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.

    Sunday, March 3, 2002

    City-to-City Half Marathon

    The first time that I would be walking a half marathon. I’d been doing quite a bit of training, but I really did not know how I would go. I’d been having some trouble with sore shins and tight calves, and was a bit worried that they might slow me down significantly.

    The previous year I had walked the Wainui Mountain Race and found that I could just keep up with Dorothy Gardiner, while her husband Gavin was quite a bit faster. They were both walking this event, so I decided my strategy would be to see if I could keep up with Dorothy again. The starter called us to the line. I made my way to the second row, close to Dorothy.

    The field very quickly separated into a fast bunch of about 11 and the “rest”. After about 1km, the front bunch had split into two groups, with a faster group of four leading out the front. I was waking in the middle of the second group, with Jan Bliekendaal. We were both complaining of sore shins, and working hard to keep touch with the three women (including Dorothy) at the front of our group.

    After about 35 minutes my shins had come right, but my legs still didn’t feel great. We were now heading along the cycleway beside the motorway between Wellington and Lower Hutt. The three in front of Jan and I were having a great race – one would surge ahead and the other two would follow. Jan and I would then have a bit of a struggle to catch back up, and then our collective pace would drop for a short while. It was during one such moment that a bit of “partner swapping” occurred as my legs were warming up properly and beginning to feel fresh. As we went around a wide curve, I took the inside line and moved up beside Brenda. Together we moved to 2nd and 3rd spot in our group (6th and 7th overall, with Brenda 3rd female, and me 4th male). The woman at the head of our group put on another withering surge as we moved from the cycleway onto the shoulder of the road. My legs were feeling really good, so I sat right in behind her, while Brenda dropped behind a little. The surge was soon over, and I moved into the lead spot in our group.

    Only a short way ahead the road climbed up and over the railway track. As I moved to the head of our group I noticed that the lead group had now split completely apart, and were not too far ahead. Brenda caught back up to me as I went over the overbridge. At that point we had done about 10km, and we were together for the rest of the race.

    I looked back and noticed that our surge had completely split our group apart. Brenda and I were closing on the 4th member of the lead pack. The previous leader of our group was back a short way, followed a short way by Jan and Dorothy Gardiner (who had previously been sharing the lead), and then a slightly larger gap to another couple who had been at the back of the group.

    Brenda and I continued to walk at a good fast pace, and soon caught the guy who had been 4th member of the lead group. I was hot wearing a polyprop, but he must have been roasting – he was wearing a jacket zipped up. We passed him very quickly and then Gavin Gardiner was in our sights. He looked like he was strolling along casually, but was still maintaining a good pace. We caught him at the end of the waterfront as we turned to follow a trail up the side of the river estuary. We pulled away from Gavin, and set out sights on the 2nd walker. He was some distance ahead, and moving quite quickly. We took the underpass under the road, and headed along towards the Shandon golf course. It was very hard going through the golf course – we were walking along a grassy stopbank, with quite a strong and gusty headwind. Both Brenda and I were puffing at the effort to walk fast into the wind. It looked like we might be gaining on the 2nd walker, but he wasn’t going to go without a fight. A long way in the distance we could see the 1st walker – my training partner, Barbara Tucker.

    Place Name Time
    1 Barbara Tucker 2:25:??
    2 Andrew Shelley 2:28:41
    3 Brenda 2:28:43
    Brenda and I were both feeling tired, but we had settled into a good rhythm, and good keep up a good pace. As we approached the Ewen Bridge, we started to close on the 2nd walker quite quickly, and passed him just before the bridge. From here we started to wonder whether it would ever end. We thought it might be direct from the bridge to the finish line at the town hall. But, no, under the bridge and along a path at the top of the stopbank for about 1km, then off the stop bank, out to a turnaround point, along the bottom of the stopbank and back under the bridge. This must be it! Expecting only about 800m to the finish line, I put on a surge, only to find we had another out-and-back along a street. Around the library, and soon the town hall was in sight. One last surge, and across the finish line.


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