Welcome to my blog. The title originates when my primary athletic activity was competitive walking, but now that I am back to running it also includes that.

Not all content is accessible from the main page: for example, the rogaines, racewalking, and ultramarathon pages all include content that is only accessible from those pages.


Ultramarathons are any event longer than the standard marathon distance of 26.2 miles / 42.195km. Standard distances for ultras are 50km, 50 miles, 100km, and 100 miles. There are also 12 hour and 24 hour track runs, and multi-day "stage races".

I have currently (September 2012) completed 30 ultramarathons, plus 1 DNF at about 66km at the Molesworth Run. Reports for most events are provided below.

See also


Rogaining is the sport of long distance cross-country navigation. Events can be as short as 2-3 hours or the standard 24 hours. Teamwork, endurance, competition and an appreciation for the natural environment are features of the sport. Rogaining involves both route planning and navigation between checkpoints using a variety of map types.

GN Phillips and RJ Phillips, Rogaining, 3rd ed, 2000

The two main umbrella organisations for rogaining in New Zealand are: My reports for selected events are provided below.

Hiking and Mountains

The Hiking, Trail Running, and Mountains pages are all inter-related, but with some subtle differences:
  • Hiking is not an organised race, and may include Coastal Adventures, activities in the Mountains, and hiking in other locations;
  • Trail Running covers organised events, some in the mountains, but others on local hills and trails; and
  • The Mountains category covers both events and hiking in various places that can be classed as mountains.

  • Racewalking

    Racewalking only has to meet two technical requirements:
    • no loss of contact, as judged by the human eye; and
    • the leg has to be straight from the moment of first contact until it is upright.
    More detailed rules are here.

    I'm not particularly good at racewalking, often falling foul of the straight leg rule. But I still give it a go and here are the results of my endeavours.


    This blog is primarily about my walking activities, but sometimes I do run. Here are reports for events where I have run.

    Shorter Races

    I classify events as ultramarathons, marathons, rogaines, and "shorter events". So a "shorter event" is just something that is shorter than a marathon and is not a rogaine. Consequently there's a mixed bag in here: running, racewalking, half marathons, 10k and 5k races, , etc.

    Saturday, January 27, 2001

    Holdsworth-Jumbo Trail Race

    At the gear check the race organizer, Sue Lyttle, greeted me. Apparently I was the very first entry she had received - even before the entry forms had made it out into the shops. I had found the entry form on the event website, and saw no point on waiting around until the field filled up. The wonder of the internet!

    Quite windy and a little cool at the start, perhaps 12°C, so the motel room decision to wear my club singlet was abandoned in favour of a short sleeve polyprop top.

    I set off in the middle of the throng. The first bottleneck is the bridge across the Atiwhakatu stream. (After the rain of the previous few days, more like a small river) I waited in line while several people set off across the stream. Not only did they get wet feet in the very cold water, but I also beat them to the other side, so the right decision was made this time. I made good time to the start of the Gentle Annie track, and started into the climb. After running uphill for several minutes, I changed my strategy to one of walking the uphills and running everything that was remotely flat or downhill. I was passed by several people on the uphill, but quickly passed about eight people on pig flat.

    I reached the sidetrack to Mountain House in 45:50. As I passed the sidetrack, Mike Wakelin was just appearing on the Hooper Loop run. Apparently he made it to Mountain House in a record time of 30 minutes, and went on to set a new course record of around 50:59 - breaking the old record by more than 6 minutes!

    Beyond the Mountain House sidetrack the Gentle Annie rapidly abandons any pretense of being gentle, and the long slog up to Powell Hut commenced. There were no flat bits on this section, so it was a case of walking all the way on an increasingly rough track with tree roots and the occasional short scramble up the rock face. During this section the air became increasingly cold, particularly on the sections exposed to the wind.

    Runners getting changed for the tops at Powell Hut
    I made it up to Powell Hut in 1:18:55 - well within the 2 hour cut-off, but a long way short of the sub-1 club. At the Hut we were warned that it was very cold and windy on the tops. I put my long sleeve polyprop over top of the short sleeve one that I was already wearing and put on my woolen hat. I also got my camera out of my pack, grabbed a handful of jellybeans (jet planes were also on offer), and drank 1½ cups of water. I set off again for Holdsworth Trig after 3:28 at the Hut.

    It rapidly became apparent on the climb to the trig that I was under-dressed. It was so cold that I soon relented and stopped to put on my raincoat and gloves. I was warmer, but it was still cold. There were a few flat sections on this stage, so I could actually run those. I made it to the trig in 1:45:11 - the slowest 10k I've ever done in a race!

    After the trig there is a steep descent on to an "undulating" ridge. I was able to make good time on the descent - sliding down on my feet where the track was steep and slippery, and gliding over the rough rocks. All too soon another uphill section arrived, but I was still in good condition and walked it quite quickly.

    Cresting the summit of Jumbo.
    (I'm the one at the front in the red jacket.)
    More downs and ups followed, but soon I was down to a slow walk as I found that I was out of energy. I had a powergel while I walked and was passed by several runners. As my energy returned the last uphill to the Jumbo summit seemed to arrive quite quickly. I was greated by a race marshall with a camera as I walked the last few metres to the top, to reach Jumbo 38:39 after the trig. Now there was a relatively short (mainly) downhill section to Jumbo Hut. Again I was able to make rapid progress over the rough rocks, making it to the Hut just 10:35 from Jumbo summit.

    The surprise at Jumbo Hut is fruit jubes - my favourite! A few fruit jubes, remove my jacket and store it under the shock cord on my pack, a few more fruit jubes and a drink, and I'm on my way in 2:07. The track down from Jumbo is very rough, with lots of rocks and tree roots, and very steep - descending 720m in 2.5km. Once again, I make very good progress over the rough terrain. I manage to really hammer the first ½, catching and passing five or six people. I slow down a bit on the second half as my quads are getting very sore and the terrain becomes a little more vertical. The bottom and Atiwhakatu Hut arrives in 28:49, giving a total time so far of 3:05:22. More jellybeans, a jet plane, more water, and remove my long sleeve polyprop.

    Out of Atiwhakatu Hut in 2:01, and it's only 7.5 "undulating" kilometers to go. My legs are quite sore after the big downhill, but it's back to the strategy of walking the uphills and running everything else. My time is looking (relatively) good - I may be able to break 4hrs if I run enough of this last leg. Once again I hammer the downhill stretches, and manage to catch and pass several people. I cross the first swing bridge, and then the second. The third (a wire bridge with chicken wire netting on the bottom) marks 4km to go. There are some interesting stretches of track along here - in some places there is a shear vertical drop to the river of at least 10m. Not the best place for tired runners to miss their footing. Donnely's flat marks 2km to go, but I'm very tired and stop to walk a hundred metres or so. The Gentle Annie track marks 1km to go, and I can run all the way from here. A few gentle ups and downs, but I can run them all. The bridge across Atiwhakatu stream appears, then I'm across and its just metres to the finish line. 3:54:27 total time - much faster than the 4:28:05 of running time on my training run two weeks earlier. I'm very tired, but it was a great run.


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