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, April 28, 2001

    Rotorua Marathon

    Crossing the roundabout 200m from the finish.
    New PB of 3:15:51. I had a fantastic race, passing a large number of runners over the last 15km. Had enough in reserve that the last 2km were the fastest in the race.

    The day was overcast and cool - only 11 degrees. I went through my pre-race routine of baked beans for breakfast, writing my target splits on my hand, and taping my feet. I was confident of a good time and a new PB, although I thought that the 3h:15m target might be a bit tough.

    I was staying with a group from Trentham Harriers. Everyone in the motel unit was ready to go, so we walked down to the start area. A leppin and a drink of water at 25 mins to the start, and time for a team photo. It was still very chilly, but it was much warmer as everyone lined up close together at the start.

    The announcer was just saying 5 seconds to start and “boom” … the starting cannon went off. After a short shuffle to make it across the start line, we were off at an easy clip. I had lined up just a little back from the 3h:10m marker, but I was already being passed by a lot of people. I was trying to hold myself back, but I still went through the first km a good 20s faster than planned. Trevor Murphy came flying past, apparently trying to catch a bunch of runners he planned to run with. At about the 2km mark, I was passed by a runner who said he was targeting 3h:30m. I had also run the second km 20s faster than planned, so I expect that he is going out way too fast. Not an uncommon story on the day … I am passed by a lot of runners in the first 5-10km that I will recognize as I pass them around the far side of the lake.

    Craig Barret, New Zealand’s best race walker, passed me on the hill at about 10.5km, but he stayed within view for the next few km. The trip around the back of the lake was largely uneventful, although I took it easy on the hills and got a rude shock when I found that I was 20s slow at half way. I must have slowed dramatically. Still, it was largely downhill from here, so I should be able to pick up the pace. As can be see from the graph of race splits, for some reason I slowed right through the first half and then managed to accelerate right through the second half.

    Notes: Slower kms are a result of walking through drink stops at 11.1, 15.7, 21.1, 24, 28.2, 32, 34.6, and 37.2kms. Gels were taken at the 11.1, 21.1, 28.2, and 37.2km drink stops.

    Coming ’round from the back of the lake on to the main road, there was a large crowd of people. I was feeling rather good and decided to start picking up the pace and start passing other runners. I concentrated on running in time with my breathing while focusing on reeling in the next runner in front of me. There was still 15km to go, but I was already catching and passing runners who looked like they had hit the wall.

    Mourea hill, Rotorua’s “heartbreak hill” appeared, looking a little intimidating. However, I’m feeling great. I’m running at a good pace and I’m passing increasing numbers of runners. There’s just the slight worry at the back of my mind that maybe I won’t be able to keep this pace up to the end.

    The small contingent of Trentham supporters were positioned along the last 10km. Christine was somewhere around 32km, and Jake and Dave Logan were just before 36km. I was still going strong when I saw Jake and Dave, but started to feel quite fatigued about 700m later. There was a drink stop coming up at 37.2km, and as I got closer I opened the “double caffeine” tangelo PowerGel that I had held in reserve for when I was starting to flag. I walked through the drink station, having a cup of water with most of the PowerGel. Soon after I started running again another runner caught up and passed me. I ran just behind him for a couple of hundred metres, then as the PowerGel started to kick in I drew level with him again. We ran together until about 250m before the 39km marker. At this point I pushed the pace just a little, and within 100m the other runner had dropped off behind.

    I was feeling the full effects of the PowerGel by now, and pushed the pace a little more as I went through the 39km mark. According to the splits on my hand I was about 2 minutes down on my target pace, but I had just put in 4:27 for the last km, which was a good 20s faster than what I had planned for.

    I was clearly in much better shape than any of the runners around me. While they were clearly struggling, and probably running much slower than 5 mins/km, I was running at an ever-increasing pace. I went straight through the 40km drink stop without having a drink or sponge, continuing to pass more runners. At this point the road starts to curve to the left, and cones were set out to reserve the lane at the edge of the road for the runners. The other runners were reduced to the point where they were no longer thinking - just plodding along the dashed yellow line on the outside of the curve, while I ran the shortest line right next to the cones.

    Past a sign indicating 41km, then a right turn to head down the straight towards the Government Gardens. I picked up the pace still further, and was still feeling extremely good. ‘Round the right turn into the Government Gardens and it was down the last straight to the finish. I knew now that I still had a chance to possibly make 3:15. I was starting to feel a little tired again, but I pushed the pace a little as the announcer counted down the seconds to 3:15:00. I had not quite reached the round-a-bout when the count reached zero. The finish was only about 200m from that point, so I kept the same pace and ran through to the finish. 3:15:51! I was rapt. So much for being 2 minutes slow at the 39km mark - I had run the fastest part of my race over the last 2km!

    My legs were sore for a few moments, but within a minute or so I felt great. I could have run faster (or for more kms), but I didn’t realistically think at the start of the race that I would have been able to. Clearly a testament to cumulative effect of 18 months training and the long grueling mountain races from earlier in the year. I felt great for the next two days. I had run a marathon without hitting the wall, and had raced the last 15km. Bring on the next one!


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