Broken Arrow Skyrace is an American mountain ultra-running event held in Palisades Tahoe in the Olympic Valley, California.
The Broken Arrow Skyrace hosts a number races and challenges rooted in steep vertical gain, including a 46k, a 23k and a Vertical Kilometre (VK).
The VK and 23k are both part of the Valsir WMRA Mountain Running World Cup as Gold Label races.
The event’s races force runners to combine off-trail scrambling with long distances and brutal climbs, all set around the stunning Lake Tahoe in the Sierra Nevada mountains.
Date, start time & live tracking
The Broken Arrow Skyrace 2023 takes place across three days, running from June 16-18.
On Friday June 16, the Vertical Kilometre starts at 10am (All local time), with the Iron Face Challenge also taking place that day at 12pm.
The 46k Broken Arrow Skyrace starts at 7am on Saturday June 17, with the Broken Arrow Skyrace 11k starting later in the days at 8:30am.
The 23k Broken Arrow Skyrace closes the action, starting at 8am on Sunday June 18.
Cut-off times apply to some races; the 11k has a cut-off of four hours, the 23k has a limit of seven hours while 12 hours is the deadline for the 46k.
A livestream will be up for the 23k, the VK, and some aspects of the Iron Face Challenge, more information for which is available HERE.
More information regarding live tracking will be available closer to the event HERE.
Broken Arrow Skyrace Routes
All routes at Broken Arrow Skyrace are subject to change due to the weather, with the 2023 event especially vulnerable given the historical snowfall in Lake Tahoe over the past winter.
The Broken Arrow Skyrace Vertical Kilometre has a 6.8km route with 954m of elevation gain. Starting on the valley floor, runners ascend to the 9,000-foot summit of Washeshu Peak and will have a chance to see the stunning views offered by Headwall Ridge during their ascent. There are no aid stations.
Starting in Palisades Tahoe Village, the Broken Arrow Skyrace 11k takes runners up to the Snow King Peak before they loop back down to the village. It has two aid stations, at Juniper Mountain 3.85 miles into the race and at Snow King 5 miles in.
Starting at the same spot as the 11k, the Broken Arrow Skyrace 23k takes place on a large loop throughout the Palisades Tahoe area. The route includes the famous Emigrant Pass, a feature of the Western States 100, the KT-22 summit and the Stairway to Heaven in Squaw Valley. It has four aid stations.
The 46k Broken Arrow Skyrace does two loops of the 23k route. In addition to the loop’s four aid stations, the village also acts as an additional checkpoint.
The Iron Face Challenge is a time trial race, in which a maximum of 50 participants climb approximately 2,000ft in the space of just 5.75 miles. Starting at the KT Sundeck, the route has three distinct sections; a 1.75-mile uphill climb, a 0.35-mile scramble on a Via Ferrata up the daunting Tram Face (in which runners are attached to a steel cable fixtures), before finishing with a 3.7-mile downhill run.
Facts, Tips & FAQ
In addition to prizes on offer to the winners of each individual race, there are two ‘crowns’ on offer to competitors.
The Broken Arrow Triple Crown includes the Vertical Kilometre on Friday, the 46k on Saturday and 23k on Sunday. The Broken Arrow Iron Crown replaces the VK with the Iron Face Challenge.
As well as the VK and 23k being WMRA World Cup Gold Label events, the 23k is also a race on the Golden Trail National Series, while the top man and woman at the VK will earn a Team US slot for the 2023 Challenge Stellina.
The VK, 11k, 23k and 36k are all ‘Trail Sisters Approved’ races – a group who fight for an equitable outdoors both recreationally and throughout the competitive industry.
On Sunday there is also an 800m Kids Race at 8:45am.
How to enter Broken Arrow Skyrace
Registration and entry for Broken Arrow Skyrace 2023 is open until June 1 and is available HERE.
The Broken Arrow entry fees are as follows: Vertical Kilometre – $80, 11k – $85, 23k – $135, 46k – $185, Iron Face Challenge – $225.
The Broken Arrow Iron Crown can be bought as a package at $450, while the Triple Crown costs $350.
There are a number of criteria that must be met for each race.
For the 11k and VK you must be 14 years of age or older to run, but with both races runners under-14s are allowed with approval of race directors and an accompanying parent, who is also registered for the distance.
For the 23k and 46k the minimum age is 16. For the Iron Face Challenge, the minimum age is 18 and due to the Via Ferrata, participants must weigh at least 88 pounds.
Over $50,000 of cash prizes will be distributed to the top 10 runners in each gender for the VK, 23k and 46k.
Broken Arrow Skyrace records and past winners
The Broken Arrow Skyrace began in 2016 and has taken place every year since, excluding 2020.
Broken Arrow Skyrace 46k results
2016 – Men, Dakota Jones 4:56:36. Women, Sarah Keyes 6:29:50
2017 – Men, Tayte Pollmann 5:03:17. Women, Kelly Wolf 6:02:38.
2018 – Men, Jimmy Elam 4:54:43. Women, Megan Kimmel 5:30:43.
2019 – Men, Hayden Hawks 4:25:50. Women, Megan Kimmel 5:09:40.
2021 – Men, Seth Ruhling 4:24:46. Women, Allie McLaughlin 4:59:42.
2022 – Men, David Sinclair 4:22:06. Women, Jennifer Lichter 4:55:29
Broken Arrow Skyrace 23k results
2016 – Men, Eric Ghelfi 2:18:57. Women, Sandi Nypaver 2:53:33.
2017 – Men, Max King 2:17:13. Women, Morgan Arritola 2:45:46.
2018 – Men, Max King 2:09:21. Women, Daniella Moreno 2:36:45.
2019 – Men, Andrew Douglas 1:56:31. Women, Lindsay Webster 2:22:35.
2021 – Men, Joseph Gray 1:52:44. Women, Janelle Lincks 2:14:03.
2022 – Men, Andy Wacker 1:50:11. Women, Sophia Laukli 2:06:18.
Broken Arrow Skyrace VK results
2016 – Men, Max King 41:47. Women, Lenka Sterling 54:42.
2017 – Men, Jp Dponovan 41:37. Women, Morgan Arritola 47:18.
2018 – Men, Ryan Phebus 41:16. Women, Morgan Arritola 46:04.
2019 – Men, Max King 42:46. Women, Morgan Arritola 45:50.
2021 – Men, Darren Thomas 45:08. Women, Allie McLaughlin 54:24.
2022 – Men, Cameron Smith 42:25. Women, Allie McLaughlin 48:46.
Full results can be found HERE.
Broken Arrow Skyrace kit list
There is no comprehensive gear list for Broken Arrow Skyrace, The following is a guide from organisers in relation to the 46k.
“Poles are allowed and encouraged, although if you start with them they must be carried the entire length of the route, meaning you cannot ditch them at any aid station or with your drop bag.
“Traction devices such as MicroSpikes are allowed and race organizers will have hand lines installed where needed due to snow patches and/or steep talus. Please come prepared for a serious run in a mountainous environment and bring your desired personal needs in order to stay comfortable.
“We are strongly encouraging each runner to carry at least 12oz. of water but this is not required. In the instance of poor weather, race organizers reserve the right to require all participants to carry an adverse weather kit.”