Nesters Market Squamish50 Trail Race

Nesters Market Squamish50 Trail Race

Squamish is one of Canada’s most popular tourist destinations, located just 45 minutes from Whistler and an hour from Vancouver. The community is nestled in the foothills of several mountains, on the shores of the Mamquam River and Howe Sound. Its diverse terrain includes beaches, coastal rainforest, alpine meadows, glaciers and mountain crags.

Access to several provincial parks – like Stawamus Chief, Alice Lake and Brackendale Eagles Provincial Par – and the many forests that blanket the hills and mountains, the lakes, rivers and streams, and vast trail networks, all make Squamish an ideal location for hikers and runners to compete.

Each year Squamish hosts the Squamish 50 races. The trails are tough and truly unforgettable trail running experiences. More than 90% of the trails are singletrack, and there’s over 11,000 feet of climbing and descent. The Squamish 50 events were constructed by runners for runners and they highlight the very finest trail running terrain in Western Canada.

There are 3 events this year: the 50 Mile, 50 Km and 50/50. The 23 Km event has been postponed until 2022.

50 Mile

The 50 Miler is an exceptionally difficult course. The first 9.65 km (6 miles) are relatively flat; as is the final mile. The terrain in between features over 3350 m (11,000 ft) of ascents and descents. The longest largest individual climb is 760 m / 2500 ft.

This race will begin at Junction Park on Cleveland Avenue Saturday, October 16, 2021 at 5:30am. All runners will be required to start with a headlamp. The race will finish at Junction Park, Cleveland Avenue.

50 Km

The 50 Km is a very challenging course. It’s a point to point race without any loops. Like the 50 Mile, there are flatter sections at the beginning and end. The terrain in between features over 2500 m (8500 ft) of ascents and 2750 m (9000 ft) of descents. There’s a 11.5 hour cutoff time for this race.

This race will begin at Black Bear Rd off the Sea to Sky Highway, at the entrance to Alice Lake Provincial Park, on Sunday, October 17, 2021 at 6:15 am. The race will finish at Junction Park, Cleveland Avenue.


The 50/50 is the ultimate test, with racers completing the 50 Miler and 50 Km events back-to-back on consecutive days, for a total of 130 km. For those tackling the 50/50 for multiple years, there’s a special colour assigned that indicates the number of times the 50/50 has been completed, worn as a badge of honour. There are the coveted custom made awards, and for all who cross both finish lines on consecutive days there’s a limited edition 50/50 trucker hat.

The Squamish 50 Miler

The Squamish 50 Miler

Many Miles to Go

Squamish, British Columbia, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Canada, with good reason. Just an hour’s drive away from Vancouver, and just a short drive from popular skiing destination, Whistler, Squamish is nestled in the foothills of several mountains and boasts every kind of terrain, from beaches to forests, plains to mountains.

This diverse terrain has made Squamish a year-round tourist favourite, with both summer and winter sports enthusiasts making this their base from which to enjoy climbing, skiing – water and snow – cycling, biking, all kinds of watersports and snow activities and, of course, hiking and running.

Thanks to its proximity and access to several provincial parks, including Stawamus Chief, Alice Lake and Brackendale Eagles Provincial Parks, the many forests that blanket the hills and mountains, as well the numerous lakes and waterways that dot the landscape, Squamish is the ideal location for hikers and runners who enjoy a bit of a challenge. That’s why, each year, the city hosts the Squamish 50, a gruelling, challenging 50-mile race that takes participants through some of the most beautiful scenery that British Columbia has to offer.

Race organisers make no bones about the fact that this is a tough race – in fact, the levels of challenge built in are a point of pride; nonetheless, every year, hundreds of avid runners and trail runners sign up to take part in one of the several events that take place over the race weekend.

Going 50/50

The main attraction of the Squamish 50 is the 50-mile race that takes place on the Saturday. This race leads runners through such creatively named points as Dead End Loop, Tracks from Hell, Hide-a-Bike and Somewhere Over There. Sections of this run are single-track, and the second half of the race is notoriously more difficult than the first half. Runners can expect to climb nearly three and a half kilometres over the course of the race, including a 760m single climb. This race’s final cut-off is a staggering seventeen full hours after the start, proving just how challenging it can be.

Only slightly less challenging is the other “50”, the 50-kilometre race that takes place on the Sunday, following the 50-mile race. Following much of the same terrain, and several of the same trails, this is a point-to-point race that cuts out the numerous loops found in the 50-mile race. That, however, doesn’t make this race any less daunting. Runners will climb two and a half kilometres during this race. The cut-off time for the 50km race is a full eleven and a half hours after the start.

If this all sounds a little hectic, spare a thought for those brave souls who take the 50/50 challenge and run both races, back-to-back on the two consecutive days of this weekend. In total, those finishing both races will have run 130 kilometres of some of the toughest – and most gorgeous – terrain in Western Canada.

Taking it… not so easy

For those who are venturing into the Squamish 50 for the first time, or those who want to enjoy the scenic run without tackling the daunting 50-mile or 50-kilometre races, there is also a 23-kilometre trail run that takes you through Farside, Fartherside, Seven Stitches and Mountain of Phlegm, among other equally charmingly named points. This race takes place on the Sunday, so 50-mile participants who want to really push themselves, but aren’t quite up to the challenge of the 50/50 can take on this run. The total race climb is one thousand metres, much of it right near the end of the race.

While the adults are pounding away at the many kilometres of trail, the children get to enjoy their own races, as well. Kids under age five can take part in a half-kilometre race, those aged between five and eight can tackle a one-kilometre race, and children ages eight and over a one and a half-kilometre race. The children’s race is free to enter and takes place on the Saturday.

A well-deserved rest

While spectators and crew are only permitted at the aid stations along the various routes, every year sees many visitors who have come to cheer along family and friends as they take on this trail ultra marathon.

Runners and non-runners alike get to enjoy the beauty and various attractions on offer in Squamish, like the Sea-to-Sky Gondola that takes you to the Summit Lodge, 885m above sea level; the West Coast Railway Heritage Park or the Britannia Mine Museum; or perhaps craft brewery tours for those looking for something a little less active. There’s even horseback riding for those who want to enjoy the natural beauty that surrounds Squamish, without taking on the Squamish 50.

Those checking in at the August Jack Motor Inn will find themselves in the shadow of the famous Stawamus Chief, and with an unparalleled view of Shannon Falls, all with the convenience of being within walking distance of several amenities, restaurants, grocery stores and more. Located at 37947 Cleveland Avenue, August Jack is central to most of Squamish and just a few minutes’ drive from the start of the Squamish 50.