Groups find new ways to enjoy activities

— Created July 8, 2020 by Kathy Reed

By Kathy Reed

Amid seemingly endless event cancellations and postponements, some Whidbey Island organizations have found new ways to enjoy some familiar events safely:

Whidbey Island Triathlon

The Whidbey Island Triathlon has been canceled for 2020. But the South Whidbey Parks and Recreation District has figured out a way to hold a virtual triathlon for all those disappointed the real thing won’t be happening.

The Whidbey Island Virtual Triathlon will take place from July 24 through Aug. 2. Because it’s virtual, participants don’t need to travel to Whidbey – the race can be completed wherever participants are.

“You choose your start and finish line,” reads the web page for the triathlon. “You can use a treadmill, run outside on a neighborhood street or on a nearby track. You can cycle on a stationary bike or cycle outside on neighborhood streets. You can swim in a pool, a lake, or choose a swim alternative! Run your race, at your pace, anywhere in the world where it’s safe to do so.”

The virtual triathlon consists of a half-mile swim (or an approved alternative), a 19-mile bike portion and a 3.75-mile run. Because not everyone may have access to a “swim-able” body of water, that portion of the triathlon has been expanded to include other activities like kayaking, paddleboarding, rowing, burpees, etc.  Participating athletes should complete all the elements within a 48-hour period and self-report times – with documentation such as photos or screenshots, for example – to triathlon organizers. There are no awards or official timing and it’s all based on an honor system, so organizers encourage participants to be honest and have fun.

The 2021 Whidbey Island Triathlon is tentatively scheduled for July 31, 2021, so save the date.

Sea, Trees, & Pie Bike Ride

Whidbey Camano Land Trust has put a new spin on its fifth annual Sea, Trees, & Pie Bike Ride. Normally a one-day event, this year’s ride gives cyclists an extended opportunity to complete any of its three Central Whidbey courses between. The good news is it will still end with pie!

“We’ve had to re-think the way we do our events this year,” said Jennifer Hajny, Whidbey Camano Land Trust outreach manager. “We’re excited to continue a bike ride that is going from a single-day event to an all-summer ride that takes place from July 10 through August 31. This has opened the door for many people who might not have been able to participate on a designated day. It allows riders to watch the weather and ride on a nice day. Another big bonus is, instead of a single slice of pie, registered riders will receive a voucher for a whole Whidbey Pie!”

The three routes range from 5, 10 to 20-mile courses and all feature Crockett Lake, which is the largest wetland system on Whidbey Island. Cyclists will make their way through some of the most scenic parts of Whidbey.

“The three routes offer something for everyone to keep this a fun, non-competitive event,” Hajny said. “The routes range from a shorter, easier route for the casual bicyclist to a longer, more difficult route for accomplished bikers.  All three routes showcase many of the treasured places permanently protected by the Land Trust. That includes Crockett Lake Preserve, Whidbey Island’s largest wetland system.

“The ride is set up to be a simple experience to enjoy the natural beauty around you as you ride,” she continued. “The entire ride will be in Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve, a stunning place to take a bike ride and appreciate the area’s incredible natural and pastoral settings. You will be able to enjoy some of Whidbey Island’s most breathtaking landscapes, including farmlands, beaches, wetlands, and woods with great views of the Olympic Mountains and Puget Sound. You’ll also be supporting a nonprofit organization that works to protect and care for the places you love most on the islands.”

Cost to participate is $25 for single riders or $40 for families. Children 16 and under are free and must be accompanied by a registered adult. All riders must wear helmets. All proceeds benefit the Whidbey Camano Land Trust, a nonprofit nature conservation organization.

“We like to call our bike ride a ‘friend-raiser,’” Hajny said. “The most important goal of the ride is to make people aware of what the Whidbey Camano Land Trust does and the amazing lands and waters that our members help us protect. The hope is that those who aren’t donors to the Land Trust will be inspired to join and help protect the incredible quality of life on the islands.”

This is a non-competitive ride, but Hajny said WCLT wants to recognize participants. Organizers are asking riders to send in selfies from scenic spots and they will be posted on WCLT’s social media pages.

All routes begin and end at the State Parks birding platform near the Coupeville/Port Townsend ferry terminal. Be advised a Discover Pass is required for parking. Once registered, participants will receive a course map, information and a voucher for a free pie.

Hajny said there’s much more one can gain from taking part.

“As an organizer, I love this bike ride because it showcases some of the amazing lands and waters that have been protected on Whidbey Island,” she said. “As a participant, the coolest thing is seeing Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve from so many different perspectives. It’s also not uncommon to see a variety of wildlife along the ride, especially a whole array of raptors.”

For more information or to register, visit

Virtual Hoop Camps

If the kids are looking for a way to expend some energy and enjoy some basketball safely, Skagit Valley College has announced it will be offering virtual hoop camps.

Camps will take place July 21-22 from noon to 1:15 p.m. and will be held on Zoom. SVC men’s basketball coach, Carl Howell, will lead the two-day virtual camp, which will focus on basketball fundamentals and skill-building. Cost to attend is $70. The camps are made possible by the college’s Continuing and Community Education Program. Information and registration is available online at