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. This unique partnership means many of our volunteer needs for the event are filled by these families. We do sometimes have need of other volunteers. If you are interested in being contacted should a volunteer need arise please get in touch with us through our contact form and select the "volunteering" category. We will be in touch if we have a volunteer position available. Thank you!
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.
What race distances do you offer?
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; all other race starts/finishes are near Depot Market Square in downtown Bellingham.
Do you offer any relay options?
In the past we have offered Marathon Relay options, but due to Covid-19, we have had to alter the Relay format in 2021. The new relay, called the Whatcom Relay, includes a team tackle of all distances (1x 5K, 1x 10K, 1x 1/2 Marathon, and 1-2x Marathon). With this format we're alleviating groups of people in one space waiting for handoffs, as well as traffic around our racers, to better ensure their safety.
When will fees increase?
Please see our Registration page.
Can I transfer my registration from one race to another?
Yes, you can change races by logging into your Enmotive Account. For a race "upgrade," you will pay the difference between the two race registration fees. Sorry, there are no refunds for race "downgrades."
Can I check to see if I am already registered?
You should have received a confirmation email when you registered; if you can't find that, try logging into your Enmotive Account and seeing if BBM appears in your races. If that fails and you still think you might be registered, contact us!
Can I defer my entry to next year?
Unfortunately we are no longer accepting deferrals to next year's race. All deferral codes were sent out in the new year, and all proceeds have been put into the event.
I can no longer make the event, can I get refunded?
Unfortunately we do not offer refunds. In the registration process, all participants sign the waiver that includes acknowledgment of our refund policy.
3. Race Information
Are pets allowed in the race?
Unfortunately, pets are not allowed in our races.
Are handcycles or other wheeled transport supported?
No, we currently do not offer a wheeled division in any of our races.
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).
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 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 devices that provide the user an unfair advantage. Competitors should review USATF Competition Rule 144.3 (available here) for compliance details.
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 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.
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!
What time do the races start?
Expected start times are: On Saturday the 5K & 10K will begin at 8:00 am. On Sunday, the Marathon will begin at 7:30 am for marathon runners (6:45 am for marathon walkers) and the Half Marathon will begin at 9:00 am.
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.
Do you have pace groups?
Yes, for the marathon and half marathon - please refer to our PACERS page for more information, including what paces we offer.
Is this a Boston Marathon qualifier?
Yes, our marathon is a Boston qualifier. Please refer to the Boston Marathon website for qualifying standards. Our marathon course is USATF-certified, and on top of this, we are thrilled to provide pacers at several BQ paces. Please see our PACERS page for more info.
Can someone else pick up my race packet at the expo?
Someone else can pick up your bib, but they will need to show proof by way of your Proof of Vaccination or Negative Covid Test (either photo or actual physical copy).
Can I pick up my race packet on race day?
Yes, but there is a $10 convenience fee for this. Please try to pick up your packet/bib number on Friday (if racing the 5K/10K) and Friday-Saturday (if racing the Half Marathon/Marathon) for best convenience, otherwise your bib will available for pickup at the start line of your race.
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 (Lummi Nation School - 2334 Lummi View Dr. Bellingham, WA 98226), and free shuttle transportation is provided for participants from the finish area to the start area before the race. Reservations are not required. The buses will be picking up Marathon participants near the Depot Market Square (1100 Railroad Ave. Bellingham, WA 98225) beginning around 5:30 am. With Covid Protocols in place, we require all of our of participants to wear a mask on the bus, and the total number of people allowed on each bus will adhere to local and state guidelines. Participants can also be dropped off at the start line. There is limited parking at the start. 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.
When/where is the race expo?
Our 2021 Expo will be at the Hotel Leo. It will be a 2-day expo held on Friday, September 24th from 11 am - 6 pm and Saturday, September 25th from 10 am - 5:00 pm. With the 5K/10K on Saturday, we ask that all 5K/10K participants pick up their bibs on Friday, September 24th. Half Marathon and Marathon participants have the choice of picking up their bibs on either Friday, September 24th or Saturday, September 25th. If you cannot make the Expo, Day-of Packet Pickup will be available at the start line of your race, for a $10 fee. For more information please see our Expo Page.
**Please note, that our state/city will likely require you to show proof of Covid vaccination or a negative test (within 2 days of the race) by the time of BBM. Participants would then need to show proof of vaccination/negative test at the Expo. We will make an announcement when details are finalized.
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.