Frequently Asked Question

1. General

Where is the event?

All race weekend activities are in or near Bellingham, Washington, approximately 90 miles north of Seattle and 50 miles south of Vancouver, British Columbia. The marathon starts outside the Wex'liem Building near Gooseberry Point on Lummi Nation (click here for Google map); all other race starts/finishes are near Depot Market Square in downtown Bellingham (click here for Google map).

What race distances do you offer?

We offer marathon, half marathon, 10K, 5K, and marathon relay races; all of these will be on Sunday, September 20.

Who does the event benefit?

All net proceeds benefit local youth non-profit organizations. The Bellingham Bay Marathon is a fundraiser for the Bellingham Bay Swim Team and WFC Rangers soccer club, both of which supply hundreds of volunteers each year. Our Beneficiaries page has further information, including a list of other beneficiaries.

Where do you get your volunteers?

We are a fundraiser for the Bellingham Bay Swim Team and Whatcom FC Rangers soccer club, and these two clubs supply the majority of our volunteers. Many other community groups and individuals help us on race weekend too.

I'm interested in volunteering - what should I do?

Please contact us (using the Volunteering category) with details regarding your interests, availability, etc., and we will follow up with you!

2. Registration

Can I check to see if I am already registered?

Yes, after we open 2018 registration (on 1/1/18) we'll post instructions for confirming registration!

Can I transfer my registration from one race to another?

Yes, please see the Race Changes section of our Registration Fees & Options page for details.

When will fees increase?

Please see our Registration Options & Fees page.

Do you offer team registration?

Yes, please see our Marathon Relay event page for further information.

Do you offer any relay options?

Yes! Please see our Marathon Relay event page for further information.

3. Race Information

Is this a Boston Marathon qualifier?

Yes, our marathon is a Boston qualifier. Please refer to the Boston Marathon website for qualifying standards. In addition, all BBM courses are USATF-certified.

Do you have pace groups?

Yes, for the marathon and half marathon - please refer to our Pace Groups page for further information.

What are the average high/low temperatures on race day?

The average high is 63 Fahrenheit / 17 Celsius, and the average low is 46 Fahrenheit / 8 Celsius.

What time does the race start?

Tentative start times are: 7:30 am for the marathon (6:45 am for early start walkers), 9 am for the half marathon, and 9:15 am for the 10K and 5K. We will update this FAQ when start times have been confirmed.

What kind of support can I expect during the race?

The marathon, half marathon, and 10K courses will have hydration stations (with electrolyte drink, water, and basic first aid) approximately every two miles. Additional support details are available in the Other Info sections of our Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K, and 5K event pages. And of course you'll be encouraged, guided, and served by our amazing volunteers throughout your race!

Are toilets available on the race courses?

Yes, toilets are located at the start of each course, every 2 - 4 miles along the courses, and at the finish of each course. Course maps (on the Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K, & 5K pages) will include updated toilet location details by August 31.

I notice your race pages refer to "expected" 2017 routes - what does that mean?

At this point we do not anticipate changes to the routes that are published/described on our website. We say "expected" only to acknowledge we're still a ways out from race day, and circumstances beyond our control could conceivably lead to course changes.

I've heard the race courses include stretches of trail. Should I wear road or trail shoes?

We highly recommend wearing road shoes. The majority of each course is on asphalt and concrete surfaces. Trail portions of the courses are hard-packed crushed rock and dirt, six feet or more wide, very easy to run, and offer a nice break from the asphalt and concrete course surfaces!  

Are headphones allowed while participating in the race?

While we discourage the use of headphones for safety reasons, they are permitted for participants not competing for top finisher awards (including prize money). For the safety of all, please keep the volume low so you can hear what is happening around you. Participants competing for top finisher awards (including prize money) may not use any technology or appliance that provides the user an unfair advantage. Competitors should review USATF Competition Rule 144.3 (available here) for compliance details.

Can I participate as a walker?

Absolutely! Walkers are encouraged to participate in all BBM events. The marathon walk begins 45 minutes before the marathon run; walkers begin at the same times as runners for each of the other distances. Our finish line officially closes at 2 pm (though we are often able to keep it open longer to accommodate slower participants).

Are jogging strollers allowed on the course?

Yes. We ask participants with strollers to start behind runners without strollers and to be especially aware of their surroundings/considerate of other participants (e.g., staying right to allow faster participants to pass safely, giving extra space when passing slower participants, etc.). Participants with strollers are also expected to run/walk single-file (not abreast with other participants) except where an entire street/road lane is closed for the race (allowing ample space for other participants to pass without obstruction).

Are handcycles or other wheeled transport supported?

No, we currently do not offer a wheeled division in any of our races.

Are pets allowed in the race?

Unfortunately, pets are not allowed in our races.

4. Pre-Race

When/where is the race expo?

Our 2018 expo will be at the Bellingham Cruise Terminal; please see the Race Expo & Packet Pickup page for more information.

How do I get to the marathon start?

The marathon is a point-to-point course starting near the Lummi Wex'liem Building on Blackhawk Way (click here for Google map), and free shuttle transportation is provided for participants from the finish area to the start area before the race. Reservations are not required, and bus departure details are included in our Schedule of Events. Participants can also be dropped off at the start line. Marathon participants should not drive to the marathon start unless they have arranged for transportation back to the start after the race. After the marathon start, no transportation is provided to the marathon start area.

Can I pick up my race packet on race day?

Yes, but there is a $5 convenience fee for this; please refer to our Packet Pickup page for more information.

Can someone else pick up my race packet at the expo?

Under certain conditions, yes - please refer to Packet Pickup for more information.

5. Post-Race

When/where will race results be posted?

Official results will be posted online as soon as possible after the event. We will publish links to official results on our website and social media platforms. Past results are available at our Results page.

Where can I meet my family and friends after the race?

You can arrange to meet your family and friends at the Finish Festival at Depot Market Square. Good reference points include the main stage, gear pickup/lost and found area, and the beer garden!
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