Whistler 50 Relay & Ultra
Saturday, October 17, 2020
The 10th annual Whistler 50 is a 50 mile relay and 50 KM ultra marathon centered around Whistler Olympic Plaza and Whistler’s incredible Lost Lake trails. The event is open to Relay Teams of four, or eight members as well as individuals tackling the entire distance through the solo ultra-marathon. Taking place late in the running season, the event is positioned as an “end of year” wrap-up for numerous competitive running teams and a great social weekend for our recreational participants. With pre-race gatherings and post-race parties, this is both a fun athletic event and a great social weekend supporting local charities. Over the years, Whistler 50 has donated $45,000 to local Food Banks.
- Race Day: Saturday, October 17, 2020
- Course: The run starts and finishes at Whistler Olympic Plaza. The course is a 10 KM loop, run 8 times for a total of 50 miles, primarily on Whistler’s Lost Lake Trail system.
- Race Starts: 7:45 AM solo Ultra | 7:30 AM Relay teams
- Race Finish: First finishers at 11:30 AM, course closes at 5 PM
- Awards at Olympic Plaza: Event Awards take place Saturday afternoon at the Finish Area
- More information: www.whistler50.com
Key Event Statistics
- Approximately 1,500 people attend Race Weekend, including 1,100+ runners, 100 volunteers, and 300 additional friends and family members.
- Male/Female split is 40% and 60%
- Average age is 39 years old
- Majority of runners are aged 30-49 (30-39 represent 38%, 40-49 represent 32%)
- 90% of Relay Runners come from the Lower Mainland (Sea-to-Sky Corridor 5%), with other teams mainly coming from Washington State and Vancouver Island
- 70% of Ultra Runners come from the Lower Mainland (Sea-to-Sky Corridor 12%)
- As a general demographic, 75% of runners have a college degree and over 70% earn a household income of over $75,000 (2015 RunningUSA National Runner Survey)
- Psychographics -Event participants primarily:
- Are concerned about health, fitness, and appearance
- Enjoy spending time with friends and colleagues
- Also participate in other live experiences (concerts, food/beverage events, etc)
- Are not “hardcore athletes” – majority identify as casual runners and are in Whistler for the team experience and comradery
- Are active on social media, with the greatest number of event-related conversations taking place prior to race day
- Have high satisfaction with the event – 2018 survey showed 93% recommending to friends
2020 Event Highlights
Continuing upon the success of implementing these aspects in the past, this year’s run will include:
- The Course will continue to be focused around the Lost Lake trails
- The Ultra Marathlon to remain a 50 KM event (Rather than the old format of 50 Miles)
- Additional food and beverage options available to participants
- On-site sponsor activations
- Recycling and waste-diversion teams at event venues
- Course spectator-friendly. Enjoy a natural environment!
Here is how your business can get involved in the event
Members can use images of Whistler 50 Relay and Ultra to promote the event by logging into the Tourism Whistler content hub. Please remember to credit the photographer whenever using Tourism Whistler images.
We are still looking for Community Partners for this year’s event and would like to promote activity, food, and retail discounts to our participants. Depending upon participation level, Partners may be eligible for on-site promotions, logo placement in ads/website, or chances to present awards. Please contact Race Director Dave Clark at 604.967.3733 or at W50racedirector@BCAthletics.org
Example Opportunities / Past Successes
- Featured venues for pre/post-event activities, including post-race parties
- The Brewhouse has featured a discount menu/drinks for racers over the weekend
- Scandinave Spa provided discount coupon to all racers, plus gift certificates for online promotions leading up to the event
- Pubs have provided a $5 meal coupon to all racers in their event kits
Possible Ways to Attract Participants
- Retail shops: stock active wear, running clothes, energy products, or sports drinks that are popular with Whistler 50 participants
- Restaurants/cafés: create a race themed menu item or drink available to runners
- Tours/activity providers: create a post-race activity geared towards teams the evening or day after the race
- Discounts to racers: a discount could be highlighted for racers with their participant wristband
- Free or discounted cover/admission to events or venues
Whistler 50 promotes to and engages with runners year-round. The online newsletter is regularly sent to over 2,800 active subscribers, Whistler 50 has a strong social media presence across platforms, including 1,600 Facebook followers and most participants using the #whistler50 tag leading up to and during the event. Local print and radio advertising, plus distribution of posters and brochures to running stores across the province, extend the reach of the event. Leading up to the event, Partners could be highlighted and engaged with through any of the above channels.
During the event, Partners would receive recognition in all event communications and would have the opportunity to set up a tent, banners, and signage in the finish area. Sampling options and other onsite activations could also be explored.
Members can use images of Whistler 50 Relay & Ultra to promote the event by logging into the Tourism Whistler content hub. Please remember to credit the photographer whenever using Tourism Whistler images.