Tough Mudder’s Weekend Warrior Guide: Whistler

By Jade de la Rosa | March 23, 2017


Eat. Adventure. Stay.

50 years ago, Whistler was a little known ski-town, just a 90-minute drive from metropolitan Vancouver, British Columbia; now, Whistler is a vibrant, all-season mountain resort known for its beautiful vistas, sparkling lakes, dense rainforest, and lively, pedestrian-only village.

Race your heart out at Canada’s Toughest Mudder or Whistler Tough Mudder Full and Half at Whistler Olympic Park, where you’ll be following in the footsteps of Olympians during the Winter 2010 Olympics. Run up green, black and blue ski slopes while testing your limits as you breathe in the alpine air. If you thought winter was pretty, wait until you see the views during summer–just stay clear of the black bears that frequent the area and you’ll be good to go. After your event, head to the nearby town to Whistler to refuel, recuperate, and maybe even re-energize with just some of the activities that Whistler offers. Here’s what to do, where to eat, how to sleep no matter your budget.

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Whistler might not seem like the perfect place to chow down on Mexican food, but trust us on this one. Head to La Cantina, famous around town for its tacos and burritos. Think of this as the best way to carb-load before your event, especially if you’re tired of the night-before-race pasta parties.

If you’re looking for an epic treat meal post-race, we have two words for you: custom burger. Head to Splitz Grill where diners pick and choose their patty (which includes Free Range Bison, Spicy Lentil, and Wild Salmon), as well as their buns, veggies, and toppings (we recommend their special Splitz sauce.) Vegetarian and gluten-free options are also available, which makes Splitz great for anyone, no matter their dietary styles.

If burritos or burgers don’t suit your fancy, check out Peaked Pies, a cafe serving Australian meat pies. While we recommend the butter chicken pie, the Hopper might intrigue those interested in a truly Australian experience. And, for dessert and a post-race indulgence–after all, after eight hours of intense obstacles and maybe even the coveted 50 miles, you’ve earned it–head over to Cows for ice cream and all things cow-related–including slippers, onesies, and what Cows likes to call “udder stuff.”

For those looking for fine dining, try Rimrock Cafe for its emphasis on local cuisine. Specials often include fresh catches like wild salmon or sablefish, or game meats like elk and venison.

Tough Mudders are always looking ahead to the next challenge, so it’s no surprise that Whistler just happens to be the capital for activities. What better to suit up for all of your activities then checking out Merrell’s new 2017 line for all your before, during and after event needs?

For those on a budget, there’s nothing better than a hike to work up a sweat, then a jump into a lake to cool things off. Lost Lake, located just a few miles from town, features 100 kilometers of trails during summer months.

The mountains are a must, and the Peak 2 Peak Gondola is the best way to get up close and personal with both Whistler and Blackcomb. Early to mid-summer heat brings the green slopes to life with pink and purple wildflowers, and the chance to see black bears are high.

Mudders thrive off of adrenaline, so what better way to get your heart pumping than zip lining? Head to ZipTrek Eco Tours and ask for the Mammoth Tour, advertised for “those who have an enlarged appetite for adventure and exhilaration.” Sounds like Mudders to me. Lines run anywhere from 400 to 2,400 feet long, with the biggest one descending 30-storeys. Whether you’re zip lining before or after your Toughest Mudder, you’ll be ready to conquer anything after this ride.

The adventures for Tough Mudders continue beyond this weekend. Head to Whistler Olympic Park and fFeel like an Olympian while you try your hand at biathlon: take aim and shoot a rifle at the same targets as the Olympians did. To up the ante, run a lap first, get your heart rate pounding, and then try to steady your aim! Can you hit all 5 of the small targets? 

Whistler might be seen as a high-end resort, and it is, but that doesn’t mean that options don’t exist. For a more economical fare, check out the Hi-Whistler Hostel, once part of the Olympic Athlete Village during the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games. Rooms include the use of free Wi-fi, a common room to play games like pool, and storage for mountain bikes or other equipment that powers your Whistler vacation.

For those looking to stay a little more central to town, the Aava Whistler Hotel is a solid choice. Only a 2-minute walk from Whistler Village, the Aava offers great deals and packages, which makes this even better.

Looking for luxury? The Fairmont Chateau Whistler  has all of the added amenities you could ever need, including complimentary yoga classes, free shuttles, and valet service for both bikes and skis.