Ultra Trail Australia (UTA)

Sherpa's Guide to Completing the Race in Safety & Comfort

Ultra-Trail Australia (UTA) is one of Australia’s most spectacular ultra running events held not far from Sydney in the iconic Blue Mountains. The Mountains give you a stunning backdrop and a wide variety of terrain. From firetrail, to single trail, to hills, to a million stairs, it has it all. The weekend is made for everyone to have a go - with 11km, 22km, 50km and 100km events. They don’t forget the kids either, there is a 1km kids run to finish off the weekend!

Have you signed up for the challenge? Now is the time to get your gear so you can take it on one of your long runs to test it out. There is nothing worse than being out on course on race day and not being able to work out how something works.

Above and beyond the mandatory gear here at Sherpa we have a lot of other running gear that can help you on race day. We stock Ultimate Direction packs, Injinji & Feetures socks, Topo & Altra shoes, Helios Running Caps, Body Glide, Goodr & Knockaround sunglasses, Tailwind & Fixx Nutrition, GU Gels, Coros & Garmin Watches and don’t forget Leki & Black Diamond Running Poles! Find these items and more www.sherpa.com.au/run/

UTA Mandatory Gear

The course passes through remote trails, where protection from the elements and medical/support services could be some time/distance from athletes needing assistance. It is therefore imperative that the mandatory gear is carried at all times. In order to reduce waste, UTA is a cupless event. Athletes are strongly advised to carry their own drinking cup, bottle or hydration vest that they can use at aid stations for the selection of drinks. We recommend you also carry water between aid stations.

Item UTA100 UTA50 UTA22 UTA11 Can Sherpa Supply?
1 x long sleeve thermal top (polypro or wool) Unisex Thermal Tops
1 x long leg thermal pants (polypro or wool) Unisex Thermal Pants
1 x waterproof and breathable jacket Waterproof Running Jackets
1 x beanie balaclava or head sock (buff) Buff Headwear
1 x full-fingered thermal gloves (polypro or wool) Thermal Gloves
1 x high visibility safety vest  
1 x headlamp Headlamps
1 x small backup light  
1 x mobile phone  
1 x compass Compass
1 x whistle Emergency Bivvy + Whistle
1 x emergency space blanket (light bivvy sack) Emergency Bivvy + Whistle
1 x compression bandage Supports & Bandages
1 x lightweight dry sack Dry Sacks
Water bottles/bladders with a capacity to carry 2L Running Hydration
2 x food bars Sports Nutrition
1 x ziplock bag for personal rubbish  
1 x long leg waterproof pants Waterproof Rain Pants
1 x 100-weight (minimum) long sleeve fleece top Lightweight Fleece Tops



Okay, now that you have thought about all your gear and hopefully it is on its way to you. The next thing to do is work out how you are going to pack all the gear… and it is probably advisable to do a trial run carrying it all. Having run the 50 a couple of times and the 100 last year I can tell you that I found Lucy Bartholomew’s guide to packing for UTA (which can be found on YouTube or by a simple Google search) super helpful.

You want to know where everything is going to be in your pack. You don’t want to be on the trails in the dark searching in your pack for your headtorch. Make a plan and try and stick to it. Things you don’t plan on using down the bottom, things you will or might need up near the top.

I found having two Petzl headtorches great. They both take 3 AAA batteries or the Petzl rechargeable battery. It meant when my main one died a slow death, I was able to use the backup easily … and once I decided my backup wasn’t powerful enough and was slowing me down, it meant that all I needed to do was swap the batteries out. (Just something to think about if you haven’t yet bought your spare).

Things I wish I had done

Last year I made a nutrition decision to not carry a heap of water with me from the start, knowing I’d be carrying it up the Golden Stairs. I figured at the first aid station I would fill up another flask. It was a solid plan, one I wish I had written on a palm card or something and looked at when I reached the first aid station. I had covid three weeks prior to the race, suffered a dizzy spell half way up the Golden Stairs and had to sit there for ten minutes before continuing. When I reached the top where the aid station was, I thought I might DNF (Did not finish) if I stopped so I went straight past the aid station, totally forgetting I needed water. It was then quite warm heading out over Narrowneck and I ended up running out of water before the next aid station. Rookie error.

Before race week. Go over your nutrition plan, make sure there is nothing you have forgotten. Write a packing list. Include a wall plug for your phone/watch so you don’t have to do a last minute dash to Woolies to pick one up the night before the race (may or may not have been a personal experience).

Watch out for wet stairs/railings. They can cause injuries. Thankfully the bruises fade with time.

One of the most important things is to have the most fun you can have out there. Enjoy the whole experience. You are in amongst some of the most breathtaking locations. Stop and take it in and embrace all that is around you. Talk to people out on course, smile as much as you can. There are going to be tough moments, but the more joy you have while doing it the easier it will be, and remember the feeling that is ahead when you get to that Finish Line!



Phone: 02 9651 7822

Email: enquiries@sherpa.com.au

Address: Unit 27, 276 New Line Rd, Dural, NSW 2158

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