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Home of Serra Terror
Southern Grampians Endurance Challenge

Training and preparation

You will experience 80km of some of the most beautiful country that the Grampians has to offer – breathtaking views, ridgelines and spectacular craggy mountains, swamps, forest walks and picturesque farming land. But… let’s not kid ourselves, it’s going to be tough, so be prepared for the Serra Terror. You need to seriously think about your training NOW. The week before is too late.

So do your research, work out a training program early on into your decision to enter the event and make sure that it includes…

  • flat ground and hills walking
  • Roads, track and rock country.
  • Walk, jog & run, condition your body to training under some pressure.
  • Work out your  kit & carry it on your training sessions as much as possible. Get used to the weight to make sure it’s suited for the journey.

If you are seeking walks further afield than Mount Sturgeon and Mount Abrupt, here are some other suggestions..

  • Mt Rosea
  • Jimmys Creek to the helipad return
  • Teddy Bears gap
  • Revisit last years Serra Terror, by devoting a full day to the FORTRESS.
  • The Chimney Pots
  • The black range north of Rocklands offers caves big enough to sleep 20 people, rock art and great escarpment walk – a good one as an overnight excursion.
  • Or if you are feeling really adventurous you could even try climbing 3 volcanoes in one day- Mount Eccles, Mt Napier and Mount Rouse..

 

WHAT TO PACK:

Due to the nature of this year’s route and the remoteness of the track, we are stressing the importance of all teams carrying the compulsory items.Throughout the event we will be conducting spot checks to ensure teams are carrying the required safety gear.Teams will not be permitted on the course without the required gear.

Compulsory items

  • Backpack
  • Thermal blanket
  • Waterproof matches/firelighter
  • Torch
  • Windproof/waterproof jacket
  • Well worn-in footwear
  • Mobile phone
  • Identification
  • Plenty of water – 2-3L
  • Personal first aid kit
  • High energy snacks (chocolate, glucose, dried fruit etc)
  • Warm clothing
  • Beanie and gloves
  • Any personal medication Epipen, Ventolin etc.
  • Serra Terror map and course notes (detailed map provided for each team at the Friday night briefing).

Extra suggestions and notes:

  • Hiking shoes or supportive trainers.  If you are buying new shoes, make sure they are well broken in.  We recommend you bring a backup pair for wet weather.  These can be either be carried or left with the support crew at check points. Smooth-soled sneakers are not appropriate due to the rugged terrain.
  • Comfortable hiking gear, such as short or loose wool or synthetic pants, sports leggings or skins.  A t-shirt or tank top and a warm jumper of wool or polyester fleece. Cotton is not suitable as it has minimal insulation when wet and retains water.  Parts of this year’s course will be through thick ti-tree scrub that can snag and tear clothing.  Bare legs will not be appropriate in this terrain.
  • A backpack and two water bottles, or a camel pack and bum bag are good alternatives. (2-3 litres of water in total). It is essential that you keep well hydrated.
  • First aid supplies such as assorted adhesive dressings (like blister band aids and adhesive tape), Blistop ,inflammatory gel, sunscreen, paracetamol, lip salve, insect repellent, Stingose and perhaps a wide elastic bandage and triangular bandage with safety pins.
  • Plastic bags are a good idea to keep things dry, and its also not a bad idea to keep spare clothing with support crew in case of wet weather.
  • Thermals, extra pairs of thick socks and wet weather gear – a knee length waterproof jacket is ideal (spray jackets and quilted parkas are not waterproof and create a danger of hypothermia).
  • Toilet paper or wipes. (There are also portaloos at each checkpoint)
  • Only carry what is necessary. Leave heavy items to your Support Crew.
  • Changing socks regularly will help against blisters. Treat hotspots on your feet as soon as they arise, before blisters form.

BLISTER TIPS – From Fit Feet Podiatry

Remember the golden rule ‘moisture + movement = blister’ If you control these 2 factors, blistering is impossible!

Find a sock that works for you, and pack spares. Thicker socks (or wearing 2 pairs) doesn’t mean more cushioning – it usually just causes a tight fit and more pressure. Keep them dry and change them often! Cotton and wool blend are most breathable choices. Silver helps to wick moisture off the skin.

Wear your chosen walking shoes at home during this week, especially if they are relatively new. Find any potential pressure areas or tight fitting spots. These spots will need preventive treatment before the walk with anti-friction balm (e.g. Healed skin protect or BodyGlide) and second-skin taping (Hypafix/Mefix).

A trail shoe can be a great alternative to hiking boots or runners. They have a tougher sole for off-road surfaces, but still plenty of cushioning and a light weight feel compared to a boot.

Lock lacing keeps shoes fitting securely, and avoids the movement component of blistering.

Treat existing callused skin and thickened or long nails a few days before. Avoid aggressive at-home treatments or techniques – inflamed spots will certainly cause problems! If in doubt, seek podiatry advice.

Plan to blister and pack accordingly. Prevention is most certainly the key! If a ‘hotspot’ appears, tackle this straight away. Essential supplies are anti-friction paste and a thin breathable dressing such as Hypafix. Use the podiatry stations early during the event.