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, October 21, 2007

    Racewalking NZ 50k, 2007

    LDWalks2006_thCompleted the non-championship walk in 5:57:51 on a hot and windy day.

    I arrived at the course to find that it had been shortened from the 2km loop used last year to a 1km loop. I wasn't sure whether this would be a good change or not: it would mean twice as many turn arounds, but it would also mean twice the access to the drinks table. Also, instead of counting to 25 I would be counting to 50 – just a small thing, but it does make a difference when one is tired!

    My target for the day was to start at 7:00/km and hold that for as long as possible. This would result in a marathon time approximately equal to my PB, and a 50k time of 5:50:00. I had also publicly announced that I was "hoping to squeak under 6 hours", so I only had a 10 minute buffer.

    What can I remember of the 50k? The temperature at the 7am start was pleasant for walking in a singlet, but by mid day parts of the course were extremely hot. It was also very windy. Heading north from the start line we were walking in to the wind, and that seemed to be quite strong later in the day. But heading south on the return journey was entirely exposed to the sun, and there was a stretch of perhaps 100m where there was no wind.

    50k Start
    The 50k start at 7am: Cliff, Me, David, Peter.

    With two no-shows, the field was just four: David Sim, Peter Baillie, Cliff Harrison, and me. I was looking forward to watching the race between David and Peter, as they had been closely matched at the Rotorua marathon earlier in the year, until injury forced Peter to drop back.

    The field initially split into a lead pair of David and Peter, followed by Cliff and me. Both pairs separated, with David opening a reasonable lead on Peter. The gap between David and Peter closed up again after a while, with David and Peter either walking together, or one behind the other. When they lapped me for the 3rd time at about 13.75km, they were walking together and it looked like it could be anyone's race.

    My race started fractionally fast, but then slowed as my shins once again tightened up and slowed me down. But it didn't take long to get back on track, and I went through 10km in 1:10:14, just 14 seconds behind target. I went through 20km in 2:19:25, now 35 seconds ahead of target.

    At around 23km Peter started to gradually drop behind David. After a while it was evident that Peter was slowing considerably, and even I started to gain ground on him. I eventually caught up one lap at around 30.25km, but only a few km after that Peter withdrew from the race.


    Cliff lapped me soon after 12.5km, and again at about 24.5km. When he came past for the 3rd time at about 38.5km I decided to try and hang on. We crossed the start/finish line together, staying together for the best part of a lap. But I was tired and Cliff continued to pull away.

    I completed 42km in 4:57:51. Given the time for my 43rd kilometre, I would have completed the marathon distance in about 4:59, which would have been my fastest for the year, and my second fastest ever. Although I might have been well behind the race leader and travelling at what seemed like a fairly slow pace, I was doing well by my historical standards.

    With 6km to go I had a slow lap as I gathered my mental resources for the final 5 km. At about 3km to go I decided it was time to pick up the pace, but looking at the pace chart it appears that nothing happened! Before long there was just two laps to go, and then one. This time I did manage to pick up the pace and finished relatively strongly. 5:57:51. I had completed the 50k and squeaked in under the 6 hours!

    Analysis of my race
    I did well compared to my marathon times, but I was perhaps 10 minutes slower than what a key training session 3 weeks out from the race would have suggested. My 5k race performance clearly also tailed off in the last few weeks. Although part of that was due to weather conditions, I can't help feeling that perhaps I peaked to early, or possibly lost form due to the absence of 5k races in September.

    Overall Results





    David Sim



    Peter Baillie


    4:00:44 at 38km,
    2:59:44 at 30km


    Cliff Harrison



    Andrew Shelley



    Photos are available on Flickr.


    Post a Comment