10th Annual Run with the Chums was a splashing success!


Group of people wearing run with the chums shirts
Run with the Chums participants pose wearing shirts from the past 10 years of the event.
People in rain drop and salmon costumes stretching as children cheer
Wayne Drop and Sammy the Salmon getting ready to demonstrate the Smolt Sprint.

Saturday, September 10th was filled with laughter, cheering, and fun as over 300 runners, walkers, sprinters, strollers, and dogs celebrated the 10th Annual Run with the Chums! For ten years, Run with the Chums has been a highlight of Whatcom Water Week. People from all over Whatcom County come to the BP Highlands to celebrate healthy habitat, healthy people, and healthy water through an educational fun run. This year was no exception!


“[Run with the Chums] has been a family tradition for us since moving to Whatcom County in 2017, and I hope we can continue it for many more years as well. It is a really lovely event.” - Caroline Snijder

Woman running with dog and person pushing stroller are running behind
5K participants crossing the finish line.

The day was cool but sunny and stayed smoke free for the duration of the event, allowing everyone to enjoy the stunning views of the Salish Sea and Whatcom County farmland. Racers enjoyed a wide variety of activities such as photo opps with Sammy the Salmon and Wayne Drop, the Smolt Sprint Obstacle Course, interactive education booths, and raffle prizes from local artists, businesses, and partners.


To celebrate the 10th year of the event, this year’s race featured a photo booth, new course signs, and special recognition of participants wearing t-shirts from past years. As an adaptation of the previous year, we had two start times to stagger participation. Each start time was preceded by a Smolt Sprint Obstacle Course and a raffle following its conclusion.


The Smolt Sprint Obstacle Course featured large woody debris, cobbles, boulders, and a fish passage barrier to challenge young racers as they made their way through the course. The obstacles simulate the challenges smolt salmon face as they travel downstream to the ocean. Every smolt sprinter received a ribbon for their accomplishment!



The 10th Annual Run with the Chums 5K Fun Run was a huge success in bringing our community together to have fun while celebrating and learning about our watershed. We hope to see you next year, and for the next decade!


“Thank you for the lovely event! I hope to come back next year.” – Brenda Philip

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Group of people walking. One in front is giving a thumbs up.
Participants crossing the finish line.

Thank you to the following businesses and organizations that supported this year’s Run with the Chums: Birch Bay Watershed and Aquatic Resources Management District (BBWARM), Blaine-Birch Bay Park and Recreation District 2, BP at Cherry Point, Cute But Crazy Socks, Dave Hiller eXp Realty, Flax 4 Life, HYDAWAY Collapsible Water Bottles, Hydrascape Infinity Stickers by Gretchen Leggitt, Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association, Sunspot Wood Art by Jenna Goodman, Washington Department of Ecology, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Whatcom Conservation District, Whatcom County Public Works, Whatcom Land Trust, and Whatcom Water Alliance.


Looking for more ways to help salmon and orcas?


Image of orca with text: Orca Recovery Day October 15th, 2022

Join us on Saturday, October 15th for the 5th Annual Orca Recovery Day! Whatcom Conservation District, Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association, and Whatcom Land Trust are joining forces to host a work party restoring Chinook and Coho salmon habitat along California Creek on land managed by the Whatcom Land Trust.





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