FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Do I need trail shoes or will my road shoes be ok?
Opinions on this are varied. Everyone would agree that adding hilly runs to your training would be of benefit for this event. This is not a flat “marathon” course. Completing at least a few trail runs will add immensely to your confidence as you learn to pace yourself on the uphills and let gravity help you with the downhills. Racers would agree that it’s always good to get a recon run or two on at least part of the actual race course wherever possible. For this event, a recon run on a portion of the Munda Biddi trail will also help you get used to watching for the trail markers.
I’ve never done a trail race before. Can I do it with regular marathon training?
You can do 6 Inch off marathon training, however many will argue that your long run (30-35k) needs to be on a trail with hills. Trail running is a lot different to road running and you need time to adjust to it (pacing, speed, hills, terrain, fueling, etc).
Do I need a headlamp at the start?
The 46k race starts at 4.30 AM, which is basically the time of “civil twilight.” Actual sunrise that morning will be 5.07 AM. A headlamp will be very useful as you navigate around the start area. Because the start is up a wide, relatively smooth gravel road, the majority of runners feel able to navigate without a headlamp. If you have very poor night vision, you may feel more comfortable wearing one.
How many aid stations are there and what will they have?
Aid Station #1 is at approximately the 23k mark and Aid Station #2 is at approximately 34k. They will have big 15ltr bottles of water (like you see at the grocery stores) on hand pumps (better than 2009!), which flow quite quickly. There will also be secondary water bottles to help avoid queues for the hand pump. There will be Hammer gels and endurolytes as well as bananas, lollies, and flat coke. You can also leave a limited amount of supplies at the start line for the volunteers to take to Aid Station #1 only (see Race Information page for more details). You are responsible for clearly marking your supplies with your name, dropping them off at the start, and finding them at the Aid Station during the race (the volunteers may be quite busy).
How long will it take to finish?
If you’ve trained appropriately and have a good race, it might be reasonable to expect to finish in your marathon time plus 1 hour. However, if this is your first trail race and you don’t have much, if any, road marathon experience, you should allow an extra two hours or more. Your long training runs (preferably on trails) should give you an indication of what you’re capable of. Finish times in 2008 ranged from 3 hours 36 minutes to 7 hours.
What kind of hydration system do I need?
Our requirement is that you must carry a hydration system with a minimum carrying capacity of at least 500 ml at all times on the course. However, most people will consume 500 ml of water per hour (especially as the day heats up), so you would be well advised to carry more. There are many options for hydration systems, including single hand-held bottles, waist belts, and hydration packs with a bladder that you wear on your back. What you choose will come down to personal experience and comfort. Some complain waist belts irritate their stomachs, some complain of chafing with a pack…. Ask around and test things out. You don’t want to find out on the day that you hate the feel of what you’re using!
Are there prizes? Age classes?
What kind of weather should I expect?
The average night temperature in Perth is around 16 degrees in December. In the hills it tends to be a few degrees cooler during the night. You might have temperatures as cool as 10 degrees at the start or as warm as 20 degrees at the start. Daytime temperatures in December average around 27 degrees. A high of 40 degrees would not be uncommon, however, so you should be prepared for that in the later stage of the race, particularly if you are a slower runner. Sunscreen and a hat are highly recommended (the brim of a hat can also help you block the glare if running towards the rising sun).