- NZ 50 mile walk record (9h:49m:16s);
- NZ 12 hour walk record (97.940 km);
- NZ 100km walk record (12h:15m:22s);
- Completed my first ever 100 miles in 21h:37m:55s;
- My 100 mile walk qualified me as Centurion NZ C16;
- Completed a total distance of 174.460km for the 24 hours.
Stage 1: the first 100km
Before the race I had been very careful to tape any places on my feet that I thought might blister, including double-layered telfa pads so that they would take the friction rather than my feet. But after only a few of hours I could feel a hot spot on each heel and knew that I was still going to get blisters. I could stop and deal to the hot spots, but I didn't know what I would do differently. I was also aiming for various records and stopping would cost valuable time. So I kept on walking.
By this point I had noticed that my left foot was feeling a bit wet. I assumed that this was because a blister had popped. I'm getting used to such things so I didn't give it too much thought and just carried on towards 12 hours and 100km.
As 12 hours approached the fatigue was taking its mental toll. Mark Gray stood at a point on the track just before the start/finish line and told me that the record was 5km from that point. 5k on the track is 12.5 laps, which means that the existing record would be at about the 200m mark in 12.5 laps time. Simple. Except it took me a while to figure that out at the time! Mark was standing at the record marker as I got there, and from memory I was able to complete another 500m before the 12 hours was up.
No time to rest after the 12 hours, as the 100km target was only a few minutes away. I had hoped to do 12h10m - which seemed a reasonable target given my road time - but I never seem to do as well on the track as I do on the road and was a few minutes slow. As the 100km approached I picked up the pace again and went across the line in 12h:15m:22s. This was a good 5 minutes faster than the existing official record of 12h:20m:33s (Peter Baillie, 2005) and also faster than my time at the Taupo 100km earlier this year.
I was expecting to slow a bit after the 100km but, oh my goodness, this was something else again! It was so difficult to get going again, my feet were sore and my legs were stiff. My average lap time instantly increased by 33 seconds a lap and I couldn't bring it back down.
Stage 2: Centurion Qualification
The next target was 100 miles. I had a time goal for 100 miles and wanted to break the record, but after a while it became clear that I was going too slow for that. Not to mind, 100 miles marked another very important aspect of the race: qualification as a New Zealand Centurion. Centurion qualification is generally awarded to those who walk 100 miles in under 24 hours, under the scrutiny of judges to ensure that the person actually is walking. Prior to the race only 14 people had qualified as Centurions in New Zealand, and I wanted to be C15.
Caroline was some distance behind Rudy and me, but also went on to complete her 100 miles and qualify as NZ C17. Both Rudy and Caroline completed only a couple more laps after reaching their 100 miles, enough to ensure that if there was a lap counting error they would still have made 100 miles.
Stage 3: The Remainder of the 24 Hours
I had thought it was hard getting to 100 miles, but everything suddenly became so much harder again. There was still just over 2 hours remaining in the event and there was a significant temptation to stop now that I had achieved 100 miles. It seemed that I thought about stopping with every lap. But I also wanted to see what total distance I could do, and I was now in 4th place on the leaderboard and didn't want to just give that placing away. So I trudged on.
Graeme Butcher had a bad time of it during the night and I had eventually caught him and passed him as he just slowly walked laps. But with the sun appearing and obviously feeling better he started to run again. He pulled back the laps and eventually caught and passed me, relegating me back to 5th place - the same place that I had been seeded at the start.
Lap Times and Speed
The chart on the left (below) shows my lap times throughout the event. Up to 100km the laps were generally under 3 minutes per lap, except for the odd lap where I had a short break. Immediately after 100km there was a longer break as I changed into warmer gear for the night. My lap times then increased by a bit over 30 seconds a lap and then slowly drifted up. The chart on the right provides an alternative view, plotting speed for 10km blocks. Up to 100km my average speed was a little over 8km/h. After 100km my walking speed immediately dropped to 7km/h, and then after 130km continued to drift down. There was another drop after 100 miles, but then a pick up in speed over the last few km.