Updated May 10, 2022

You may know that Whistler is a world-class ski resort, but did you know it’s also a runner’s paradise?

With a wide variety of trails that cater to everyone from recreational runners to pros, Whistler’s fresh air and outdoor vibes are undeniably good for the heart and soul. My personal favourites are the paved Whistler Valley Trail network and the gravel trails that circle Lost Lake. While my deer-in-headlights depth perception forces me to tiptoe carefully through the rocky terrain of the Coast Mountains, our high alpine trails are loved by many locals.

Whistler hosts a number of local and international running events, the 2022 running calendar is packed with unique events that cater to various abilities and interests. The sheer number of events can make picking one feel like a daunting task, so we’re here to help with this handy guide:

Whistler Half Marathon presented by Smartwool

The Whistler Half Marathon is one of Canada’s most scenic runs and a personal favourite of mine. There are five distances to choose from ranging from 1 kilometre to 30 kilometres (including a 21 kilometre half marathon, of course), making it welcoming for all levels.   

Don’t want to run? You can walk or opt to be an official cheer squad member.

Spectators cheering on runners in Whistler
Reminder for spectators: have fun, dress the part, create a sign – a good cheering squad can make all the difference. PHOTO MIKE CRANE

Date: June 3 – 5, 2022

Difficulty Rating: Tortoise to hare – there is something for everyone

Surface: Pavement and gravel 

Distances: 1 KM (kids), 5 KM, 10 KM, 30 KM, Half Marathon (21 KM)

More Information and Registration

XTERRA Whistler

The 2022 XTERRA Whistler is the BC Cross Triathlon Championships and a qualifier event for both the 2022 XTERRA World Championships in Lake Molveno, Trentino, Italy and the 2023 ITU World Championships in Ibiza, Spain. It’s good to note that on Saturday, June 11 there’s the XTERRA Kids Off Road Triathlon and XTERRA 15km Trail Running and Race, and a stand alone 1500 metre swim race on the XTERRA swim course.

A runner races down a rocky path in the Whistler X Tri.
The trick is to smile and make it look easy. PHOTO XTERRA WHISTLER

Date: June 11 and 12, 2022

Difficulty Rating: Moderate

Surface: Gravel and dirt

Distances: Sport (750 M swim, 11.6 KM bike, 5 KM run), Championship (1,500 M swim, 23.2 KM bike, 10 KM run)

More Information and Registration

Comfortably Numb Trail Running Race

This is a bucket list race for trail runners. It takes place on one of Whistler’s longest mountain biking trails, Comfortably Numb. The 25-kilometre singletrack trail offers progressive climbs, a few descents and numerous sweeping, mountain vistas. 

Runner at Comfortably Numb Trail run
Experience the 25 kilometre Comfortably Numb course on foot. PHOTO MIKE CRANE

Date: June 25, 2022

Difficulty Rating: Butt burner – not recommended for the average couch potato

Surface: Alpine trail – rocky, uneven, technical at times

Distances: 25 KM

More Information and Registration

5 Peaks Trail Running Series

To get to this race, you must take a gondola ride up Whistler Mountain and cross over to Blackcomb Mountain via the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola. There you start your journey through wildflower meadows, past alpine lakes and up and over boulder fields, all with panoramic views of the Coast Mountains.

Runners going past Black Tusk in Whistler
Get off the road and spend some time in nature. PHOTO JUSTA JESKOVA
INSIDER TIP: Like many of Whistler’s events, this race is disposable cup-free! Please bring your own reusable cup or bottle.

Date: August 27, 2022

Difficulty Rating: Easy-breezy, these runs are for everyone

Surface: Alpine trail – rocky, uneven, technical at times

Distance: 6.6 KM Sports course, 10.6 KM Enduro course, 3 KM Kid’s Race, 1 KM Children’s Challenge

More Information and Registration

Whistler Alpine Meadows Races

If you are up for the challenge of long alpine climbs over rugged mountain terrain, then the Alpine Meadows Races could be for you. These races have it all, from 25-kilometre to 100-mile (161 kilometres) options, and they are not shy on the elevation profile either (the Ascent race is a doable 5.75 kilometre race on paper but pair this with a steady climb of 1,200 metres and you may find you require buns of steel.) The reward is experiencing the amazing landscapes of the Coast Mountains, expect to see glaciers, waterfalls and wildflowers.

The view is just a little distracting. PHOTO BRIAN MCCURDY

Fun Fact: If one race is not enough, participants can sign up for the Triple WAMMY! and receive three days of joyful bliss, including the Friday Ascent, Saturday 25 kilometres, Sunday 55 kilometres. Totalling 85.75 kilometres; 4,750 metres of ascent and 3,550 metres of descent.

Dates: September 9 to 11, 2022

Difficulty Rating: Wow to Triple WAMMY

Surface: Alpine trail – rocky, uneven, technical at times

Distance: 25 KM, 55 KM, 110 KM, 100 Mile, 5.75 KM Ascent Race, Triple WAMMY!

More Information and Registration 

Whistler Turkey Trot presented by Smartwool

Gravy is not a beverage? Say what! Signing up for this family-fun trot will make all of the indulging over Thanksgiving guilt-free. On this run, you will be served stunning views paired with the fresh aroma of autumn in the mountains. The event proudly supports Crohn’s and Colitis Canada.

Man running dressed as a turkey
Gobble Gobble! Turkey anyone? PHOTO ROB SHAER

Date: October 9, 2022

Difficulty Rating: Cream puff to cakewalk

Surface: Gravel

Distance: You can do the 5 KM Drumstick Dash or really run off the calories on the 10 KM Gravy Burner

​More Information and Registration

Whistler 50 Relay & Ultra

This annual event held each fall in Whistler is a 50 mile relay race open to teams of eight or four as well as a solo 50 KM ultra-marathoners. In 2019, the Whistler 50 changed up the course to include the incredible Lost Lake trails, with all of the transitions taking place behind the rings at Whistler Olympic Plaza. 

Participants having fun at the Whistler 50 Relay & Ultra
Keep moving forward as it only gets better. PHOTO MIKE CRANE

Date: October 15, 2022

Difficulty Rating: Walk in the park (relay) to extreme (solo ultra).

Surface: Paved and gravel

Distance: 50 Mile relay and 50 KM ultra marathon

More Information and Registration

More Events:

  • Tenderfoot Boogie – Postponed until 2023
  • The Terry Fox Run – September 18, 2022

 

Want More? Check out the Whistler events calendar. For help with planning your race-cation, check-out Whistler.com and get local help from the cool kids who live and race right here.

Spring in Whistler offers great value with a three-night stay starting from $127 per night. Planning to come in June? Book 3+ nights and receive a free $100 wellness voucher. If you are a BC or Washington resident, be sure to check out Whistler Rewards for the best seasonal deals.

Author

The call of the mountains brought this mix of city / country girl to Whistler over 5 years ago. Tina is spontaneous but overly plans, outdoorsy but has no problem hiding in a shopping mall, outgoing but enjoys the quiet peace of reading a novel. She is genuinely curious and will often find out a person's life story over a pint of beer.