ULTRA NORTH IS FOR RUNNERS & WALKERS
There was a time when you would only encounter the most dedicated and committed runners participating in ultra events. Not any more. As the popularity of multi-distance ultra events increases, participants of all ages, backgrounds, and speeds are getting involved.
If you’re a walker looking for a challenge ULTRA NORTH could be for you!
The events are not a walk-in-the-park (ahem) – but as long as you can complete the distance within the specified cut off times then why not join us? A 25K walk can be completed in 5 hours at a relatively comfortable pace for most people.
The cut off times are not particularly difficult and the required pace is designed to be achievable by most walkers– the shorter distance option also requires a slightly slower pace than the longer distances.
WHAT PACE WILL I NEED TO WALK AT?
For those taking part in ULTRA 55, an average speed of approx. 12 minutes per KM (19 minutes per mile) to ensure you make it to the checkpoints by the designated cut off time.
And for those taking part in TRAIL 25, an average speed of approx. 19 minutes per KM (30 minutes per mile) to ensure you complete the distance in time.
See our FAQs for more details.
Did you know that the vast majority of participants will mix up running and walking during their ultra? That’s right, very few participants will even attempt to run the entire distance.
Generally speaking you will find that walking the inclines and then running/jogging the flat and downhill sections are the way to go. But it's entirely up to you.
As with any challenge it’s important to ensure that you are well prepared. That means some training! A quick web search for run-walk training plans will offer up some plans that you might like to follow.
A good tip is to find your 'level' during training and then make sure you stick to that during the event. It's very tempting to get carried away at the start of an event and head out a little too fast!
If your level is, say, jogging 5 minutes and then walking 1 minute, then try to stick to that from the start.
AM I FIT ENOUGH?
Let’s not pretend it’s going to be an easy stroll. That’s why we designate it a ‘Challenge Walk’.
If you’re used to walking and are a regular walker then you’re already on your way. Preparing for ULTRA NORTH will primarily involve building up your walking distance/time, and perhaps building up your speed a little to ensure you can comfortably complete the event within the cut off times stated above.
And remember you don’t have to do the full ultra distance on your first time out. ULTRA NORTH has a shorter alternative in the TRAIL 25 option - a perfect way to get started and from which you can set your sights on your next, possibly longer, challenge.
GET A PLAN
Experienced runners and walkers will tell you that it’s not a bad idea to follow a plan when you’re starting out. A plan will help you to establish a routine of regular training and to gradually increase the distance you are covering in your training.
A web search for distance walking (or run-walking) training plans will bring up a number of plans and you can choose one that works for you.
GET THE GEAR
You don’t need much specialist gear to go get started, but one of your first investments should be in footwear. Some walkers like sturdy trainers whilst others prefer walking or hiking boots. Run-walkers will likely want a good pair of running or trail shoes. The terrain on which you are walking might dictate your choice.
Do also ensure that you have the appropriate clothing. That might be a fleece and waterproof layer for example. Remember that the weather may well change if you are out for 5 or 6 hours.
With hundreds taking part in ULTRA NORTH, it’s quite possible that you will find yourself going at the same speed as others for parts of the event. This can be a great source of encouragement, especially if you're flagging!
Remember that we have fully stocked check points on the route providing drinks and food to keep you fuelled up to the finish line.
What are you waiting for!?