Ultra Camp with Coops

TrailRunMag 15.06.2012

Boom! Hear that? That’s the sound of trail running. It has a lovely echo through the forest, the reverberation of our beloved sport exploding, don’t you think?

What’s got me super excited, however, is what that growth means – not just for Trail Run Mag, or for products and brands and all that palava (technical term for ‘guff’), but for experience.

Along with more people lacing up a luggier shoe to take on trail, comes the opening up of possibility. Specifically the flowering of trail running experiences to be had, bought, sold, traded…from trail tours (a la those offered by our intrepid New Zealand Editor, Mal Law through Running Wild / Total Sport) to pseudo competitive trail adventures the likes of my current wish list experience, the Manaslu Trail Race (www.manaslutrailrace.org).

At the upper end of such offerings are new products springing up around ultra and elite off-road running. I’m thinking of things like altitude training facilities springing up like mountain mushrooms  – did you know you can get high while running on the Gold Coast, Sydney, Melbourne…?(www.bodyologypps.com.au,   www.altitudetrainingcentre.com.au,  www.sydneyaltitudetraining.com). And if you don’t like to fake it, there’s also specific altitude programs being offered at Falls Creek (www.natc.com.au).

Further to that, more and more trail pros are offering to lend their knowledge, expertise and insight (all the same thing really!) to punters like you and me. And if you’re going to learn, you may as well learn from those winning races.

Someone like Matt ‘Coops’ Cooper (www.mattcooper.com.au), winner of the Alpine Challenge, top ender at pretty much any race he enters and potentially the friendliest runner on trail – the man is a walking smile of positivity.

While he offers specialist physical and mental training and trail coaching for individuals through his company Present Energy (www.present-energy.com), Coops has also recently established a new, ‘Ultra made Training Camp’, a multiday intensive group experience that will give those looking to improve all aspects of their ultra running the inside line.

The first one is slated for the first weekend of Spring – Friday 31st August to Sunday 2nd September (with an optional ultra/long run) on the Monday morning.

Coops has chosen his local hunting fground to host the camp, with sessions taking place at Fitzroy Falls, in NSW.

Here’s what I like about these styles of experiences: it’s all about the running but the peripheries aren’t bad either. The setting is stunning with accommodation fully self contained cottages (including fireplace!) set on 50 acres in the surrounding Moreton National park right alongside Twin Falls and the famous Fitzroy Falls marathon trail (www.fitzroyfallsmarathon.com/).

“With the Australian Ultra running calendar ramping up, including Glasshouse 100, Surf Coast Century, GOW100, GNW100′s and Coast2Kosci, I figured there would be runners wanting to fine tune their Ultra training program,” says Coops.

“You don’t have to be a top-ender, either,” he assures. “Whether a seasoned ultra runner looking to crack a PB or a marathoner looking for the next step into Ultra trail, this camp is for you. I’ve developed a completely customised program tailored to meet the running mileage of both marathon and ultra distance runners.”

Coops’ ‘Ultra Made’ itinerary focuses on creating an ideal individual training program including specific seminars on eating for optimum results and training to race at your peak.

Matt will also open the doors to the lesser known secrets on race plan, ultra distance psychology and minimalist mindset that have put him at the pointy end of the field.

As a bonus to runners attending this first NSW Ultra Made camp, Matt will be introducing runners to ‘performing with Present Energy’… for ultra runners; the practices that Matt believes to be his most important training tools in his own race program.

Group presentations will be combined with 3 ‘on the trail’ running sessions (6-18km trail runs) among the single track and fire trail found on the Twin falls escarpment.

And to finish off a weekend of trail indulgence, Matt’s offering anyone able to stick around, a 30km or 50km long run on the Monday morning, down the Cannonball run into Kangaroo Valley, passing Twin falls and climbing the inspiring yet challenging Meryla pass.

In between training sessions there will be time for mountain biking, recovery baths (in a naturally cold pool), relaxing in the National park or viewing one of Ultra running’s original races – Western States 100.

Sounds like our kind of ultra trail experience. May there be more of it.


Camp pricing is $150 + accommodation which includes all trail sessions, 3 x group training/presentations by Matt Cooper, Friday night dinner (an ultra runners secret recipe which you can have), Monday long run and exclusive trial of Hammer nutrition and Salomon gear.

Breakfast, lunch and snacks must be self catered (each cottage has full kitchen, fridge, freezer) and Saturday night we will book dinner at local restaurant for all interested. Accommodation price for the camp will vary between $35-$85 p/person p/night depending on your preference of cottage and number of runners. Check out www.fitzroyfalls.com for cottage configurations and contact Matt for availability.

Booking your spot…

For all details see http://mattcooper.com.au/ultra-running-performance-coaching/

To contact Matt about this camp, other camp locations (including Victorian Alps and Blue Mountains) or performance coaching go to:


Or email coops@present-energy.com or contact Matt 0417436435.