Training and Preparation

To make training for the Margaret River Ultra Marathon as achievable as possible we’ve gathered the following resources to provide you with some assistance and structure for your preparation.

Below you’ll find a list of training tips, course recommendations and running group links and information below, and if you have any other helpful information then please let us know.

You can read the Welcome Pack which contains more information here.

Index to the information below:

Happy training!


Hanny Alston from Find your Feet has prepared a FREE training plan for all athletes participating in the Margaret River Ultra Marathon. Hanny is one of Australia’s most accomplished trail runners and orienteers with World, National and State Championships to her name as well as numerous course records and race victories.

CLICK HERE to download the Training Program for the 82km Ultra Marathon – Enter the code MRUM at checkout.

CLICK HERE to download the Training Program for the 42km Marathon. Enter the code MRUM at checkout.

The training plan above is best followed and understood when read in conjunction with Hanny’s Trail Running Guidebook.

We strongly recommend all runners purchase a copy of the Guidebook not just to aid your preparation for the Margaret River Ultra Marathon but to build your knowledge and understanding of trail running and how to best enjoy it sustainably for many years to come.


Rapid Ascent has partnered with Scarlett Duncan from DOSE Running to support runners doing the 42km event at the Margaret River Ultra Marathon.

Scarlett is an extremely passionate and compassionate coach who loves to work with novice and recreational runners. She’s a WA based ultra runner, an Athletics Australia qualified coach, Accredited Pilates Instructor and holds a BSc of Preventative Health Specialising in Exercise and Sport Science. SHE KNOWS HER STUFF! See what her runners say.

Scarlett is offering:

Personal Program & Coaching:

  • A free no obligation discovery call.
  • An additional $150 value for MRUM runners who sign up for the DOSE Personal Program & Coaching service which is $160 per month.

To explor your options with a personalised program, book a no obligation discovery call with Scarlett here.

Scarlett is also holding 2 FREE training sessions in Perth to help runners prepare for the event. These workshops are open to ALL who would like to attend:

Training Session 1 – Soft Sand Workshop

Designed for the endurance runner with trail goals, regardless of pace, who wish to improve their trail running skills.  A great opportunity to have your questions answered and connect with fellow trail runners

Date: Sunday 11 February
Location: Swanbourne
5.30am – 6.30am – Soft Sand Workshop.
From 6.30am – your choice. Stay for taste of ‘Pilates for Runners’ OR continue on for a Zone 2 endurance run.

Topics covered in the Soft Sand Workshop include:

  • Running warm – up and activation (BYO yoga/exercise mat)
  • Running efficiency and technique on sand
  • Observing pace and heart rate to help you race sustainably.

Limited places, registration is essential. REGISTER HERE: – INSERT CODE DOSExMRUM to register at no cost (normally $40).

Full details including location map & recommended gear will be sent in your confirmation email.

Training Session 2 – All things hills.

Date: Sunday 17 March
Location: Kings Park, Perth
6.15am – 7.15am – All things hills workshop
7.15am – your choice, stay for ‘Pilates for Beginners’ OR continue Zone 2 Endurance Run.

Topics covered:

  • Pilates primer (BYO yoga/exercise mat)\
  • How to tackle uphill running efficiently
  • How to optimise downhill running and minimize impact on your body

Our ‘All Things Hills’ workshop will be delivered by head coach and ultrarunner, Scarlett. This workshop is designed for the endurance runner with trail goals, regardless of your pace.  

Limited places, registration is essential. REGISTER HERE: – INSERT CODE DOSExMRUM to register at no cost (normally $40).

Full details including location map & recommended gear will be sent in your confirmation email.

FREE training runs on the course:
Friday 22 – Saturday 23 – Sunday 24 March 2024

The Margaret River Trail Running Club will be hosting three FREE training runs along leg 3 and leg 4 of the Margaret River Ultra Marathon – open to all runners to attend. They are also hosting a running technique and event info session across the weekend. Further details on the FACEBOOK EVENT HERE

Runs will be non-competitive, group runs with everyone running at their own pace but safe in the knowledge that there are other runners gathering to do the same thing at the same time.

  • Friday 22nd March, 5pm, Gas Bay Carpark. Boodjidup beach sand running session. 1 hour duration, low km’s focussing on sand running techniques and different lines along Boodjidup Beach
  • Saturday 23rd March, 8am Contos Campground. Leg 3 run (~18km) finishing at White Elephant Cafe. Run leg 3 in full with the guidance and support of the Margaret River Trail runners. Please note transport is each runners individual responsibility (this is a one way run)
  • Sunday 24th March, 8am Yallingup Beach. Marathon start (~9km). Run the first loop from the new MRU marathon course. It is well worth knowing that first climb, a favourite for some of the Margaret River Trail running club members who will guide you. While the gradient of this hill makes it entirely runnable, albeit tough, we will have a variety of paces allowing for runners and hike options. Run will finish back at Yallingup carpark to end with a swim and coffee or the option to run more of the marathon course is available (self guided).

This weekend is a training weekend. The Margaret River Trail Runners open this to all ability levels and there will be a lot of opportunity to train course specific techniques, talk gear, nutrition and hydration. Hosted by the Margaret River trail running club who have a wealth of knowledge and ultra distance trail racing experience. 

Further details and discussion about the training weekend is HERE

First timers

As with all things in life, the bigger the challenge… the bigger the reward. Most first time ultra marathon runners recall their first finish as one of the most incredible moments of their life. It’s amazing what your mind and body can achieve. So step up, sign up for a challenge and re-write your own limits.

  • Need training advice or people to train with? See the links above to the FREE training programs.
  • Not sure where to start? We can help – give us a call 03 5261 5511
  • Want to join a team? Join the Margaret River Facebook Group. You may find your new best friends looking for that extra someone ready to join their team.

First Timer Testimonials

This was the best adventure event I have been part of. Scenery was varied and stunning. Trails were well marked and the terrain challenging in places – everyone loves a challenge! Checkpoints well staffed. It was great being part of a team too, we relied on each other at checkpoints and for transport which is great bonding experience in itself. Overall organisation excellent. 2021 First Timer, Team

It was a great event as a new trail and ultra runner. The people I met along the way were really friendly and encouraging. Charmain, 2019 First Timer, Solo

Being my first ultra I can’t honestly see how you could make it any easier for a newbie. Everything was so well set up and staff were very welcoming. There was no need to stress about logistics at aid stations. The event was so well set up I could just focus on running and enjoy it all the more knowing all the other small stuff had been taken care of. Alan, 2019 First Timer, Solo

This was my first ultra experience and loved every part of the day! Will definitely be back next year! Dave, 2018 First Timer, Solo

As a virgin ultra-marathon runner the Margaret River Ultra Marathon is the perfect race to get you started. It’s varying leg lengths suit a good range of running ability and the scenery is stunning! It is so well organised and the atmosphere was incredible. This was the best running event I have been a part of… I will be there next year for sure!!! Julie, 2018 First Timer, Relay Team Competitor


There are more and more (trail) running groups out there, all of whom are very welcoming of new runners and supportive of those tackling an ultra marathon. Listed below are a few of the more active WA groups but with a bit of searching I’m sure you’ll find some other runners near you no matter where you live.

Margaret River Trail Runners

Margaret River Trail Runners is a club formed to take advantage of the trails in the Margaret River region, to encourage more people to run and to meet and socialise with other runners. The club organises a social run most Saturday mornings at 7:00am and the occasional larger event. To run with us all you need to do is email us, and we will let you know where the runs are and any other details or learn more from their website or facebook page.

DOSE Running           

Lead by head coach Scarlett Duncan, DOSE offers 10+ adult group sessions in the Western Suburbs of Perth, per week, including trail runs. If you can’t make the group sessions, then Scareltt can lead you through a program online. Scarlett’s personally raced the Margaret RiverUltra Marathon in a team and solo, and the Surf Coast Century 100km, as well as coached many runners to achieve their own debut ultra’s. 

“Committed to the novice and recreational runner, this is running reimagined, redefined, and rejuvenated. It’s only a crazy dream until you do it. We’re here to make that process simple, enjoyable and sustainable.”

Find out more here:

DOSE Running website:

DOSE Running email: [email protected]         

DOSE Running Instagram:

Wild Ones Adventure trail runs

Designed with inclusivity in mind, Wild Ones Adventure is a community of outdoor-adventure seekers that love to support and encourage each other. Whether you’re a newbie to the sport, or a trail-running junkie, Wild Ones cater for all levels of fitness. These experiences are the perfect opportunity to train up for major events held in WA, giving you a chance to explore the most epic trails you never knew about, and meet other people in a welcoming and friendly environment. Covering some of the most beautiful trails and beaches around Perth, you’ll get a chance to build your confidence and endurance on all kinds of terrain. You can even join them on niche weekenders and social events, where you can work your way up to some of the most popular trail and adventure races across WA. Check out their website, Instagram or Facebook Page for more details.

Dunsborough Running Club

Train up for the big weekend with the Dunsborough Running Club!

Training sessions are:

  • Tuesday 5:30pm
  • Friday 5:00pm
  • Sunday 8:00am.

Find out more on the Dunsborough Running Club Facebook page.

The Perth Trail Running Series

If you are based in Perth and want to hook up with some other trail runners or do a few shorter races then the Perth Trail Series is a great place to start. Organsied by one of the friendliest runners you’ll ever meet – Melina Melino – they have a summer and winter series and also meet for a social run at 5:55pm at Kings Park every Thursday. Check out their website and facebook page.

PHAT Runners

The Perth Hills And Trails is another Perth based trail running group who run the trails around Perth every week. They usually conduct at least two group runs per week (midweek and weekend), which vary from around 1.5 hours to 8 hours, from 12km to 50km+… They have a supportive and inclusive environment and welcome experiencd trail runners looking for a regular group. Check their website for more.

Manning Park Trail Runners

Clint and Sarah from Manning Park Trail Runners conduct a session every Thursday night at Manning Park in Hamilton Hill. Each week there is a range of up to 7 different groups, from hikers through to highly experienced fast trail runners. There’s a Kids session from 5-6pm, then the main session runs from 6-7:15pm. The main session includes a whole group warm up, then 1hr out on the trails at Manning Park with the different paced smaller groups, before regrouping for a cool down as a whole group. Check out their Facebook page and Instagram for more!

Where Else to train

Cape to Cape Walking Track – ideal training locations!

The Margaret River Ultra Marathon race course uses some sections of the Cape to Cape Walking Track. This makes it accessible on race day but also provides some safe and clearly marked routes for training runs in the lead up to the race.

The Cape to Cape Walk Track runs for 135 kilometres along the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge, between the lighthouses of Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin in the far south west of Western Australia.  It features spectacular coastal and forest scenery, a fascinating geology of cliffs, caves, headlands and rock formations and an ever-changing display of vegetation and wildflowers.

Visit the Cape to Cape Walking Track for detailed information including maps, track access points, track alerts, and join their ‘friends’ section to meet other friendly runners/walkers:

Forests and National Parks of the Margaret River Region

The south west coast of WA is a natural playground with pristine forests and bushland throughout the Margaret River Region. Click HERE for details on locations and maps which are all perfect training grounds for the Margaret River Ultra Marathon!

Got a Group session we can promote?

We are more than happy to promote other groups’ training sessions on the course – please email the details to [email protected]