Arc’teryx Squamish 50 race summary


This weekend 500 trail runners from across the globe descended on Squamish BC for what is known as one of the toughest Ultra races on the circuit. Vancouverite Adam Campbell took first place in the 50 mile with a time of 7 hours and 37 mins in  a hard fought battle with Squamish local Jason Loutitt, who finished  second  at 7 hours and 40 mins.

In the women’s 50 mile circuit -American Kristin Moehl took first place in 9 hours and 37 mins over local Lisa Polizzi at 9 hours and 39 mins – another closely fought race.

No longer a fringe sport, ultra running now attracts top international athletes and marathoners who want to push to the next level and challenge themselves on uneven terrain. This weekend runners from 9 different countries, 23 states and 7 provinces took part in 3 different race distances over the course of the day.

With distances of 50 miles, 50km and 23km to choose from, each of the runs is uniquely about pushing personal limits –  pushing those limits hard and pushing them far.  On the 50 mile course,  the back half is more difficult than the first. To reach the finish line is victory in itself.

Gary Robbins, one of the two main organizers and no stranger to Ultra Running, couldn’t be happier with how the event went and the finishers’ reactions to how incredibly tough the course was.

“ Nothing pleases me more than having my fellow ultra runners loathe me while they are running this course and many an expletive was issued at me as they crossed the line – but ultra runners have a peculiar sense of humour – they need it to get through these races, I know they enjoyed every bit of the pain!”

“The conditions were great, weather was perfect and it was impressive to see how close some of the top finishers were; all the distances were tightly fought, highly completive races”– Robbins, who personally greeted almost every finisher at the race, adds that “watching everyone else come over the line – that’s truly what makes this event so rewarding. The first time ultra runners, the average daily runners, all pushing their own personal limit, that’s truly inspiring!”


The event, now in its second year, is sponsored by North Vancouver based Arc’teryx, a brand that is no stranger to extremes. The company had its own team of runners participating over the 3 distances..

Adam Campbell, the  overall first place finisher in the 50 Mile (7:37:23); Anne- Marie Madden, who took the podium as the first place winner in the women’s 23km (2:08:13); and Catrin Jones, who placed first in the women’s 50km (5:51:52).

Jones, who is relatively new to ultra running, chose one of the hardest courses to “ease” into the sport, but said she was extremely pleased with her achievement considering she hadn’t felt as prepared as she had wanted to be.

“I’m training for the Francophone Games at the moment, where I’ll be representing Canada in the marathon, so I’ve been focusing on road running rather than trails so I was a little scared as well as excited going into this. There was a lot of diversity in the course, tough climbs and scrambles, lots of big power hikes but some beautiful rolling switchbacks and wood work too. A challenging course set in a beautiful area, ultimately I loved it!”

For 2014, the Arc’teryx Squamish 50 is set to become a Trail Race Festival held over three consecutive days. The idea-is to incorporate a film festival element into the event.  Watch for the next Arc’teryx Squamish 50 to take place August 8,9 &10, 2014.

Full Results HERE

Arc’teryx Squamish 50



(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.

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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.

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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.

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“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