The Route

The Vancouver Skyline XTC run course was designed by experienced trail runners to showcase the very best features of Vancouver's North Shore mountains... from a runner's perspective. Participants can expect to hear rushing water as a constant companion as they traverse canyons and streams. If the weather is good, expect to take in some of the most spectacular city and mountain panoramas in the lower mainland of British Columbia. Salmon and bald eagle sightings are commonplace. The trail is also home to black bear.

The route has been carefully selected to offer a wide variety of terrain. Footing ranges from pavement to crushed gravel to mossy roots, rocks and sections of old 'corduroy' logging road. Expect wet feet. While there are a few technical sections, top competitors will find the course is almost entirely 'runable.'

Participants are offered the option of competing in a 25 kilometer "Up", a 25 kilometer "Down", a 50 kilometer "Up and Down" or a "Roll your own" custom-distance run. The "Up", the 50K and the custom-distance runs climb from Griffin Gym in North Vancouver to the Quarry picnic area in Cypress Provincial Park. The "Down" run starts at the picnic area and ends at the gym.

A significant section of the course is held on the TransCanada Trail, the longest hiking trail in the world, on the anniversary of the TCT's founding. One of Canada's largest and most popular ultra-distance trail race, the Knee Knackering North Shore Trail Run, also shares part of the XTC route. While the Baden Powell, Skyline and various Capilano Canyon trails have been in the hearts and minds of local trail runners for years, the XTC is the first trail running event to be held on this course.

2012 is the 10th anniversary of the Vancouver Skyline XTC.  After founding and managing the event for 9 years, Ean Jackson has passed the baton to Wendy Montgomery.  Wendy is one of a handful of Canadian women to have earned the coveted Western States silver buckle.  She has participated in several Canadian National 100K run teams and founded Wendy's Get Your Fat Ass Off the Couch, a popular CFA trail run on Vancouver's north shore.


The Differences

The objective of the organizers is to challenge both mind and body of the runner... and to leave minimum impact on the environment.

Most road races and trail events are clearly marked by race officials with fluorescent cones, surveyor tape or lime along the race course. Most races have 'aid' stations, where runners can access food and water provided by the organizers. With the benefit of aid and course marking, competitors can focus on putting their heads down and running.

The philosophy of the Vancouver XTC is to emphasize the journey rather than the destination. Self-reliance and low impact are key. There is no 'official' aid or trail marking provided by organizers of the Vancouver Skyline XTC. 'Crewing' by family or friends is encouraged as long as crew members offer the same support to others in the race.

Participants download from the Internet directions based on natural and physical landmarks. As with orienteering, runners who pause frequently to consult the written directions have the opportunity to catch faster runners who go off the trail. Runners who have trained on the course have a distinct competitive advantage. Detailed questions and clarifications are provided in the FAQ.

Past Participants and Results

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