By Elliott Almond
Cascadia Daily News 

Trio of local paddlers gearing up for 70-mile race


Last updated 6/1/2023 at 12:47pm

Photo courtesy of Bart Maupin

Bart Maupin, front, and teammate Marc Furhmeister reach the 50-mile mark at Point No Point in the 2021 Seventy48 race. "We both just want to finish so we don't have to do it again," says Fuhrmeister, a former Western Washington distance runner.

Some among us seem hellbent on contriving the most hair-brained follies to test the outer limits of personal capabilities. It's baked into the DNA, I suppose.

A decade ago, rock climbing star Alex Honnold challenged his mental and physical proficiency in adventures captured in an Amazon Prime video called "Sufferfest."

Photo courtesy of Bart Maupin

Bart Maupin, front, and teammate Marc Furhmeister are excited at the start of the 2021 Seventy48 race in Tacoma. The paddlers from Bellingham hope to finish the 70-mile event for the third time.

The phrase gained traction among certain personality types. It surfaced when talking to paddlers Marc Fuhrmeister, Bart Maupin and Ian Sawyer, Bellingham's three entrants in one of the West Coast's most challenging open-water races.

They are about to embark on the irreverent Seventy48, an event prohibiting motors, support or wind-powered boats. Just pedal, paddle or row up Puget Sound in 48 hours or faster.

On Friday, June 2, 136 teams - 316 participants - are scheduled to launch at the head of Tacoma's Thea Foss Waterway. They hope to end 70 miles later at the Port Townsend City Dock after dealing with tides, weather and hours of muscle-aching strokes.

Fuhrmeister and Maupin completed the race twice and dropped out last year in their Epic V8 Double Surfski.

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