squamish 50/50

Squamish 50/50 Race Report – Mark Cliggett

Race: Squamish 50/50

Runner: Mark Cliggett

Race Date: 08/18/2018

Location: Squamish BC

Results: 14:36:59/10:16:46

3 Bests – What aspects of the race did you like the most?

Amazing volunteers. The challenge of running 50 miles and 50k on back-to-back days. Finishing the 50/50 so I don’t have to do it again.

Not so much – Aspects of the race that didn’t do it for you

The aid station food was pretty much the same from start to finish – fine for a short one day race but getting monotonous already by the end of the 50 mile race and I had to face it again through the 50k.

Weird factor – What’s the weirdest thing about this race?

A lot of the downhills are on technical mountain bike trails and have wooden ramps – some of the ramps are so steep you have to pick your way down them.

Highlights of your race – What did you do well and enjoy about your race in particular?

Finishing, in spite of various issues.

Lessons for others – Share your pro-tips on the race to help the next runner

The hardest thing about the 50/50 – aside from the miles – is managing the time between the two races, especially if you aren’t fast. There is a lot to do in a small number of hours (including sleep) and crew/support probably would help. I didn’t have that and I was exhausted by the end of the 50k – probably more so than in some 100 mile races.

Most important course specific knowledge to know about the race

The trails are all mountain bike trails – technical, difficult, and slow.

Aesthetics – Is it a pretty course?

For me, there are are much prettier courses. At Squamish, you spend a lot of time in the woods and occasionally in clear cuts that are growing back. There weren’t a lot of views. It’s like running in the woods at Cougar/Tiger Mountain – not the worst thing in the world but certainly not the prettiest.

Difficulty – Is it a tough course?

Uh, yeah. The technical trails take it out of you .

Organized and well run – Did it feel like a well-oiled machine or were they flying by the seat of their pants?

Definitely well run.

Logistics – Does it require a special handshake, registration a year in advance, hotels all booked? Give us the low down on the nuts and bolts of making the race happen.

The races sold out in less than 8 hours this year. One of those races where you have to sign up the moment it opens.

Weather and typical race conditions

This year it was smoky due to BC fires. Given how things are going, this may become an annual problem for the race.

The Overall Score – How many stars do you give this race and do you recommend that others run it?

If you like really hard, technical trails, this is a great race.

Read more about Mark’s race at: 


squamish 50

Squamish 50M & 50K Race Info

Squamish 50 mile and 50k are 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. New for 2018 is a 23km race on Sunday.

Race Details

50m Detailed Course Description

50k Detailed Course Description

Lessons Learned from Race Reports

  • No poles allowed
  • All 50M runners must start with a headlamp, which you can drop at Aid Station 2 to be transported by the race staff to Aid Station 7
  • 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, accept that you’ll likely need 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
  • Use the course preview runs if you have the chance
  • If you’re in Seattle, trails for good race simulation are Tiger and Rattlesnake for good climbing and power hiking, Poo Poo Point for technical descending, and Shangri La Trail for running faster on both ups and downs
  • Aid Station #1, Canadian Tire, tends to be very crowded for crew, as they are all heading there at the same time and may experience parking delays, so don’t rely too heavily on your crew here
  • Practice technical descents as much as possible
  • Lots of people leave the last aid station (Farside) at mile 43 pushing hard to the finish, and even though there is only “one more climb” up Phlem, there are still climbs on the way to Phlem
  • See Matt K’s race report on the 50/50 for details about the course, the aid, his lessons learned, and what he’d do differently for training to prepare for those hairy, technical descents.


Total gain/loss:

50M: 11000/11000

50k: 8500/9000

Total climbs:

50M: 1×2555, 1×1400, 1×900, 1×400, 4×200-400 feet

50k: 1×2600, 1×1400, 3×200-400 feet

Longest climb:

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

Steepest climb:

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)

Elevation profile:

50M: http://squamish50.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Squamish50M-1.jpg

50k: http://squamish50.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Squamish50K.jpg


Aid stations

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 Hammergel and Heed electrolyte drink mix, 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

Crew access

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)

Crew Driving Directions:

50 Mile Start at Squamish Oceanfront to Aid Station #1 at Escape Route

Aid Station #1 at Escape Route to Aid Station #2 at Alice Lake

Aid Station #2 at Alice Lake to Aid Station #5 at Quest

Aid Station #5 at Quest to Aid Station #7 at Far Side

Aid Station #7 at Far Side to Finish Line in downtown Squamish


None allowed

Race qualifiers

UTMB – 50M: 4 points, 50k: 3 points, 23k: 1 point

Race reports


Mark Cliggett’s 2018 50/50 Race Report

Mark Cliggett’s 2018 50/50 Race Report (more detailed)

Matt K’s 2017 50/50 Race report

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









Race Website