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 31, 2010

    All Walkers Should Boycott the Auckland Marathon

    The attitude of the Auckland Marathon towards walkers is inexcusable, and it is completely unacceptable that Athletics New Zealand should support such an event by making it their marathon championships.

    It is unacceptable that walkers are told they can run if they want to. It is not too difficult for the organisers to arrange scrutineers to ensure that walkers only walk and do not run - both the Rotorua Marathon and the Harbour Capital Marathon manage to do this. And having put in place such measures it would also be possible to have merit prizes for walkers. It is also unacceptable for the organisers to fob off any criticism by stating that no discussion or correspondence will be entered into over any of the rules.

    Perhaps the organisers are only really interested in the entry fees they can charge, and perhaps Athletics New Zealand still harbours the attitude that if walkers were real athletes then they'd be running.

    The Auckland Marathon's full rules relating to walking, as they appear on the event website, are:
    1. The adidas Auckland Marathon is primarily a competitive running event.
    2. Walking is not an official "Event" category of the adidas Auckland Marathon carrying any competitive status and is not part of any other sub-event within the adidas Auckland Marathon such as a national or area championship so is not scrutinized. The adidas Auckland Marathon is not a competitive walk event and will not be scrutinized as a walk event. Walkers are numbered differently solely for start purposes only.
    3. The adidas Auckland Marathon entry form (online and download) requires participants to nominate their chosen event and whether they will run or walk in the Marathon or Half Marathon events.
    4. Walkers and runners are allocated different bib colours and numbering systems solely for starting purposes only. As a fundamental safety measure for both walkers and runners, participants entered as walkers start behind the runners to ensure as smooth a flow as possible through the starting line and the early stages of the event.
    5. There is no competition or prize category for walkers and therefore walkers are not scrutinized in any of the adidas Auckland Marathon events.
    6. Walkers who choose to run at times during their chosen event on the day (and vice versa) are not penalised.
    7. No discussion or correspondence regarding any points outlined above will be entered into by the Event Organisers.
    Source: Auckland Marathon policy, accessed 31 October 2010.


    Nyle Sunderland said...

    I wrote to them last year and asked them for the discounted price for me to enter seeing as I was a walker and that there were to be NO PRIZES in any way shape or form for us...I questioned why I should pay the same price as a runner. I got no reply. I will never ever walk at this event, I think it makes them all look like smucks and the ordastity to say walkers can run.......dont get me started on that one. So I agree with you Andrew......all walkers should be avoiding this event like the plague.

    Andrew said...

    As of 9:15pm on Monday 1 November, the first legitimate walker in the full marathon (David Wackrow) is currently listed as 3rd, 42 minutes behind the person who came first. First legitimate walker in the half marathon is listed as 24th (Rebecca Crossan). The organisers tell walkers it is perfectly acceptable to cheat by running. Why don't they tell runners it is perfectly acceptable to cheat by riding a bike?

    Alastair said...

    Well, I see two legitimate categories here. The real race-walkers such as yourselves, and the can't-really-manage-to-run-more-than-two-minutes casual folks. It is, unfortunately, the same word for two very different things, but both should be encouraged. Of course, anyone runner who enters under the guise of the latter and is faster than the former is a complete lame-ass. However, it is quite reasonable for an event to focus on running and not cater to walking other than to create a separate category for the slow-pokes who will get in the way otherwise. Scrutineers along the entire course is a significant effort and cost. That said, you'd think that an event the size of Akld should cater to this demand, in the same way that they should cater to wheelchairs (no physical comparison intended, simply talking demand numbers here). That said, I'm not sure why anyone would want to do Akld when there are so many much cooler events to do...

    Andrew said...

    Racewalking Auckland has previously offered to do the scrutinising of walkers, at no cost, but the Auckland organisers weren't interested.

    There's also an interesting issue about "safety" and walkers getting in the way of runners. As a fast walker I find that the slow runners can be a bit of a problem in a marathon, even when the runners are given a head start. At Rotorua the runners are given a head start of about 5-10 minutes, and last time I was there I was caught the back of the runners within the first 1km, and then had to weave my way through the slow runners. Most frustrating!

    Most serious walkers that I have spoken to would prefer that if an event does not want to police its walking category then the category is removed entirely. Don't identify people as walkers if they are not actually walking.

    The wheelchair point is a good one. I can't see that there would be any significant safety issues with having wheelchairs on the Auckland course (but they would get some good speed on some of the down hills). Perhaps a wheelchair could take out the full marathon run?

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