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, August 25, 2012

    Ultramarathon (Finish) #30

    Naseby Forest
    View across Naseby Forest
    After 10 years of running and walking ultramarathons this would be my 30th finish. Here's a few impressions from the day:

    Conversation at the Cross Roads
    Conversation at the cross-roads: Heather and Gene
    stop for a chat
    I ran the first two laps with Heather, and the last three largely by myself. Lap three ended up being perhaps the most eventful of the day, or at least has the most moments that really stick in my mind. Heather had neglected to eat on the first two laps and by the end of lap two she needed to regroup. We both restocked at the start/finish aid station, and Heather set off with Maegan Koedyk. For some reason I don't recall - but possibly a stop for panadol - I left started the lap a minute or so behind Heather. Pizza in hand, I was about 100m down the track when I felt the remnant of a tooth break on the pizza crust and I fished a rather large piece of tooth out of my mouth!

    I caught and passed Heather and Maegan, ran for a bit up the 1km hill then started to walk. Dwight Grieve was running up, a lap ahead of me, and when he caught me up I ran with him for a km or so. It felt good striding out as we ran down Wet Gully Road, but I was severely under-trained and would pay for this later... Dwight ran the 3km hill but I walked it, the last time I would see Dwight for the rest of the race.

    Coalpit Dam
    Heather running around Coalpit Dam on Lap 2
    Arriving at the 5km drink station at the far side of Coalpit Dam.
    Photo: Heath Lunn, St James Mountain Sports
    I was still feeling good at this point, taking it easy on the ups and opening up on the downs. Around Coalpit Dam again and into the aid station for a drink and chippies. Starting to feel the edges of fatigue here, as this was the full extent of my longest training run since June... and we were only half way through!

    At about 38km, muffin in one hand,
    camera in the other.
    Photo: Richard Healey
    Heather's mum was parked up at the cross-roads of the figure-eight loop, and as I was starting to flag it was time to make use of the assistance. Towards the end of the fourth lap I grabbed a chocolate chip muffin to eat as I walked the climb back up to the water race... but there was a photographer there so I had to run again!

    Just up ahead was Carla McDonald, who I understand was running her first 100km. I caught up after a few hundred metres and we exchanged the usual greetings of "what lap are you on?" This was her 7th, so nearly 70km done and 30km to go. About 800m from the start/finish her three children came running out to meet her with a very excited shout of "Mummy!" from her little girl, and the oldest asking if there was anything he could do for her or if there was anything she wanted. They were such delightful kids, she should be proud.

    Awesome Kids
    Carla running with her kids
    I was well and truly slowing on the fifth lap and was wondering who might catch and pass me. As it turned out, very few people, but I was managing to catch a few. Past Heather's mum for one last time (2km to go) and she passed on a message from Heather to bring salt tablets...

    It was a run/walk for the last 2km, and then done! 5:57:09, I was happy enough with that given my lack of training.

    Water Supply
    Naseby water supply
    A quick drink and something to eat then I got Heather's salt tablets and walked back to meet her, taking photos along the way. I met up with her about 2.5km back, and she seemed perfectly fine!! Again run/walk back to the finish, Michael Rodliffe came through on his way to his 2nd place finish in the 100km, and Carl Laffan also came through and ran with Heather for a bit.

    Prize giving that evening was good; I was very happy to score the curling vouchers!

    The next day we braved a short morning run through the Naseby streets, calling in to say goodbye to Grant and Jane Guise on the way. Then it was back to the campground for an excellent cooked breakfast of mince on toast with an egg on top (plus baked beans for me), a farewell to Dwight and his cohorts, then off to go curling!


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