Sunday, February 17, 2019 • Birch Bay, WA • Course Map
Marked by stunning views of the snow-capped Cascade Mountains as well as the waters of Birch Bay and the nearby Canadian Gulf islands, Washington’s Birch Bay also is home to a marathon that celebrates its 51st annual running this winter.
Added for the first time in 2011, the Birch Bay Half Marathon follows much of the same route as the full, 26.2-mile marathon.
Both races follow an out-and-back route that starts and finishes in Birch Bay State Park, a small 194-acre park that lies along the southern shore of the bay and looks out onto both the saltwater of the bay as well as the freshwater running through Terrell Creek, which cuts through the park.
From there, runners follow the route northward all along the shoreline, running north along Birch Bay Drive as it curves around with the shore up to the first turn, where runners turn right onto Harborview Road.
There, runners head north for the next mile or so along Harborview until they reach Drayton Harbor Road, where they turn left and head toward the water, climbing the second big hill of the course along Semiahmoo Parkway. After climbing this hill, the last significant hill of the course, the second half of the stretch along Semiahmoo Parkway lets runners coast downhill until reaching Shintaffer Road.
Next, runners head right onto Shintaffer and then back toward the Bay, where they turn left onto Birch Bay Drive and then follow the shoreline in the opposite direction, back down to the race finish line in Birch Bay State Park once again.
Along the race route, runners will get to see gorgeous views of Birch, Drayton and Semiahmoo Bays, and the stretches for most of these miles will be all flat. There’s also the Peace Arch in nearby Blaine, which runners will see during the stretch near the small border city.
Race Weather & Climate
Located in the northeastern corner of Washington State, just miles from the Canadian border and roughly 110 miles north of Seattle, Birch Bay weather is much like that of neighboring Blaine, which usually sees moderately cool to cold weather in the late winter.
In February, temperatures average between 32°F and 48°F — on the day of the race (Feb. 17), the average low is 32°F and the average high is 47°F — while precipitation amounts average just over 4.2 inches for the month.
- 2018 Birch Bay Half Marathon Results
- 2017 Birch Bay Half Marathon Results
- 2016 Birch Bay Half Marathon Results
- 2015 Birch Bay Half Marathon Results
- 2014 Birch Bay Half Marathon Results
- 2013 Birch Bay Half Marathon Results
- $40 – $70 for the half marathon
- $60 – $70 for the full marathon
To reserve your spot in the 2019 running of the Birch Bay Marathon or Half Marathon race, register online at Pearsonathletics.com here.
Official Race Website
Ever run in the Birch Bay Half Marathon? Share your impressions here, or post your review in the Comments below.