Ski to Sea

Who’s competing in Ski to Sea?

From marathon runners to hobbyists, racers take their marks
May 28, 2022 at 5:10 a.m.

Staff Reporter

The cyclocross course is built, the cross country ski route now groomed and racers are getting ready for Bellingham's biggest event: Ski to Sea.

Cascadia Daily News sat down with a handful of racers to find out why they're competing, their experience level and more. 

photo  Kayla Kaiser is the cross-country skier for the Bellingham Firefighters. (Andy Bronson/Cascadia Daily News)  

Kayla Kaiser

Leg: Cross-country ski

Team: Bellingham Firefighters

Experience: Fourth time; first time in cross-country ski leg

Personal goal: Do well and have fun

Team goal: Make the corporate podium

Team fact: Bellingham Firefighters have competed for more than 30 years.

“It’s kind of a celebration of where we live — we can get up and go skiing, and you can go mountain biking and then be out on the water.” — Kayla Kaiser

photo  Alex Honn is the snowboarder for The Tall, the Short, and the Ugly. (Andy Bronson/Cascadia Daily News)  


Alex Honn

Leg: Snowboard and sea kayak

Team: The Tall, the Short, and the Ugly

Experience: None

Goal: Have fun and move the team relay standing forward

“It’s a great way to connect with a lot of people that I’m close to already, and to get to do all the stuff that I enjoy doing throughout the seasons all put into one day.” — Alex Honn

photo  Derek Thornton is the runner for Beaver’s Tree Service. (Andy Bronson/Cascadia Daily News)  

Derek Thornton

Leg: Running

Team: Beavers Tree Service

Experience: Fourth time

Personal goal: Break 40 minutes, average a 5-minute mile

Team goal: Win the Whatcom County Open

Fun Fact: Thornton is a longtime runner and has competed in many marathons, including the Boston Marathon. 

Team Fact: The team has placed in the top five every year since 2013 and won in 2016 with a time of 6 hours and 22 minutes.  

“We’re just a bunch of old guys, but we like to win.” — Derek Thornton

photo  Haley Peters is the road biker on the team For the Girls, Gays and Theys. (Andy Bronson/Cascadia Daily News)  

Haley Peters

Leg: Road bike

Team: For the Girls, Gays and Theys

Experience: None

Goal: To finish and have everyone’s equipment work

Most nervous about: Logistics and getting cars to the right places

“I never saw myself as a very athletic person, so it’s exciting to do it leisurely but also for fun and to challenge ourselves.”          — Haley Peters

photo  Sam Rice and Madeline May are canoeing for the TOKU-E Bobcats. (Andy Bronson/Cascadia Daily News)  

Sam Rice and Madeline May

Leg: Canoe

Team: TOKU-E Bobcats

Experience: None

Personal goal: Finish the leg 

Team goal: Complete the race with an average time

Most nervous for: Sitting in a canoe for 2.5 hours

“It's always been on my Bellingham bucket list and now we're finally doing it.” — Madeline May

photo  Charles Linneman is the cyclocross biker for the 2009 Jr. Ski to Sea Runners-Up. (Andy Bronson/Cascadia Daily News)  


Charles Linneman

Leg: Cyclocross

Team: 2009 Jr. Ski to Sea Runners-Up

Experience: Seventh time (plus six times in Junior Ski to Sea)

Personal goal: Be in the top 100 for cyclocross

Team goal: Be on the Recreational Open podium

Team fact: Members of the team have competed together in each race since they were in the third grade.

“It’s a good way to reconnect with friends who don’t live in Bellingham but grew up here. A lot of people consider it the best weekend in Bellingham.” — Charles Linneman

photo  Bethany Anderson is the kayaker for the Leisure Sportsmen. (Andy Bronson/Cascadia Daily News)  


Bethany Anderson

Leg: Sea kayak

Team: Leisure Sportsmen

Experience: None

Goal: Crossing the finish line

Most excited for: Ringing the bell

“One person on our team did test positive recently … We had a virtual team meeting on Zoom and we’re hoping everyone can be better by the race.” — Bethany Anderson

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