Between the relatively flat first six miles and final mile, you’ll find over 3350 m / 11,000 ft of climbing jammed into the remaining 43 miles of terrain. Your largest individual climb is 760 m / 2500 ft. 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 distract you with incredible scenery at every possible turn.
* No parking allowed at start line. Please take buses or get dropped off.
Please ensure you take your drop bags on the bus with you, after parking at Brennan Park Rec Centre.
* There is NO finish line parking. All runners, all distances, must park at Brennan Park Rec Centre and board our pre-race and post-race shuttles to access their vehicles.
We offer free shuttles from the finish line back to your vehicle post-race.
Bus transport will be available to the start line. Buses depart at 4:20am, 4:30am and 4:40am. Shuttle pickup location is behind Brennan Park. Approximate bus transport time is 12 minutes. We offer free shuttles from the finish line back to your vehicle post-race.
Bus tickets are available to purchase during registration, in the Merchandise Store, and will be available at racer check-in.
The Roxy-Roo Mid-Pack Award
The runner who finishes dead-centre in the 50 mile race will receive the Roxy-Roo Mid-Pack Award to celebrate them keeping the pack together and safe.
The Roxy-Roo Award is a tribute to Gary’s pup who passed away in January 2018. Roxy was born in Squamish and was adopted from the SPCA that 50-mile runners pass at mile four. The ultimate mid-packer, Roxy always preferred to run right in the middle of her pack so she could keep an eye on all the other pups. From the beginning, Roxy was a fixture at the Squamish 50 and truly left her paw-prints on the race, even helping Gary piece together the first six miles of the 50-mile course by showing him all of those trails when she was a puppy.
The winner of the Roxy-Roo Award will be determined after the final runner crosses the finish line on Saturday night and the trophy handed out during the 50k awards on Sunday. The Roxy-Roo winner also receives a comp entry to the following year’s race, any distance (including 50/50), along with a SQ50 swag bag.
HEADLAMPS ARE MANDATORY! (at the start line, AND for the end of the race, from AS7, for back of the pack runners)
Headlamp MUST be at least 100 lumens of brightness, for your own safety on the trails.
Headlamps MAY be dropped at AS2 Alice Lake, into a bucket that will then be transported to AS7 at Farside for retrieval near the end of your run. You are also welcome to carry, or pass along your headlamp to your crew at or after AS2. Please ensure you label your headlamp with name and bib number.
ALL RUNNERS DEPARTING AS7 Farside after 6pm MUST CARRY A HEADLAMP WITH THEM.
When you arrive at AS7 Farside, the headlamps will have been transported there for you from AS2 at Alice Lake.
Check in with the aid station crew and they will locate your headlamp for you.
Sunrise: 6:08am / Sunset 8:22pm
PACERS ARE NOT ALLOWED
POLES ARE NOT ALLOWED
Aid stations will have a selection of standard ultra running foods, such as:
- Näak purees, waffles, and energy drink mix
- Coke and water
- fruit such as oranges, bananas, watermelon
- potato chips
- snacks such as salted pretzels, gummies, m&m’s, cookies, etc.
- salted potatoes
- other gluten-free options
|Word of Mouth
Drop bags are to be dropped off by you, on race morning at the start line at Junction Park in downtown Squamish.
50 Mile runners are allowed two drop bags which will be transported to AS 3 (The Corners) and AS 5 (Quest University).
Finish Line Bags
To be dropped off by you at the start line, which is also the finish line.
Crew & Spectator Access Points
AS 2 (Alice Lake), AS 5 (Quest University) and AS 7 (Far Side) are PARK AND WALK, which means you cannot park directly at the aid station. Please plan for a walk of approximately 5 minutes to get from the nearest parking to these aid stations.
Any runners being crewed further than 30 meters from an aid station run the risk of being disqualified.
You are not allowed to access your crew at AS 3, AS 4 or AS 6.
Any and all crew with vehicles seen attempting to access these areas WILL get their runner disqualified immediately.
Your race begins at 5:30am, by headlamp. Ensure you’re wearing at least 100 lumens of light, as those are the rules of engagement. The world famous Chief looms above and on a clear night it’s nothing but stars and mountains staring down on our starting line. The first seven miles / eleven kilometres are flat, fast and twisty, as you make your way through the heart of Squamish and out to the hills and mountains that’ll dominate the rest of your day. Don’t get too excited and start off too fast, for you’ll be sure to regret that within a few hours.
After your first aid station you head through a small neighbourhood to gain the Coho Trail. In previous years we’ve had kids dressed up in costumes high fiving runners, at 6:15am! This is one supportive and passionate outdoor community in Squamish!
Shortly after getting back onto the singletrack at Coho Trail you’ll start towards your first big climb of the day, up and over Debeck’s Hill, which presents about 1000 feet / 300 metres in about one mile / 1.5 kilometres. As you ascend Debeck’s you’ll be confronted with some of the steepest terrain of the entire race, but you’ll be rewarded with views up valley and out over the mountainous peaks of The Tantalus Range. As you crest the top you’ll test your fancy footwork through some rocky terrain before it peters out into a 4×4 service road. On the way down you’ll pass by a historic Steam Donkey forestry relic. Feel free to stop and snap a pic.
You swing back onto singletrack after just a kilometre or so of service road, and then drop down a trail named Mid-life Crisis to intersect with Jack’s Trail. If your name is Jack please don’t read into this, we’re not saying you’re having a mid-life crisis Jack, but is this your first ultra? We’re just asking is all. Once you pop out onto Jack’s it’s flat and fast all the way to your second aid station at Alice Lake. There are flushable toilets to utilize if breakfast hasn’t been sitting well. Enjoy the feast of the aid station and proceed through Alice Lake Park to gain Four Lake Trail at the far side of the campgrounds.
You will first run past Stump Lake and then Fawn Lake before popping out onto the Bob McIntosh Trail. Turning left we head towards Dead End Loop, stay left on Dead End Loop to tackle your next sizeable climb up Made In The Shade to gain Ed’s Bypass. Drop back down to Rob’s Corners and enjoy the winding flowy slight downhill grade.
Your third aid station, and first drop bag location, will be located in between Rob’s and Cliff’s Corners. As a 50 mile runner you’ll be turning right to complete a 10 kilometre loop via Cliff’s Corners and one of your RD’s favorite trails, Entrails. This 10km loop is a mix of runnable and not so runnable for those unfamiliar with technical terrain. Once you drop down Entrails you return to the same aid station for a second time, via a very runnable double wide trail / gravel surface decommissioned road. Check back in at the aid station a second time, use your drop bag again, and then exit the aid station to the right.
You’re now on the Northside Connector gravel service road for a few kilometres, enjoy the last bits of runnable terrain before you head into the big nasty. Stay right at the Y split in the Forest Service Road, proceed approximately 1 kilometre further until you can pick up a trail on your left named Galactic Scheisse. This trail is located just a few hundred meters after you cross over a prominent water flow in the FSR.
Welcome to your favourite part of the day! Galactic Scheisse tops out at over 3300 feet / 1000 metres. Given that your starting line is approximately 600 feet / 175 metres and you’ve only gained a minimal total amount up until this point in time you should ensure you’ve grabbed ample supplies from your last aid station. The trail climbs at a steady grade that is indeed runnable by those challenging near the front. The total gain is over 2500 feet / 750 metres and it plays out over approximately 4 kilometres of continued ascent. The great part about this climb, besides the challenge, is that it presents the most stunning views of the entire course, so it’s well worth your efforts! Multiple clear views are presented to break up your slog.
There is a slight reprieve once you top out but shortly thereafter you are thrust into an equivalent descent. Trails you’ll run include Upper Powersmart, IMBA Smart, Fred, and Word Of Mouth. The trails will start off as average technical and proceed into greater technicality as your legs fight through the impending fatigue. You’re welcome!
As you exit Fred you’ll arrive at your fourth aid station of the day at “Word of Mouth.”
Once you exit Word Of Mouth you’ll be at the approximate 30 mile point of your race at Quest University. A full aid station, full facilities and your other drop bag await.
Once you depart Quest it’s back to the climbing again. This time via Garibaldi Road, to The Climb Trail. Early in The Climb Trail you’ll pass a nice little waterfall and about a mile further along you’ll start to get some more open views back down valley towards Quest and across to The Tantalus Mountain Range. You are climbing on singletrack until crossing over The Northside Connector and then continuing up the Upper Climb Trail. Climbing, climbing, climbing you’ll top out as you find A.M. or the non politically correct name of Angry Midget. A.M. is a wonderful fall line running trail and though you’re legs might be screaming you’ll likely be doing the same out loud as you enjoy every step!
At the bottom of A.M. cut left onto Ring Creek and follow it for a few hundred meters until you can cross over the Garibaldi FSR. From here to the finish you’ll be following the same course as every other distance.
You will access another aid station here. Once across the gravel road you’ll drop back onto singletrack. This will wind you down to a river crossing across a bridge known as ‘Darwin’s, watch your step. A short but steep climb awaits you on the other side and you’ll be taking your first right onto STP.
You get to drop down STP, climb back up on Bonsai, drop back down on Somewhere Over There, and then hit your final aid station of the day at the entrance to
The Far Side.
Departing the aid station, you turn onto Fartherside and then S&M Connector. Enjoy this open slightly graded descent but don’t worry, you’re not done with your climbing just yet!
Crossing under the powerlines you take right onto the boardwalk and then a left onto Endo, but only briefly before you turn right onto Seven Stitches as you slowly climb up to Pipe Trail. From Pipe Trail you are closing in on your final climb of the day, up Mountain Of Phlegm. Don’t fuss over the name though, we’ve saved the best views for last! From the top of Mountain Of Phlegm, which is a short but steep climb, it’s ‘almost’ all downhill to your finish line.
Take Summer’s Eve into The Smoke Bluffs, blaze past the rock climbers and boulderers until you end up in the parking lot at the bottom. It’s time to get those legs to turn over on some flat stuff finally, and you’re only a few kilometres from celebrating your achievement in our beer gardens!
Along the water, through Rose Park, under the highway and down to Junction Park, at the O’Siyam Pavilion, where you can finally lay down and call it a day!
In case you’ve made it this far and haven’t deduced this just yet… it’s NOT an easy course, but if you train hard you’ll be one of those receiving a finisher’s medal and finish line hug or high-five.