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, May 3, 2014

    Rotorua Marathon 50th

    Hard day walking the 50th Rotorua Marathon, recording my slowest marathon walk time to date.

    I started with a plan for about 7:07/km, which would bring me home in 5 hours - not my fastest, but not my slowest either. Positioned myself at the front of the field to get a good start, and quickly settled in with Cliff Harrison. The early kms were way to fast for my level of fitness, with the first three being 6:28, 6:43, and 6:31. Oh well, I might as well go with this and see how it would turn out. Through 10km in 1:06:28, a good 4 minutes faster than target. The hills after 10km were generally welcome, providing variety, although they seemed bigger than I remembered them!

    Through 20km in 2:16:43, still 4 minutes faster than target, indicating that the last 10km was pretty much at goal pace. A quick toilet stop but I didn't lose much time from that. Down the hill, through the drink station, and turn on to the main road at around 25km. And all of a sudden it started to get hard. My pace was consistently slower than 7:00/km now, and slowed further going up the hill. I still felt ok heading up the hill, but didn't have the fitness to maintain my walking style. Down the other side of the hill I picked up pace again, but was unable to regain my style and slowed drastically.

    Through 30km in 3:30:42, I was now on goal time for the 30km, but that meant I had lost roughly 4 minutes in the last 10km (24s/km slower than target). While "on goal time" sounded good, the reality was that I was feeling anything but good. Before long I was slower than 7:30/km and was getting quite sore. A stop for a glute stretch provided temporary relief, but before long I slowed again and ended up walking with my arms down. Another stretch at 36.5km , have a Gu and refuel at the 37km drink station, and stretch again at 38km.

    From here everything slowly started to come right. Initially it was just mental, making myself walk with better form and at whatever speed I could manage. But the more I did that the faster I got. Back out on to the main road in to Rotorua, and I was able to accelerate the whole way up the gentle hill and all the way to the finish line. My finish time was 5:15:11, my slowest ever walking marathon.

    Pace and elevation chart

    In retrospect it seems obvious that going out too fast was a significant contributor to my performance. I had also been having issues with various muscles (lower back, piriformis, glute med) prior to the race, and these were the muscles that required stretching later in the event. But also of note was my significant loss of pace from 32km-38km. I was due to have a Gu just before the 32km drink station, but instead had a small amount of another product, intending to have more later. It looks like I was already fatigued and possibly needed to have an entire Gu right then, but I didn't. The next Gu wasn't until 37km, and I started to come right 1km after that.


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