Great Alaskan Endurance Race
The 2023 Denali50k will be held on June 20th. Summer Solstice!!
Registration closes May 1st 2023 or when 50 runners have registered.
Alaska…….Denali……Big, Wild & Wide Open Places.
New to the Denali Ultras this year is the Denali50K. With 20,310’ tall Denali and surrounding Alaska Range Mountains and glaciers as its backdrop, the 135 Mile Denali Highway is the setting for the spectacular Denali135, Denali100K & Denali50K Endurance Races. The Denali Highway was the original and only road into Denali National Park from 1957 until 1971 and it is still as breathtaking and jaw dropping today as it was more than 50 years ago.
Hardy and qualified adventurous athletes from around the World are invited to challenge themselves along one of the most scenic sections of the historic gravel road from Paxson Alaska, the headwaters of the wild Gulkana River, to Cantwell Alaska…. Adjacent to the entrance to Denali National Park.
Superlative panoramic vistas reach out for miles in every direction bathed in the nearly 20hrs of arctic daylight each day during the race. National Geographic rightly called the Denali Highway one of the top ten most scenic roads in North America.
The Denali50k will be limited to 50 runners and their crew and pacers.
- Sept.15th 2022 Registration Opens.
- May 1st 2023 or when 50 runners have registered it closes.
- May 7th 2023 Qualifying races must be submitted.
**Runners will be informed of their registration acceptance if they are received along with their qualifying race info.
*** Runners Info Package and Crew & Pacer Rules will be sent within 30 days of their registration acceptance. Once runners are accepted, they will be responsible for passing the Crew & Pacer Rules onto their respective crews and pacers.
**There will be no registration refunds for the Denali135 ,Denali100K or Denali50K races. Possible deferments to the next year’s race may…MAY…be made at the sole discretion of the race director. As you can imagine, significant logistics are involved in organization of this race and so we simply are unable to make refunds…..deferments possibly…refunds…sorry.
Denali50k Race Schedule 2023
June 20th – 7:15am Mandatory Pre-Race Briefing at race start at Maclaren Summit Station.
June 20th – 8:00am Race Start at Maclaren Summit..
June 20th – 5pm Cut-off at Alpine Creek Lodge.
June 22nd– 6:00pm Post Race Dinner Party at Denali Education Center In Talkeetna.
*Runners and crews staying at other nearby lodging can continue on with their own schedule after the post-race dinner.
Please visit the following pages for Very Important Event Details
Race Format & Time Cut-Offs
Individual runners with mandatory support crew and may have a pacer with RD prior approval.
Maximum of 9hrs allotted to complete the Denali50K
Pacers and Crew
Each runner may be accompanied by a support vehicle/crew who can supply food and water and support to the runner during and throughout the race. One pacer at a time may also be allowed under certain circumstances which are reviewed on a case by case basis by the Race Director. This pacer can also share in crewing/driving the support vehicle.
Support Vehicle and Crew & Pacer Rules/Details will be sent to runners within 30 days of their registrations being accepted.
Runners completing the Denali50K course in 9hrs or under will receive a one of a kind Denali50K finishers medal and Denali50K finishers shirt. There will be overall men’s and women’s winners special awards as well.
Denali50K Applicants must have completed at least three marathons in the previous 2 years, one of which was a trail marathon or be able to prove to the Race Director that they have sufficient training to have a reasonably good chance of completing the race within the allotted time.
Qualifying races must have been completed within the maximum time allotted for the respective races.
The Denali50K has the same runner and crew cap of 50 runners.
The Denali50K begins at Maclaren Summit which is at Mile 37 (From Paxson) the highest point on the Denali Highway and also happens to be the third highest road pass in the Alaska highway system. From Maclaren Summit, the road descends Northwestward towards the Maclaren River with the mighty Alaska Range covering the entire horizon from west to east. The road passes through Thermokarst, Eskers and Kettle lakes left long ago when Ice Age Glaciers melted. The course winds it’s way to the one and only aid station on the Denali50K which is at Mile 18 of the 50K course at Clearwater Creek Wayside. From there, runners continue their westward push and finish at Alpine Creek Lodge where a well deserved burger and beer can be found. Alpine Creek Lodge is also the start of the Denali100K.
Denali50K Runners & their crews will check in at the 50K pre-race briefing/packet pick up at Maclaren Summit Station 45 mins before the 8am race start. The runners have 9hrs to complete the 50K course.
Runner Mandatory Equipment
- Buff for warmth, dust and bug protection.
- Sufficient Water Bottles or Hydration Vest
- 200 Calories of energy bars, Gu, gels or equivalent at all times.
- Runner Bib with racer number visible at all times
Pacer Mandatory Equipment
- Buff for warmth, dust and bug protection.
- Sufficient Water Bottles/Hydration Vest
- Pacer Bib with racer number visible at all times
Contributing back to the communities where we hold our races is super important to us at Spirit Trips. In the case of the Denali50K, Denali100K & Denali135, we have chosen to raise awareness and donations for the Denali Education Center. The people at The Denali Education Center strive to bring awareness and appreciation for Denali National Park and their programs and outreach range from taking visitors on 2 hour interpretive guided natural history walks to multi day immersive nature programs for youth who without the Denali Education Centers outreach and passion, would never have a chance to experience the wonder of Denali.
Spirit Trips will be donating a portion of each race registration fee to The Denali Education Center and we strongly encourage our runners and their crew & pacers to do donate however they feel they can.
To share the words of Henry David Thoreau…..
“In Wilderness is the preservation of the World”