Travel Blog

7 Jun

Whistler Summer Events: Running, Fitness & “Group Suffering.”

TAG: Festivals Events

Posted by: Feet Banks

As summer unfurls her beach towel of awesomeness The Insider will post a series of scheduling blogs about the plethora of events happening in Whistler this summer. This week we’re highlighting all the running, racing, and other events where everyone happily suffers together and just finishing makes you a winner. Enjoy.

Health is important, fitness is too (especially if you ever need to outrun a swarm of zombies). Luckily, Whistler locals keep in pretty good shape. The clean mountain air helps, so does the inspiring scenery and at any given time there will be a whole whack of Whistler people out biking, hiking, climbing, sliding, zipping, paddling and rolling around under their own steam.

So it makes sense that a town of health nuts would play host to so many participatory fitness events each summer encouraging people to get outside and rip it up. From grassroots races like The Whistler Half Marathon up to the longest, hardest, sweatiest event of the summer— the Subaru IRONMAN® Canada—Whistler is known as a place to come push your personal limits and connect with others who are pushing theirs. Good Luck!

June 7, 2014: The North Face Whistler Half Marathon

Get up early and seize the day with a gently rolling 21.1 kilometre (13 mile) course through some of Whistler’s most scenic neighbourhoods and along popular running paths like the Valley Trail. The Half Marathon really highlights the fun, friendly vibe of regular people dipping their toes into distance running, plus everyone gets a sweet poster from local artist/runner Chili Thom. Click here More Info.

June 15, 2014: Whistler Valley Trail Run

Don’t be confused, this race is not along the paved Valley Trail that meanders the entire length of Whistler but rather a dirt-trail running race with 5-and-10-kilometre distances through the forests of the Lost Lake trail network. A fun local run that’s been around for 23 years! More Info.

June 15, 2014: Helly Hansen Comfortably Numb Trail Running Race

Comfortably Numb is a 25 kilometre (15.5 mile) mountain bike trail that’s known as one of the best rides in North America but it’s also a heck of a running trail. Big forests, sweeping views, rivers, climbs, descents and did I mention it’s 25 K. Start training harder. More Info.

June 21-22, 2014: Tough Mudder Whistler

Not for the weak-willed or shaky-kneed, Tough Mudder is all about mental strength and physical stamina as teams battle through a course designed to break your will. This is where the group suffering comes in, because when we suffer together we make connections that can last a lifetime. Tough Mudder is the toughest 10-12 miles (16-19 kilometres) of the summer. More info.

Tough mudder Whistler

June 28, 2014: Tenderfoot Boogie Trail Race

Trail running is super hot right now in Whistler and this event covers just about every sort of local terrain imaginable. You can definitely count on some elevation gain while running between Squamish and Whistler and distance options include a 50 Mile, 50 kilometre and 28 kilometre version. Serious runs in amazing Coast Mountain terrain. Make sure your shoelaces are double knotted. More Info.

July 27, 2014: Subaru IRONMAN® Canada

No big deal, just a mellow 2.4 mile (3.86 kilometre) swim in the brisk waters of Alta Lake, then a quick 112-mile (180-kilometre) bike ride out to Pemberton and back (read, some gnarly hill climbs on the way back) and then a nice quick 26.2-mile (46.2 kilometeres) jog around Lost Lake and Green Lake before ending at Whistler Olympic Plaza. No one is jumping off the couch and competing in this one, people train their whole lives, but you can hop aboard the good times as a spectator easily enough. This is as full-on as Whistler gets this summer. More info.

August 1-5th, 2014: Canadian Orienteering Championships

This race is all about running fast while also navigating your course through local parks and forests as muscle power meets brain power to find Canada’s champions. It sounds difficult so it’s probably really difficult. More Info.

Whistler Running Scenery

August 23, 2014: 5 Peaks Trail Running Series

A trail run through the upper alpine of Blackcomb Mountain. Expect wild terrain, steep climbs and way less oxygen in the thin alpine air. Do trail runners ever blow a shoelace the way mountain bikers blow tires? If so, I bet it this is where it could happen. More Info.

September 13, 2014: Salomon Meet Your Maker 50 Mile Ultra Relay

That’s not a typo: this race is 50 miles (80 kilometres) and the vast majority of it is single track trail leading up, down, through, and around the Whistler wilderness. That is a lot of running for one person so team Relay options are also available for up to 7 people (is Relay the “carpooling” of running?). More info.

September 14, 2014: The Terry Fox Run

A great introduction to running events, this one is a classic Canadian tradition that celebrates a hero while also raising money for the Canadian Cancer Society. Walk, run, wheel or ride either 4.2 kilometres or 7.2 kilometres. This is a perfect family run for a good cause. More info.

September 28, 2014: Escape Route Presents The Rubble Creek Classic

A local tradition started in 1985, this one is a bit grueling with 1338 metres (4389 feet) of elevation gain over a 24 kilometre (14.9 mile) trail cutting through the alpine terrain of iconic Black Tusk and Garibaldi Lake. Runners, start your engines! More Info.

September 28, 2014: Whistler Spirit Run

This one is a run for all ages and skill levels with courses ranging from 1-8 kilometres that take participants through the stunning Callaghan Valley, home to the Nordic events at the 2010 Winter Games. Best of all, the event raises money for BC athletics clubs and scholarships. More info.

October 17, 2014: Whistler 50 Relay and Ultra Marathon

Running season wraps up with another big one. Participants can hit this 50-mile jaunt alone or in a group relay but either way the course winds through the wilderness around Whistler Village which makes it easy to find the after party to celebrate the end of another great season. More info.

Fall views for the Whistler 50

And that’s it. Run hard, have fun and don’t forget to check out the Whistler Running page for info on local running groups and facilities. The Insider tip for racers and competitors this summer is to stay in town an extra day or two after your event finishes. A Sunday evening patio session that leads to an extended bout in the hotel hot tub is one of the best ways to recover from a big weekend race. Throw a celebratory dinner in there and you’ll really feel like a champ. Get all the info you need at

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