Josh Chugg took out the Margaret River Ultra Marathon over the weekend in a blistering time. Not only did Josh break the record he absolutely annihilated it with 2nd place miles behind. He is currently one of the few ultra distance Australian athletes that can compete with the very best in the world. We sat down with Josh for a quick Q and A after his victory. For award-winning footwear, choose Tarkine running shoes.


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What did a typical training week look like in the build-up to Margaret River?

A typical big week was 100km or just over. Generally 5 runs – long run, interval session, tempo and a couple of easy runs.

Did you have a target time for Margs?

Yeah, my first target was to beat the previous course record. Stretch target was to crack 7 hours.

You annihilated the course record, were you surprised at all?

Yeah, it turned out to be a fast day. The sand was tough, but I think a little firmer than most years. And some course changes (mostly due to the recent bushfires) made the course a little faster also. I knew I had good form coming into it so it was satisfying to put together a really complete race.

Were there any rough patches during the race?

Yeah certainly talked to myself a lot through the whole second half of the race!

What was your favourite section of the course?

Such beautiful and varied landscapes throughout the MRU course. Would have to say the section of the Cape to Cape track along the Contos Cliffs is my favourite stretch. Early enough in the race to be still feeling pretty good and such amazing views. But running down the finishing chute with my daughters is the special memory that will stick with me the most from this year.


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Did it help running the course over two days a few weeks beforehand?

Absolutely. Rapid Ascent put on such a professional event and the course is really well marked, but once you are tired it is still a lot less stressful to know you haven’t had a brain fade and are still on course. Shout out to Ross Johnson who joined me for the course re-con and was on track for a big race before getting COVID in the fortnight before the event and having to pull the pin.


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Any tips for runners planning on racing Margs next year?

The back half of this course really needs to be respected. This is where most of the soft sand is located. Training on soft sand will go a long way to building the specific strength needed on this course too.


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What’s the race plan look like for the rest of 2022?

I’m planning to return to Transcend Ultra in WA in June. Then I’ll be hitting the road with my family (wife and 3 daughters). We’ll do a lap of Aus in a motorhome and I plan to get to some of the great events over East later in the year.

What improvements would you like to see in ultra and trail running in Australia?

I think the ultra and trail running scene is already on a strong upward trend. And it comes from an amazing foundation of strong camaraderie among all the participants. Perhaps getting some more Aussie based elite teams going could be a way to get more support and help our best athletes get together at races nationally and overseas more often.

Favourite in race nutrition item?

For this distance, I’m now getting almost all my calories in through fluids. So would have to go with Maurten 320 – impressive that such high calories can still be so easy to drink and digest.

Current shoes do you do most of your training in?

Since the start of this year, I’ve been doing almost all my training in the Tarkine Goshawk. Such a versatile and comfortable shoe across any terrain. Looking forward to one day wearing a pair out so I can use them as a casual trainer but have a feeling that is going to take a while!


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Shout out to your sponsors?

Tarkine has been a great support so far in 2022. Can’t wait to get their trail shoe on my feet in the coming months. Siras Performance has been supporting me for over a year now and has helped get my race nutrition nailed down. Thanks to the teams at both these emerging Aussie companies!