Race director and ultrarunner Gary Robbins has partnered with Athletics Canada (AC), the Association of Canadian Ultramarathoners (ACU) and the Canadian Mountain Running Association (CMRA) to host the next two editions of the Canadian Mountain and Trail Running Championships, AC announced Tuesday.
Robbins is well known for directing beloved races within the trail and ultra community, and for his ultrarunning prowess, including multiple tenacious attempts at the Barkley Marathons as documented in the film Where Dreams Go to Die. Squamish 50 weekend, annually hosting a 50K, 50-miler and 50/50 double, is one of the most popular trail events in the country.
“For more than 10 years we’ve worked tirelessly to establish the Squamish 50 races as the largest ultra-distance trail weekend in the country,” said Robbins. “Annually, we see runners from more than 15 countries, all provinces and territories, and over 30 U.S. states show up to toe our start lines. As the Canadian championships for the next two years we endeavour to make these races the absolute pinnacle of ultra-distance running within Canada.”
The Squamish 50 has been held in Squamish, B.C., a town of 20,000, since 2012, enticing world-class participants like Nick Elson, Mike Wardian, recent Javelina Jundred winner Dakota Jones and ultrarunning GOAT Courtney Dauwalter.
The championship will be held at Junction Park, known for its snow-capped peaks and ocean views, and boasting 3,352 metres (11,000 feet) in the 50-mile event (2,590 metres or 8,500 ft in the 50K) of elevation change through winding singletrack.
Chris Winter of AC shared that he is thrilled to partner with Robbins and the Squamish 50 team to host these championships. “We look forward to welcoming athletes to Squamish as they contend for national titles and a spot on Team Canada for the 2025 World Mountain Trail Running Championships.”
Lee Smith, VP of the ACU, added: “The ACU couldn’t be happier with this choice of venue, and know that the incredibly passionate and well-organized Squamish team will put on an amazing race.”
The event is scheduled for Aug. 19–20, 2023 and will include a 50K short trail championship and a 50-mile long trail championship. The date of the 2024 edition, which will serve as the selection trials for the 2025 World Mountain and Trail Running Championships, is still to be determined.
Race registration will open on Nov. 18 at 10 am E.T. and is expected to sell out quickly. Click here to find out more about Squamish 50 and to register.