Yawning runners formed a line in front of the Honey Buckets and as the start time neared the line swelled. The runners came from different states and countries, are competitive by nature, sported diverse fashion tastes, had different political views and represented a range of income levels, but still no pushing, shoving or foul language was noted. Foreign languages were spoken and non-American accents were heard but no one seemed bothered by them nor did it seem to matter that woman were as well represented as men at the Chuckanut 50K trail run.
A few minutes away on the bay side of the road another gathering was taking place, a rowing/paddler race, Bellingham Bay Rough Water Race. Bristly faced gray haired men carried hand-built wooden boats to the water’s edge while other competitors lifted sleek lightweight composite shells from their shoulders and slipped them into the water. They had different boats and body types but were still competitors but not to the degree that they refused to help another racer with his or her boat.
After too much media coverage of bad behavior it was refreshing to see a civil group of competitors.