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, September 8, 2012


    This year marked 10 finishes at Marton-Wanganui and my 31st ultramarathon finish.

    Just like the first one (first three actually), I was running. And I hoped that I might possibly be able to run a similar time to the 6:35:40 I ran for the inaugural event in 2002.

    Here are the stats for the 10 finishes:
    YearEventTimeEntrants Comments
      2002   Run   6:35:40   7R 0W   Inaugural year 
      2003   Run   6:27:54   7R 0W   PB 
      2004   Run   6:02:18   5R 0W   PB 
      2005   Walk   8:23:10   8R 1W   First person to walk entire course 
      2006   Walk   8:07:40   3R 5W   PB, 2nd 
      2007         11R 1W   Did not enter 
      2008   Walk   7:49:31   6R 1W   PB, new course record 
      2009   Walk   7:55:45   6R 1W    
      2010   Walk   7:47:37   4R 2W   PB, new course record 
      2011   Run   7:56:46   7R 2W    
      2012   Run   6:54:03   6R 0W    
    Note: Entrants is given as the number of runners (R) and walkers (W).

    Carl in red, me in yellow, Brian tucked in behind.
    As we headed out of Marton a good bunch formed, with all five solos plus two-person teams and some of the composite teams. The bunch had fragmented again by the Lap 1/2 changeover: Brian Prescott and I were the first two solos, Carl Laffan was not far behind, closely followed by Grant Jacobs, with Steve Ackerman further back. Carl quickly caught and passed us on the hill, only to stop at the top to refuel etc. Down the other side of the hill Brian and I were back in the lead again, but Grant closed in fast. A bit of leap-frog as he caught and passed us, then we caught and passed him again. Brian and I were first through the Lap 2/3 changeover, but Grant was very close behind.

    Positions held for a km or so, and then Grant passed us as we walked hills and he ran them. We were ticking along quite nicely, although the pace was faster than either of us had planned to go.

    Running in behind Brian
    By 25km I could feel I was starting to fatigue significantly and asked Heather for some bacon and egg pie. The deterioration continued, and I faded badly on the hill up to the 30km mark and the Lap 4/5 changeover. Until now Brian and I had run together, but I dropped right off at this point and wouldn't see Brian again until I was near 50km. My shoulders were tight and sore, and I stopped part way up the hill to take a painkiller and put a warmer top and jacket on. Lap 5 remained a struggle, as did most of Lap 6.

    I started to come right around the marathon mark, and then was spurred on by the sight of some cheating in the relay. Change-overs take place at the designated change-over locations, not just at any old spot on the road where someone can jump out of the car, take over, and sprint the last 2km to the lap finish. Fired up by this I was doing ok as I hit Reid's Hill in Lap 7. After 44km of running this hill is definitely a walk. I made good time up the hill and stopped at the top for another piece of bacon & egg pie and some coffee milk.

    Lap 7/8 Changeover
    Just over 20km to go, time for the business end of the race. I was back running again, and feeling good. I was cheered on through the Lap 7/8 changeover by my Trentham Harrier club teammates - who went on to take 2nd place in the run relay. I was feeling good as I ran to the hill, and as I walked up it Kerry from the Trentham team ran on past me.

    Heather informed me that Brian wasn't too far up the road. And so it proved to be - at about 49km I caught a glimpse of his yellow t-shirt. This was great, game on! Brian was now in my sights and I was intent on catching him. Down and up the dip before Fordell, then turn into Station Rd. I was perhaps only 200m behind Brian at this point, but was happy to leave the gap as I walked into the stiff head wind. I ran down the big hill and continued to run the flats and downhills, while walking most of (but not all of) the uphills.

    As I ran and walked along the gravel road I caught and passed Brian, while playing leap frog with a 70 year old man who would pull ahead as I walked up the hills and then I would catch and pass him on the flats.

    Gravel turned back into seal, and ahead was a short section that I vaguely remember as having been a tough spot in years past. Through that and on to the Lap 9/10 changeover. Only about 6km to go, and I was feeling relatively good. It was flat from here until the town boundary, but it was still run/walk. About 1.5km to go and it started to absolutely bucket down with rain as the the heavens opened. Not worth a rain coat at this point, I just ran as quickly as I could through to the finish.

    A wet run into the finish. Ten!
    As always, up the final hill, and then it's a surprisingly short run into the finish. At 6:54 it wasn't my fastest time, and nearly 20 minutes slower than the first year, but quite happy with this.


    Mike said...

    31 Ultras, that is astounding Andrew and well done on another great run... I may do this next year, especially if I don't get into Kepler (or cannot afford it).

    Brian Prescott said...

    Given the head wind, 6:54 was a good time

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