When is the Marathon Shuffle?

The Shuffle is held annually on the last Sunday of April. For 2023, the mass start will be at 09:00 on Sunday 30 April. The official finish will be at 17:00 (8 hours).

Where is the Shuffle?

In the district of qathet near the city of Powell River, British Columbia.

We acknowledge that the Shuffle’s course passes through Tla’amin Nation Treaty Settlement Lands, and we are thankful for being able to share these lands for this event.

Route map of Marathon Shuffle on the Sunshine Coast Trail

What is the route of the Shuffle?

The point-to-point route starts where the Sunshine Coast Trail crosses Malaspina Road (north) and ends in the upper parking lot of the Shingle Mill Bistro (south).

We highly encourage you to hike or run the course any time of year.  Local trail runners plan to do some familiarization runs in the weeks leading up to the Shuffle. Visit the qathet Trail Running page on Facebook for more information.

We recommend that you get a map (Sunshine Coast Outdoor Recreation Map) and a trail guide (Sunshine Coast Trail by Eagle Walz). Both are available at at Tourism Powell River, 4257 Joyce Avenue in Powell River. You can download a gpx track here (coming soon!).

Who organizes the Shuffle?

Since 1993, the Marathon Shuffle has been organized by qPAWS (qathet Parks and Wilderness Society) with the help of many volunteers, partners and community supporters including the Tla’amin Nation, Club Fat Ass and the BOMB Squad (Bloody Old Men’s Brigade.)

How will COVID-19 impact the event?

We will take guidance from the provincial health authority. 

How many people will be accepted to start the Shuffle in 2023?

We plan to welcome 130 participants in 2023.  We will provide a waitlist.

How much does it cost to enter?

There is no cost to participate in Shuffle (It’s free!).

There is a $10 cost to register, however. This covers fees from the registration services provider, credit card fees, website integration and, hopefully, a donation to Powell River Search and Rescue. This registration fee is not refundable.

How can I support qPAWS?

We humbly ask that you consider making a modest donation to qPAWS (qathet Parks and Wilderness Society) and/or buy a qPAWS membership or t-shirt. Your contribution will be used to maintain and improve the trail throughout the year. We continue to build new huts, kiosks, benches, picnic tables, swimming docks, camp sites, and outhouses along the entire 180 km of the Sunshine Coast Trail, Canada’s longest hut-to-hut hiking trail.

qPAWS can accept donations by any of the following ways:

  • E-transfer. Address to sunshinecoasttrail.info@gmail.com. We’re set up for auto-deposit, so there’s no need for a secret word.
  • Credit card or Visa debit card. Please use our PayPal link below.
  • Cheque. Please make it out to qPAWS and mail it to: Box 345, Powell River, BC, V8A 5C2.

Note: If you make a donation for more than $20 we can give you a tax receipt. If you’d like a receipt, please be sure to let us know your contact information in the eTransfer notes/PayPal contact info so we can get one to you.  🙂

Thank you!

How do I sign up?

Registration for the 2023 Marathon Shuffle opens 1 February.

We use a professional registration service (Karelo) that plugs-in to the Marathon Shuffle website registration page. You can find answers to common questions about the Karelo service here.

You will receive a confirmation email for a successful signup or notification that you’ve be put on a waitlist.

How do I withdraw?

Work. Family priorities. Injuries. There are many reasons why you might not be able to make it to the Shuffle start line…

If you have to withdraw, our registration system makes it easy!

  • Karelo account? If you created a user account when you signed up for the Shuffle, just log in and enter your username and password. Look for “My Registrations” on the right side of the screen and click to see your registration.  Follow instructions to click on the confirmation number. Click Update Registration, then Cancellation/Refund Request.
  • Casual account. If you signed up to the Shuffle without a Karelo account, please send us a note and we’ll remove you.

Note: it is considered bad form to sign-up and not show up. Your seat on the bus will go empty. Someone on the wait list who would really like to participate won’t get in. Your name will forever appear on the starter list as DNS (Did Not Start). Please don’t wait until the last minute to withdraw as the next person in line would appreciate a bit of notice.  

Where do I register on the day of the event?

Registration closes at midnight on the Friday before the Sunday event start. There is no last minute registration. Registered participants will check-in at the start.

How long does it take to complete the 29 kilometre course?

It takes between 3-8 hours to hike the full 29 kilometers. Most well-trained runners complete the course in 3-5 hours. Accomplished hikers generally need 5-6 hours requiring a steady pace without much time spent taking breaks.

The last aid station at Sutherland will close at 15:30 (3:30pm). The finish line will close at 17:00 (5:00 pm).

Can I do a shorter or longer distance?

We’re going to keep it simple with one “official” distance.

Longer: Some folks have started at Sarah Point and run 50-kilometres. Some have started in the middle of the night at the finish, ran to the start, started with everyone else and run to the finish. We will recognize those who attempt an “Ultra Shuffle” with a note in the results.

Shorter: In past years, the family-friendly 12-kilometre “Half” Shuffle was almost as popular as the full Shuffle. Given the traffic chaos and logistics of getting people to various starting points along the trail, however, we had to abandon the shorter distance. We will record as a DNF (Did Not Finish) if you don’t complete the 29km.

Note: We plan to host a shorter, more child, seniors and family-friendly event on National Trails Day (first Saturday in June.)

What do I do if I can’t complete the entire route?

It is very important that you contact a Volunteer or Event Official. Contact numbers will be provided to all official starters before the start. If you signed-in at the start and didn’t sign out at the finish, we will notify Search & Rescue and police… something we’d rather avoid. Not signing-out will definitely put you on our bad list and may exclude you from participating in future Marathon Shuffles.

I’m from out of town. Where do I stay and what might I do when in qathet?

qathet Regional District (the upper Sunshine Coast area around the city of Powell River) offers a wide range of places to stay and things to do. Check out the Tourism Powell River website for ideas.  

How do I get from the finish (ShingleMill parking lot) to the start (Malaspina Road)?

The City of Powell River has graciously provided free shuttle buses for 2023! Buses will leave the ShingleMill Bistro (the finish line of the Marathon Shuffle) at 07:30. Free vehicle parking has been provided by the ShingleMill. To accommodate participants from Vancouver Island who prefer to walk-on the ferry, a bus will wait at Westview Terminal for your arrival and will be available to get you from the ShingleMill back to the 17:15 ferry.

Note: We highly discourage you from driving to the start! There are no places to park and what limited space there is will be for buses and emergency vehicles. As well, there will be up to 200 starters and volunteers milling about the area and we want to keep them safe. If you live north of Malaspina Road and plan to get a ride with a friend, please ask the person who drives you to the start to drop you off before the start so they don’t have to drive through the crowd.

How can I get a Shuffle T-shirt?

T-Shirts, guidebooks and other items will be available on a first-come, first-served basis at the finish line. These items can also be purchased at Tourism Powell River, 4257 Joyce Avenue in Powell River.

Will there be a Lost & Found?

Yes! A station will be set up at the finish line at the merchandise tent.

I had a great experience. What might I do to show my appreciation?

Hug a volunteer. Thank our sponsors with an email or by doing business with them. Buy a t-shirt, Donate to qPAWS. Help with the event in 2024!  There will be a post-Shuffle online survey. Please contact us with your suggestions for how we might improve the event.

What if I have a question that’s not answered here?

Chances are, someone else has the same question so please ask it on the Marathon Shuffle Facebook event page.  Alternatively, use our contact form.