Editor’s Note: This blog was originally written in 2019, but we keep updating it with the latest race events. Last updated, January 16, 2024.

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 several local and international running events, the 2024 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, all-natural 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. The course is now all trail-based and starts and ends in Olympic Plaza, with the majority of the race around Lost Lake Park.   

They’ve updated their divisions to reflect the fact that not every athlete exists within the traditional, binary divisions, and the new Beyond the Podium Awards are aimed at redefining how we think about success with awards for Super Parent, Closest to Goal Time and Top Fundraiser.

Don’t want to run? You can walk or opt to be an official cheer squad member, and make sure you head to Whistler Olympic Plaza to celebrate afterward. 

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: May 31 – June 2, 2024

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

Run Comfy Numb

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. They also have a 50-km option for ultra runners. 

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

Date: June 8, 2024

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

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

Distances: 25 KM and 50 KM

More Information and Registration

INSIDER TIP: There are only a few spots left for the 2023 Whistler-based race, but they do have another trail race option just twenty minutes further north in Pemberton on July 8, 2023.

NEW: ÖTTILÖ Swimrun Whistler

ÖTILLÖ (meaning island to island in Swedish) is the original swimrun race, renowned as one of the toughest one-day races in the world. Participants alternate trail-running and open-water swimming on a marked course that will weave its way over a variety of terrain.

The race is part of the ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Series and a qualifier to ÖTILLÖ, The Swimrun World Championship in the Swedish archipelago.

Sun dances on the glassy surface of a lake in Whistler.
ÖTTILÖ Swimrun Whistler will be taking full advantage of the fresh, mountain lakes. PHOTO JUSTA JESKOVA

Date: July 7, 2024

Difficulty Rating: It’s been hailed as one of the toughest, one-day races in the world. Definitely, for the thick-skinned, water lovers out there!

Surface: Glacier-fed freshwater mountain lakes, single-track trails, roads, dock jumps, rock scrambling and mountains!

Distances: 

TOTAL SWIM & RUN DISTANCES COVERED
  • World Series Course Swimming – 7,545m (4.7mi)
  • Sprint Course Swimming – 3,855m (2.4mi)
  • Experience Course Swimming – 1,120m (.7mi)
  • World Series Course Running – 20.4mi (32.8km)
  • Sprint Course Running – 8.17mi (13.15km)
  • Experience Course Running – 5.5mi (8.85km)
LONGEST SWIM & RUN
  • World Series Swim – 1,450m (.9mi)
  • Sprint Swim – 1,450m (.9mi)
  • Experience Swim – 800m (.5mi)
  • World Series Run – 5.8mi (9.35k)
  • Sprint Run – 3.7mi (6k)
  • Experience Run – 2mi (3.2km)
TOTAL GAIN/ASCENT
  • World Series Course – 1,448′ (442m)
  • Sprint Course – 474′ (145m)
  • Experience Course – 281′ (86m)

More Information and Registration

NEW: Ultra Tri Fest Canada

Ultra 515 Canada & the Ultra 515 World Wide Championships are three-day ultra-endurance triathlon events with four stages covering 515 kilometres (each day has a 12-hour time limit). Whistler, British Columbia is the spectacular setting for this test of your athletic ability and mental limits.

For those not quite up to 515 kilometres just yet, join forces with friends and take on the same course together as part of an Ultra 515 Relay or opt into the Ultra 360’s more manageable distances.

If you prefer to off-road bike you are in luck because Whistler has the terrain for the Ultra 260 Gravel. Finally, if you are an experienced 515 racer and want a new challenge, why not conquer the Ultra 515 Non-Stop.

Date: August 3 – 5, 2024

Difficulty Rating: This one’s a toughie. 

Surface: Water, paved biking, and paved and unpaved running

Distance: 515 kilometres and 360 kilometres (split over three days)

More Information and Registration

5 Peaks Trail Running Series

To get to this race, you must take a gondola ride up Blackcomb Mountain. 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 26, 2024

Difficulty Rating: Watch your step – although this race has technical terrain it’s also got the views and friendly vibes!

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

Distance: 6 KM Sports course, 9.9 KM Enduro course, 3 & 1 KM Kid’s Races

More Information and Registration

XTERRA Whistler

Shifted into the fall this year, XTERRA Whistler offers three events, on Saturday, September 16 they host the kids and sprint course, and then on Sunday, it’s the Championship Triathlon Race. All three are set in beautiful Lost Lake Park and involve a swim in the lake, cross-country bike and run.

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: September 14 and 15, 2024

Difficulty Rating: Moderate

Surface: Gravel and dirt

Distances: Sprint / 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

NEW: Ultra Trail Whistler by UTMB

The 2024 Ultra Trail Whistler by UTMB is an epic trail running event with distances of 100K, 50K and 25K. Courses run from the deep evergreen forest, past stunning mountain lakes, to high alpine vistas, each taking you on a challenging journey that shows off the best of Whistler and its surrounding trails.

The event is also the starting point in your quest to the UTMB World Series Finals in Chamonix, the mythic Dacia UTMB Mont-Blanc.

Date: September 28 – 29, 2024

Difficulty Rating: Hard – you’ve got to watch your footing and the elevation, and there are time cut-offs

Surface: All trail

Distances: 25 kilometres, 50 kilometres and 100 kilometres

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: TBD

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 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 5, 2024

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:

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.

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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.