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, November 16, 2013

    Ngataringa Bay 50k

    Working hard near the end.
    Photo: Tracy Benjamin
    If anyone follows this blog they would have noticed that I haven't done many events this year (only a couple of 5km ParkRuns), and I haven't done anything long since Marton-Wanganui in September last year. But with a bit of "buzz" around the Long Distance Championships, I decided that I just might have to do the 50km non-championship event. With my longest training walk in recent times being just 10km, and no running further than about 20km, this was not going to be pretty...

    It actually started off well. There were four of us on the start line: Graeme Jones the only entrant in the championship event, and myself, Kim Allan, and Mark Gray in the non-championship event. Graeme was considerably faster than the non-championship walkers and steadily built up a good lead. Next was Mark, and then Kim and I. After about 800m I started to move ahead of Kim, and Mark started to drop back. Another lap and Mark and I had switched places, and he continued to walk with Kim for the rest of the event.

    My 10km time was a little slow, but I was happy enough because my shins had been ok. 20km was pretty much bang on what it used to be for a 50km event, still all good. (But that meant that the second 10km was a bit fast...) I was more than a lap up on Kim and Mark by this time. By 25km and half way I had started to slow a little due to some blisters forming on my heels, going through the half way mark in approximately 3 hours. At some stage Graeme Jones developed hamstring problems which affected his style, and he was eventually red-carded, leaving just the non-championship entrants on the course.

    Auckland Harbour Bridge in the background
    Photo: Heather Andrews
    Being lapped by Graeme Jones
    Photo: Heather Andrews

    The second half was not a pretty sight. I was walking much slower due to the blisters, and had to stop twice - once for each foot - to lance them. Sorting the blisters did make a difference, but I was definitely "unravelling". Kim and Mark unlapped themselves on one of the blister stops and then pulled ahead on the second. I was feeling pretty sore and by the late 30s I was considering pulling the pin at 40km (I've done that before). I took a couple of panadol and kept going. Having reached 40km I figured I should at least do 42km - and recorded my slowest ever walking marathon of 5:26. And having done 42km, it was down to single figures, so how could I not finish?

    With about one and a half laps to go Kim opened a break on Mark. She had the fitness and stamina to push the pace, and Mark had nothing in reserve. By this time I was about half a lap down. I also entertained the idea of having a finishing push, but I'm not sure that my pace changed at all either! The finishing order and times was Kim Allan 6:26:37, Mark Gray 6:27:18, Andrew Shelley 6:30:57. Many thanks to Graeme Jones for waiting around to watch us finish, to Heather for being there as support crew when the going got tough, and to David Sim and his team for making it all possible.

    About to lap Kim and Mark
    Photo: Heather Andrews
    The Podium! Mark 2nd, Kim 1st, Andrew 3rd
    Photo: Heather Andrews


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