Could running with poles make you faster at the UTA?
In Europe you would be the odd one out not to be using poles in a trail running event. In Australasia it is almost the opposite. You are considered to be a bit "over the top" if you're running with poles.
That is all about to change.
Even on a relatively runnable course like the Ultra-Trail Australia - poles could help you to run faster. They help to take some of the load that your legs would otherwise have to take. This means your legs will have more strength for later in the race to power your way to the finish line.
Trail running guru Scotty Hawker talks of his experience where he ran without poles in Laveredo Ultra-Trail in Italy, and how it probably cost him a place or two.
If you're thinking about using poles in the UTA then make sure you get plenty of practice with them in training. There is both technique and skill involved to get the most out of them.
Make sure you also watch Scotty's VIDEO on how to use them properly.