SportsEvents Magazine

AUG 2015

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August 2015 24 t NATURAL Venues A five-mile round-trip around Jetty Island off Snohomish County, Wash., makes for a near- perfect venue for the Sound Rowers to hold a race each April. T he volunteer organization for open water rowing and paddling holds about 16 races each year for kayaks, surf skis, rowing shells, rowboats, canoes, pedal boats and more throughout Puget Sound, said Tyler Peterson, president. The Jetty Island event takes racers on a vari- ety of craft around the island where competi- tors take on the Snohomish River on one side and the Pugent Sound on the other. Although the water can be calm on one side but "a little rough" on the other, depending on the wind and current conditions, Peterson said, B oats can launch off docks at the Port of Everett Marine Park, which is one amenity that makes it a great natural venue for Sound Rowers. The race starts and finishes at the same site. Another great thing about the site is the amount of wildlife present, he said. Last year, Peterson and his daughter spotted six bald eagles, and it is not uncommon to see seals and various other wildlife. And the race gets support from local offi- cials, including Snohomish County. "The county is very accommodating," Peterson said. The Jetty Island pad- dle is just one of about 20 outdoor events host- ed each year by the Snohomish County Tourism Bureau, said Tammy Dunn, sports development manager. In addition to the Jetty Island race, the Lake S tevens Rowing Club hosts a cou- ple of water-based events: the Spring Sprint Regatta each spring and Head of the Lake each fall.M The Arlington Runners Club, a local running club, hosts about five running events annually. Snohomish Running Company manages the three half marathons in Snohomish County: Everett Half Marathon & 10K, Snohomish Women's Run, and Snohomish River Run. The Ironman 70.3 Lake Stevens brings more than 5,000 people in attendance, Dunn said. Several cycling events are also held in the county, which is bordered by Pugent Sound and the Cascade Mountains. In addition, two trail runs are held at Lord Hill Regional Park each February and July. Cascade Orienteering Club hosts the Bog in the Slog Orienteering event each December at Lord Hill Regional Park. "Access to the great outdoors is only min- utes from our urban centers," Dunn said. "Due to our temperate climate, Snohomish County is the perfect destination for family adventures and outdoor fun throughout the year." n Natural Venue KNOW HOW: Clean up after yourself when you leave the park or property. Recruit people who are ecologically minded to volunteer at the event. —Tammy Dunn, Snohomish County Tourism Bureau Rowers Find Wildlife, Challenging Seas For Race Off Washington Coast Missoula, Mont.: Marathon Country NOTABLE Natural Venue The sun rose over mountains in the distance as participants ran the first miles of the annual Missoula Marathon and Half Marathon, held in July. More than 6,000 runners participated in the annual event, put on by Run Wild Missoula, a local running and walking club that wanted to share the area's beauty. The marathon has been named the best marathon in the country by Runner's World magazine, as well as the Montana Tourism Event of the Year by the state. Started in 2006, the marathon has now grown into one of the city's largest events. n Michael Lampi/Courtesy Sound Rowers Paddlers and rowers prepare for the 5-mile race around Jetty Island, held each April off the coast of Everett, Wash. Participants are treated to picturesque views during the 2014 Missoula Marathon and Half-Marathon in Montana. Tom Robertson Photo/Run Wild Missoula

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