By Mathias Eichler
Winter, trails, darkness, and all the weather.
One last hurrah before the end of the year. Runners, get ready for a fun and festive holiday treat along the trails of Squaxin Park.
What has been feared is now official. Gary Robbins and team aren’t able to come to terms with Whistler and the race formerly known as WAM is no more.
After six successful editions of the race, it has become crystal clear that there is simply no path forward for us to produce races of this magnitude, along the alpine terrain within the confines of Whistler.
I’m not going to speculate on what forced the end of this incredible race but folks are mentioning the recent purchase of the resort by Vail.
When Coast Mountain Trail Running announced the Whistler Alpine Meadow races a few years ago I had run Squamish already twice and loved their races and signed up for WAM 100K the following year. I couldn’t go due to some work issues, which in hindsight makes me even more sad. I felt that this event, with all the big popular distances present, in this location, with huge international name recognition and plenty of infrastructure to support a big event, and so close to a major metropolitan area and airport, had all the elements to become North America’s ‘UTMB’ event. An event not limited in size by nimby-ism or wilderness permits. An event professional managed by a team with their heart in the right place and the skills to create spectacular courses, combining tough trails with great local partnerships. If these guys couldn’t pull this off, in this location, then there’s clearly more to the story.
What a loss for our trail racing community.