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.

We’ve compiled 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:



We have partnered with SQUADRUN as our principle coaching partner for the 2018 Margaret River Ultra Marathon. SQUADRUN is the largest ‘coach led running community’ in the South Pacific region and are the chosen training partner for the 3 largest trail races in the region, so with their track record and experience we highly recommend their programs and their enthusiastic running community.

SQUADRUN is run by two passionate coaches but it’s also a massive running community of people who share their experiences and support one another on their journey to fitness. It is also an advanced training system which delivers high quality, easy to use, programmes for a fraction of what most coaches charge.

How it works
After getting to know a little about your experience, current fitness, fitness goals, and risk factors Kerry and Ali can start working on a training programme that’s right for you.  The training is a ‘priority based’ and you are given a series of weekly training runs to complete with the freedom to plan them around your busy schedule.

4 week coaching trial
As an introductory offer, SQUADRUN are providing a 4 week coaching trial of their training program for the discounted price of $29 each (normally ~$60). The $29 trial has no obligation, no hidden costs and no set-up fee.  You can begin your training when you want and leave at any time!

Visit the Margaret River Ultra Marathon store to purchase your 4 week trial HERE, visit the SQUADRUN website for more info or contact them direct with any queries via

LICK HERE to check out Squadrun's "5 Tips for your best run at MRUM"


FREE training weekend on the course - 24-25 March 

Rapid Ascent, in conjunction with the Margaret River Trail Runners, will be hosting a FREE training weekend along sections of the course on Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th March and we WELCOME ALL RUNNERS to come and participate!

We will lead runners on a non-competitive, group run on both days 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. The runs will be free to attend and we’ll help coordinate the shuttling of drivers / cars to the start and finish.

These runs are NOT FAST and are 100% designed for runners of all abilities – this is a training run after all! Sure, faster runners will be up front and don’t need to wait but slower runners can take their time and rest assured that we can assist if needs be.

The approximate schedule is - to be 100% confirmed in the days leading up to the run:

Saturday 24th March

  • 8:20am Meet at the White Elephant cafe (run finish pt) to park your car and catch the bus to the start
  • 9:00am Meet at the Conto Campground car park off Conto Road near Lake Cave (the start of Leg 3)
  • Run the 19.5km Leg 3 through to the White Elephant café at Gnarabup. (There is also a 14km option to Redgate -  See notes below.)
  • After the run (at approx. 12:30pm) – meet for lunch at the While Elephant for a Q&A session
  • approx 1:30pm catch the bus back to your cars if they are at the run start

Sunday 25th March

  • 7:20am Meet at Gracetown (gravel car park beside beach) to park your car and catch the bus to the start
  • 8:00am Meet at Surfers Point - at the lower car park adjacent the Margaret River mouth at Prevelly (on Leg 4)
  • Run 16.5km through to Gracetown (part of leg 4 and 5). There is also an 11km option to Ellensbrook Homestead - See notes below.
  • approx. 12:00pm – we’ll shuffle drivers back to their cars at the start
  • approx. 1:00pm meet for lunch at the Cheeky Monkey for a final wrap up!

We have conducted similar group runs for our Surf Coast Century event, they are always a lot of fun and a great way to meet others training for the event and to share ideas and enthusiasm before race day itself. Rapid Ascent General Manager Sam Maffett (also a very accomplished ultra runner himself) will be leading the sessions and will be on hand to answer questions and provide the best advice he can.

ALL FURTHER DETAILS and discussions on the training weekend will be posted to a Facebook Event linked to our Ultra Running Events page here. It is completely non-comital to click ‘interested’ for this event and then you can see any updates we post online.

Notes on the training runs:

  • Saturday: We’re proposing to run the entire Leg 2 of the course which is probably the hardest single leg of the event and is 19.5km long with a lot of soft sand. There is the option to stop early at Redgate Beach which would make a 14km run.
  • Sunday: The proposed run starts 2.5km into leg 4 and does the rest of leg 4 (which ends at Ellensbrook Homestead which is reached at the 11km pt) but we’ll continue into Leg 5 and finish at Gracetown, making a 16.5km total run. Runners can stop early at Ellensbrook if that is all you want to do.
  • Navigating the course. The course will not be marked and we strongly encourage attendees to set up your smart phone with the FREE mapping app MapsME with the Margaret River Ultra run course imported. This is super super easy – just follow the instructions here! The .KML course map can also be downloaded from here.
  • 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.

If you have any questions about the training weekend then please contact the Rapid Ascent office on (03) 5261 5511 or Sam Maffett on the weekend itself on 0400 001 786.


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? We can help – see below…
  • 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



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.


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

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