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Anne-Marie Madden wins sixth Squamish 23K, lowers CR, contends for outright victory

Madden has never lost at the Squamish 50, winning every edition of the 23K dating back to 2012

Anne-Marie Madden
Anne-Marie Madden
Photo: Brian McCurdy.

The only course record that didn’t survive another year at the Squamish 50 was in the 23K.

Anne-Marie Madden lowered her own women’s course record at Sunday’s Squamish 50, held in the “Outdoor Recreation Capital of Canada” between Whistler and Vancouver, and contended for the outright win, losing only to Curtis Jung by 23 seconds. That was also the slimmest margin among all three standalone race distances. The 23K, a short-course option which compliments the weekend’s namesake 50K and 50-miler, features 1,000m of ascent and 1,200m of descent on a challenging point-to-point course. Despite the fact that it’s the shortest of the races, it’s by now means easy. (The race warns potential entrants of the following: “This SHOULD NOT be your first trail race. It is a very difficult 23K course.”)

Madden has won the Squamish 50 – 23K every year since the event began in 2012. (That year, the event now known as the ’23K’ was 21K.)

Ellie Greenwood finished second in the women’s 23K in 2:05:48.

The previous Squamish 50 – 23K record was 1:58:17, which Madden ran in 2015.

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Two weeks ago, at the Sentinel GreenRace Ultra Challenge in Castlegar, B.C., Madden covered 25K in 2:10:29 for the win. That race was a 12.5K from the base to the summit of Mount Sentinel and back. Madden helped race director Gary Robbins along with Geoff Langford for the Squamish 50, mark the course earlier in August.

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Mike Murphy and Lisa Polizzi were the winners of Saturday’s 50-miler clocking 8:10:10 and 9:52:54. In the 50K the following morning, Marcus Ribi and Rachel Jaten came out on top in 5:02:02 and 5:36:14. The ultra-brave completed both in what is known as the 50/50 challenge, a total of 130K on back-to-back days.

The Squamish 50 has become one of Canada’s most popular races. The 2017 event sold out eight months ahead of race day. Registration for the 2018 event – set for Aug. 18-19 – opens Nov. 24 at 7 a.m. PST.