|Avg Temps f.
|Gain/Loss in ft
50M: 7 miles
50k: 6 miles
Mainly trail, some gravel
and forest service road
50M: 17 hours
50k: 11.5 hours
2555 in 6.5 miles
Summary: Difficult courses across the board, run on technical singletrack trails. The 50M starts relatively flat for the first 6 miles and then the final mile, but has lots of climbing in between, with the largest climb being roughly 2500 feet. The 50k course is nearly as difficult, also having flatter sections on the front and back end, but the main climb is near the beginning of the race, as it’s the last 50k of the 50M course, and so is a point to point race, whereas the 50M is a loop. Then there are the brave souls who run the 50/50, 50M on Saturday, 50k on Sunday.
Detailed course description (50M to start, 50k from step #4) – Adapted from the race website:
- The first seven miles / eleven kilometers are flat, fast and twisty.
- Next is the first big climb, up and over Debeck’s Hill, which gains about 1000ft in about one mile. The descent is steep and rocky, which then turns into a 4×4 service road.
- Singletrack begins again after about a kilometer of service road, and then drops down a trail, and shortly thereafter it’s flat and fast to your second aid station at Alice Lake.
- (50k joins the fun here) Proceed through Alice Lake Park before tackling your first sizeable climb to gain Ed’s Bypass. Drop back down to Rob’s Corners and enjoy the winding flowy slight downhill grade.
- After the third aid station, runners turn right to complete a 10km loop, which is a mix of runnable and not so runnable technical terrain. Runners then return to the same aid station for a second time, via a very runnable double wide trail / gravel surface decommissioned road.
- Runners are on the Northside Connector gravel service road for a few kilometers and then a Forest Service Road for 1km, until picking up trail once again, a trail named Plastic Scheisse.
- Plastic Scheisse climbs to Galactic Scheisse and tops out at over 3300 feet. The trail climbs at a steady grade that is runnable for front runners. The total gain is over 2500 feet and it plays out over approximately 4 km of continued ascent.
- Nearing the top there are a few minor water crossings before starting your descent down trails that start off as average technical and proceed into greater technicality.
- Runners then arrive at the fourth aid station of the day, and given that this is relatively close to Quest University (AS #5 for 50M and #3 for 50k), this aid station will only be stocked with water, coke and gel.
- 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 and full facilities with drop bags.
- Once you depart Quest it’s back to the climbing again. This time via Garibaldi, to The Climb Trail. You are climbing on singletrack and it’s climbing, climbing, climbing you’ll top out as you find A.M., or the non politically correct name of Angry Midget.
- At the bottom of A.M. 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 while using the ‘Darwin’s Bridge’. A short but steep climb awaits you on the other side and you’ll be taking your first right onto STP. From here to the finish you’ll be following the same course as every other distance.
- After a drop down, a climb back up, and then another drop down, you’ll hit your final aid station of the day at the entrance to The Far Side. Turn onto Fartherside and then S&M Connector on a slightly graded descent.
- Crossing under the powerlines you take a couple turns before 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. From the top of Mountain Of Phlegm, which is a short but steep climb, it’s ‘almost’ all downhill to your finish line.
- It’s finally flat again for the last few kilometers as runners run along the water, through Rose’s Garden, under the highway and down to Pavilion Park at the finish line!
Lessons Learned from Race Reports
-No poles allowed
-All 50M runners must start with a headlamp
-Since the 50k is a point to point course, not a loop like the 50M, have your transportation sorted out to the start; there is a race bus that can take you there.
-Very difficult courses, so you need just as much of a strong mental game as a physical one
-Exposed sections – wear sunscreen and a hat!
-Lots of super technical, non-runnable trails
-Likely to to be hot, having a neck cooler or a buff to help keep you cool on the climbs
-With how slow the course is, have a plan for having a headlamp the second time in the evening for the 50M
-Hard to find a flow in the race because the lack of runnability of so much of the course
-The terrain makes the course more challenging than the elevation gain
-Last 10k of the course is very challenging and easy to have a very low point physically and mentally
-Be sure to carry enough fueling given the slow course and mileage between aid stations
50M: 1×2555, 1×1400, 1×900, 1×400, 4×200-400 feet
50k: 1×2600, 1×1400, 3×200-400 feet
50M: 2555 feet in 6.5 miles from mile 20.7-27.2
50k: 2600 feet in 9.4 miles from mile 0.0-9.4
50M: 1223 in 1.7 miles from mile 8.4-10.1 (13.6% grade)
50k: 2037 in 3.3 miles from mile 5.9-9.2 (11.7%grade)
Total aid stations: (50M) 8, (50k) 5
Furthest distance apart: (50M) 7 miles, (50k) 6.2 miles
50M: Mile 6 / 12 / 17 / 23 / 30 / 33 / 38 / 43
50k: Mile 5 / 11 / 14 / 20 / 25
What’s available: Mix of Ultima electrolyte drink mix, Honey Stinger gel and chews, fruits such as oranges, bananas, watermelon, chips, both potato and gluten-free, snacks such as salted pretzels, gummies, cookies, salted potatoes, etc., water and Coke, other gluten-free options
50M: Able to crew at AS #1, #2, #5 and #7 (miles 6, 12, 30, and 38)
50k: Able to crew at AS #3 and #5 (miles 14 and 25)
UTMB – 50M: 4 points, 50k: 3 points
http://gingerrunner.com/2013/08/27/race-recap-the-squamish-50-miler/ (Check out the likes and dislikes at the bottom of his race report for a summary)
Strava activities and GPX files