ARC’TERYX SQUAMISH 50 ULTRA RACE GETS SET FOR SECOND YEAR OF SUCCESS
(VANCOUVER, BC) Aug 10 2013 – No longer a fringe sport, ultra running attracts not only top athletes but marathoners who want to push to the next level and challenge themselves on uneven terrain. This weekend, 600 such runners are arriving in Squamish BC, for what is slated as one of the toughest ultra races on the trail circuit.
It feels like survival. The Arc’teryx Squamish 50 ultra run is a really TOUGH race. There’s even disclaimer on the sign up page to discourage first time racers!
The 50 mile course, 85% of it single track, has 3800m/12,000ft of climb and descent. Technical and wild, it’s also grueling, remote and punishing terrain, albeit with stunning views. Welcome to ultra running, Canadian style.
But in only its second year of existence, the Arc’teryx Squamish 50 sold out in its first two weeks. And this weekend, August 10, 2013 an international roster of 600 runners from 9 countries will put themselves through the paces, running courses of 50 miles, 50km and 23km.
The event is sponsored by Arc’teryx, based out of North Vancouver, BC, a brand that is no stranger to extremes.
Relatively new as a sport, ultra running covers distances longer than a marathon. The runs are uniquely about pushing personal limits, pushing those limits hard and pushing them far. At Squamish, the back half of the 50 is more difficult than the first. To reach the finish line is victory.
Gary Robbins, one of the two main organizers of the Squamish 50 and no stranger to Ultra Running himself, credits the striking surge in popularity of these races to an
“Experienced road running/marathon community that’s looking for a new challenge and a younger generation that’s going straight onto the trails. In addition there is a growing mainstream culture with an intense focus on personal journeys and fitness. Ultra running is no longer looked upon as a fringe sport pursued by extremists, as much as it’s an extreme challenge that is doable by the vast majority of the population.”
Having a local high performance outdoor brand sponsor the event underlines the intensity of both the course and the event. Robbins is quick to note that.
“Arc’teryx was the very first brand Geoff (Langford) and I approached about coming on board as our title sponsor. Arc’teryx has a heritage of quality, innovation, style, and mountain culture that instantly helped our event gain international exposure and credibility.”
Lawyer and local Arc’teryx athlete Adam Campbell describes ultra runs this way; “There are certain races that you do to see how you stack up against the rest of the world and then there are certain races where you’re looking at this incredible scenery under insane fatigue. Your senses become quite heightened.” Campbell, one of the world’s top flight runners, will be competing in this year’s event. Also in the exclusive field are Americans Karl Meltzer, current World Record holder of the most 100 mile victories of all time (34); and Krissy Moehl, ultra running superstar and recent winner of the Mt Fuji 100 miler in Japan. Canadians David le Porho, Lisa Polizzi, Nicola Gildersleeeve, Catrin Jones and Jason Loutitt are strong contenders, as are dark horses Nathan Barrett of Vancouver and Stacey Cleveland from Penticton.
“This is our home turf and it’s this tough terrain that we design our products for, ”says Laura Fergusson, North American Events and Athletes Manager for Arc’teryx. “We have athletes participating who are true competitors and working with Geoff Langford and Gary Robbins on this event is a positive partnership for our brand. It’s a huge win.”
The 50 mile course begins at 5:30 am, Saturday August 10, with a final cut-off of 9:30pm. That is 16 hours of suffering. Not quite true. Suffering implies there is no benefit, no reward and with these views, challenges and the camaraderie of going to the brink and surviving, that is simply not the truth.
Race start times:
5.30 am = Start for the 50 mile race – start line is Ocean front.
8.00 am = Start for the 23km race – start line is Quest University
9.00 am = Start for the 50km race – start line is Alice Lake Provincial Park
Expected first race finishers:
23km – about 9:45am
50m – about 1:15pm
50k – about 1:30pm
*All races finish down town Squamish from about 9.30 am* onwards
PRESS RELEASE provided by Arc’teryx