Pictured here is Andy Martin, the winner of the 2008 Birch Bay Marathon in 2:35:24
The course is generally flat to very gently rolling, with the exception of a very short steep climb (10 meters in 200 meters) at the start of Harborview Rd., and a long gradual climb (100 meters in 1.5 km) between miles 6 to 7, done twice. Most of the course lies on the waterfront, with expansive views over the water towards the mountains of Canada areas sparsely dotted with luxurious homes. The road surface is smoothly paved and flat to very lightly curved. The roads are not closed to vehicles, but traffic is generally very light and friendly.
Cut-Off Times - No Cut-Off. Sorry for confusion!
1. North on Birch Bay Drive, along the waterfront on the left side of the road, to downtown Birch Bay - aid station at mile 2.5 at the intersection with Harborview Rd.
2. Start of loop: follow Harborview Rd. northwards to Drayton Harbor Rd. - mile 4.
3. Turn left onto Drayton Harbor Rd. and follow it westwards up a long hill to the intersection with Semiahmoo Parkway - aid station at mile 7.
4. Follow Semiahmoo Drive westwards, then south and finally east as it makes its way around Birch Point and becomes Birch Point Rd. - aid station at mile 10.5
5. Cross Birch Point Rd. at the aid station, and follow Birch Point Rd. east and then south, along the waterfront (staying on the right side of the road) to downtown Birch Bay - aid station at mile 13; end of first loop.
6. Second loop (for marathon runners only): turn left (crossing Birch Point Rd.) onto Harborview Rd., as at the start of the first loop, and repeat the loop - aid stations at miles 17.5, 21 and 23.5; end of second loop.
7. Remain on the waterfront (right side of the road) and run southwards along the waterfront to the finish in Birch Bay State Park.
Important Course and Traffic Notes
Within Birch Bay State Park you may run on either side of the road.
For certification purposes the course outside the State Park was measured under the assumption that runners would cut the corners where possible, but never crossing the center line. For this reason, and for safety reasons, please do not cross the center line anywhere except when crossing the road as listed in the course description above.
Do not cross Harborview Rd. at the intersection with Birch Bay drive - at the start of the first and second loops please cross Birch Bay Drive from the waterfront only at the stop sign immediately north of the intersection with Harborview Rd. The route will be marked by traffic cones at this point and traffic volunteers will be on duty. Marathon runners must also use this crossing point to start the second loop - do not cut the corner (DQ) !
The ¼ mile section on Harborview Rd. between Lincoln and Drayton Harbor Rd. has only a very narrow shoulder, and vehicle traffic can be heavy later in the day. This will therefore be a neutral / no-passing zone: all runners must run this section in single file and be very careful not to impede traffic or endanger themselves or others.