Preparation And Equipment
With the right training and preparation – anyone can take on the Trek 50km challenge!
1. Move those feet
Whether you're a footy player, regular gym goer, couch potato or weekend warrior – completing a 50km walk within 24 hours is a very specific physical challenge, and your body needs to adapt to it. Training is not about speed or distance, but rather time on your feet. The most important part of training is the repeat long walk, where you do back-to-back walks on successive days. We suggest you should build up your fitness level to be able to complete a 30km practice walk, 2-3 weeks prior to the event. Additionally, training as a team gives you the chance to get to know each other better, and increases your chance of being in sync on the event as a team.
2. Have a game plan
If your team has a game plan for the event and follows it, you will be more likely to finish with a smile. Map out your target walking times and break times. Have a meal and hydration plan. Discuss potential challenges and issues you may encounter, and have a plan for how to respond to them as a team.
Oh yes, and who is dropping you off at the Start and picking you up from the Finish? Make sure you have this sorted well before event weekend.
3. Prepare with a night walk
Walking in a national park in the dark is an experience that will be new to many people. Walking during the night can be a mental and physical challenge in itself, especially after a long day on the trail.
Prepare with a night training walk (as a group) to get accustomed to walking and orienteering in the dark, with the only light being the spotlight of your head torch.
4. Have a packing list
In the excitement of the moment, you may forget to pack one or two crucial items for your Trek.
Have a packing list and get prepared the day before the event. Don’t forget to include items such as a rain jacket, first aid kit, water and food, medication, sunscreen, pen, head torch, batteries and power banks, toilet paper, spare socks and layers and, of course, your Trek Event Guide.
5. Be healthy
Even though Trek will be a walk in the (national) park, it is also a physical endurance event. What you eat, drink, take in and how you sleep will influence your experience on the day.
So eat and drink healthy and nutritious food that gives you a boost, rather than slows you down. Don’t forget those good carbs and fluids! Also, have enough rest before the event.
And if you feel unwell or have been sick, please think twice about participating.
6. Dress appropriately
Wearing your favourite sandals and jeans on the event probably won’t feel so good after a few kilometres. Equally, shorts and a singlet won’t be overly comfortable on a bleak, windy or rainy day. (Of course, we're crossing all of our fingers and toes for stunning weather!)
Please wear appropriate shoes (wear them in first) and functional clothing. Dress in layers, carry a rain jacket, and test all of your equipment during a training walk beforehand. Get some good socks too!
7. Prepare against potential pitfalls
It is good to be aware of the most common reasons that teams and participants retire. Don’t let it be you! People retire because:
- Team members have different expectations regarding finishing time, game plan, or don’t know each other well enough to spend time on the trail, or be be tired in the dark, together
- They are under-trained and underprepared, because they think walking 50 kilometres isn’t that much of a challenge
- They don’t know that nasty blisters are the number-one first aid-related reason for retirement, or that it can be largely prevented
- They become dehydrated because they forget to drink enough
- They don’t read the Trek Guide and absorb the information
8. Watch the Trek Safety Video
A safety video will be released prior to the event. You will receive a notification by email and on the Facebook group.
Apart from being compulsory for every participant to watch this video, it is also in your own best interests to be familiar with any safety advice and procedures for Trek.
This will ensure you feel comfortable going into the event, and that you end up having a positive experience.
The estimated average time it will take for teams walking 50km from Bobbin Head to Balgowlah Heights is between 17 and 19 hours.