because I do compliance reports.’

Have you ever competed in Ski to Sea?

I never have. I’m not very competitive at all. My husband’s done it a couple times, so I’ve been like the supportive cheerleader. If I ever did it, I would do the downhill leg, even though it’s mostly uphill.
One time, I was supposed to be on a canoe team with my friend. We didn’t know how to canoe, we didn’t have a canoe, we didn’t ever practice. And then as it got closer to race day, they’re like, ‘Yeah, we found someone else.’ I was like, ‘That’s probably for the best.’

I love [that] about the event — there’s Olympians competing with amateurs, people who’ve never done any of these things. It’s such a unique mix of skill levels and types of people, and it’s really inclusive. You don’t have to have a background in these things to join. I think that’s really cool.

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