The Squamish 50 is my seventh event of the year and takes place this coming Saturday (08/16/2014) starting in Squamish, British Columbia, Canada and running north through the headlands around Alice Lake Provincial Park and ending back in downtown Squamish. Technically a point to point race, the 50 mile trail run has both 11,000 feet of vert gain and descent and is a really a clockwise loop with the start and finish about 1km apart.
Squamish, British Columbia is a mere 45 minutes north of Vancouver and not quite 3.5 hours north of Seattle. Named a top trail running town by Trailrunner magazine, this hidden gem of a city is located at the northern tip the glacially etched beyond-beautiful-you-have-to-see-this-with-your-own-eyes-to-believe-it fjord of Howe Sound just inland of the Pacific Ocean. Surrounded by a spectacular mountain backdrop, accessed by the incredibly scenic Sea to Sky Highway, and nestled within a temperate rainforest, Squamish is the “Outdoor Recreation Capital of Canada”.
My goals for this race:
1. Make it to the Start Line.
2. Take it easy. 11,000 feet is a long ways up…and down.
3. Look around. It’s going to be beautiful. I already know this, but yet I already know I’ll still be blown away.
4. Make it to the Finish Line. In one piece. On my own power.
5. Thank every volunteer. Breathe. Smile. Smile again.
Without further interruption, the Squamish 50, a part of the Skyrunner Series Canada, the 2014 Trailrunner Trophy Series and the 2015 The North Face Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc Qualifying Race organized and staged by Ridgeline Events (the Race Directors Gary Robbins and Geoff Langford).
220 entrants have signed up for the 50 mile race from twenty-one states (Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Washington), four provinces in Canada (Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec,), and without getting too political, we’ll say eleven countries total (Australia, Canada, England, Germany, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, Venezuela, and USA). Two people have finished the race 2 times (there are actually more than 2, but others are doing the 50/50), and twenty-five people have finished the race 1 time (again, there are actually more, but others are doing the 50/50.) The youngest entrant is 21 years old and the oldest entrant (but will not necessarily be the slowest) is 62 years old.
Elevation Profile (From Race website):
Video Preview (by Arc’teryx):
Video 2013 Race Recap (by Arc’teryx):
2013 Race Recap (by The Ginger Runner):
Race Description (from Race website):
“The Squamish 50 is one TOUGH RACE and a truly unforgettable trail ultra experience. With over 85% single track and more than 11,000 feet of climbing and descent topped off by stunning sweeping vistas across glaciated snow capped peaks that jut straight out of the Pacific Ocean, this course may just take your breath away (get it)
Let us put it this way, the first six miles and the final mile are relatively flat. There is over 11,000 feet / 3350 meters of climbing jammed into approximately 43 miles of terrain. Your largest individual climb is 2500 feet / 760 meters. This is an exceptionally difficult course made tougher still by the technical nature of a majority of the terrain. Throw in the fact that the back half runs much more difficult than the front half and you have yourself a nice little day of suffering. Thankfully we’ve made every effort to alleviate that suffering by distracting you with incredible scenery at every possible turn.
We’ve definitely constructed an event by runners, for runners, that highlights the absolute best running terrain in Western Canada. Trail Runner Magazine listed Squamish as a Top Trail Town, and locals have long known what makes Squamish such a highly sought-after adventure destination. Our greatest challenge has not been piecing together a stellar 50 mile course, it has been trimming this race down to just 50 miles. Our options were endless and as such we’ve been able to create a truly unforgettable trail ultra experience.”
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