Tie your shoestrings, the annual 5k Run with the Chums will be held in Birch Bay Saturday, September 11.
The ninth yearly run will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at BP Highlands, 6898 Point Whitehorn Road. To help with social distancing, the race will have three start times – 9:30 a.m., 10 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. – and a “Smolt Sprint” for children 10 years old and under will go 15 minutes before each start time.
Aneka Sweeney, Whatcom Conservation District (WCD) education and outreach coordinator, said the run is on flat, mostly closed roads and trails that are easily accessible for strollers and kids. Runners will start and finish near the race’s parking area off Grandview and Point Whitehorn Road and trivia facts on water conservation will be placed along the course.
The run celebrates healthy water, habitat and people during Whatcom Water Week, which is September 11-19.
“We recognized folks, when outside and having fun in nature, are connected to that place and are more motivated to find out what they can do to protect it,” Sweeney said.
A handful of local nonprofit and government education programs will have games, a shell painting station and present animal pelts and skulls, Sweeney said. Prizes will also be handed out to those who run the fastest, are best dressed, most enthusiastic and other categories.
In addition to multiple start times, racers will be encouraged to wear a mask at the start, finish and rest stops along the way. Attendees are asked to keep six feet distance between others, wash their hands and sanitize frequently, and to stay home if they’re feeling ill or have been in contact with someone with symptoms or a confirmed case of Covid-19.
People may also participate in the event virtually on their own, and WCD will send them a free Buff if they submit photos.
Sweeney said she hopes people leave the event with one thing they can do in their daily life to make Whatcom County a better place.
Registration is free at the Whatcom Conservation District website.