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.

Index to the information below:

Happy training!


fyf training plan

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

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.

Strength training programs and resources – FREE!

We are REALLY excited to partner with Campbell Craig from Run Strong who has prepared specific strength training programs for the Margaret River Ultra Marathon and made available an extensive resource of exercises, blogs and quality content on strength training for runners.

What are the benefits of strength training for runners? There is more and more evidence confirming the benefits of strength training, principally it fulfills three key purposes:

  • Injury Prevention. It allows you to train uninterrupted without interference from injury
  • Improved performance. It provides performance benefits such as improving running economy and delaying muscular fatigue.
  • It makes you a better runner.

How do I access the strength training programs for the MR Ultra Marathon?

  1. Join (sign up at the top right corner of the page)
  2. Check your email (and spam….) for your login code to MRUM on 
  3. OR watch the introductory video below where Campbell explains how to sign up, what equipment is needed and how his strength phases work.

Our recommendation: We truly cannot recommend the inclusion of strength training enough when preparing for any running event (especially for older runners) so encourage you to tap into this terrific FREE resource.

Read more at or contact Campbell directly at [email protected]

FREE training runs and info session on the course – March date TBC

The Margaret River Trail Running Club in conjunction with experienced ultra runner Majell Backausen from Find Your Feet will be hosting two FREE training runs along leg 3 and leg 4 of the Margaret River Ultra Marathon course on a weekend in March 2022 (exact dates TBC) – open to all runners to attend.

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.

Majell will be hosting an information session on the Saturday to help runners prepare for the event, covering details like: race nutrition, race strategy and pacing, planning for checkpoints and support crews, race day management like blisters / gut issues / bad weather… and a whole range of helpful information. This will be really worth attending.

We will run leg 3 from Contos Campground through to The White Elephant Café at Gnarabup (19.5km). Runners may also stop at Redgate Beach (14km).

We will run leg 4, starting at the White Elephant Café at Gnarabup and run through to Gracetown (19km total). Runners may also stop at Ellensbrook Homestead (12km)

Runners must be self sufficient during the runs and bring all food / water / clothes you need to do it. Please help look after yourself and each other.

Further details on the training weekend and discussion amongst attendees is on the Facebook Event linked 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? We can help – see our Teammate finder page HERE

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.

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!

Victorian running groups

If you are from Victoria we have a long list of groups around Melbourne on our Surf Coast Century groups page here.

Please contact us if you are from, or know of other trail running groups in your area we could list here.

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]