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.

    Sunday, October 1, 2000

    Wairarapa Country Marathon

    New PB of 3:29:31.

    The day had started on a damp note – it was absolutely pouring with rain when the alarm went off at 6am. The rain progressively eased over the next two hours, so that it was only raining lightly when I lined up at the starting line. The gun goes and we’re off. Three rabbits quickly race into the distance and … I’m in fourth place. Surely this can’t last. I zoom through the first km in 4:16 – 17s faster than goal pace, and still in fourth place. From about 3km to 5km there’s another runner right behind me. This feels like a real race, and I wonder how long I can keep this up. I’m feeling a little too warm, so I consign my cap to my bumbag. Having slowed to my goal pace, I’m still up 16s at the 5km drink station.

    Shortly after the 5km drink station, the runner behind me moves up and the two of us start running side-by-side and having a bit of a chat as we go. It turns out I’m running with Albie Jane, a dairy farmer from Taranaki, and a member of Stratford Harriers. He drove down to Masterton last night after milking, and will drive back after the race so that he can be home in time to do the evening milking! Albie runs upwards of 10 marathons a year, plus four or five ultramarathons – most recently a 100km event around Rotorua. It turns out that Albie ran 3:46 at the Rotorua Marathon in April, just a couple of minutes faster than me.

    There are a couple of hills around the back of the course, one of which is quite steep. We both think that we will be walking this hill the next time around. The rain is still falling, but our run around the back of the course is very pleasant.

    My pre-marathon races predict a time of anywhere from 3:08 (for a dead flat course) to 3:20 (for a fairly hilly course). This course has a reasonable number of hills on it, so I have splits for a time of 3:18 written on my hand. At the 10km mark I’m 1 min 30 sec ahead of schedule. Albie thinks that we are probably on pace for a time under 3:10. He normally runs 3:10-3:15, and he thinks the pace may be a little fast. That gives me some concern, although I’m feeling good and I’ll take whatever gains I can get.

    Another runner is slowly drawing closer. I will find out at the prize giving after the race that the approaching runner is Jeff Dench, from Capital Runners. Jeff will finish in 3:16, having started about two and a half minutes late! I part company with Albie at about 13.5km, as I stop for a short toilet break. Jeff catches and passes me very soon after this, so I am now down to 6th place. Still, it looks like a safe 6th place, as there is no one else in sight.

    Apart from increasingly heavy rain, the trip back into Masterton is largely uneventful. Albie and Jeff are both just a few hundred metres ahead of me, but I don’t seem to be able to close the gap. I seem to have settled into a comfortable pace that must be almost exactly the same as theirs. I go through 20km 1min 11s ahead of schedule, so all looks pretty good. Between there and the half-way point I must have slowed considerably, because I’m only 2s ahead when I cross the start line for the second time. At that point I stop to fix my feet, allowing Albie and Jeff to get so far ahead that I won’t see them again for the duration of the race. That stop cost 2 min 14 sec, putting me behind my planned schedule for the first time in the race.

    Once again the first 1km of the lap is very fast, this time at 4:20. I run on past the 25km mark and the 5/26km drink station without seeing any other runners or walkers. I start catching the half marathon walkers (who started an hour after the marathon runners) at about 7 or 8km. From there the number of walkers steadily grows. I pass through the 30km mark in 2:24:05, 4:10 behind schedule. Although I feel like I am running very slowly, I still seem to be passing the half marathon walkers quite quickly. A few of the women walkers offer encouragement as I run past. Just as I stop to walk up the steep hill, the first two half marathon runners fly past. I couldn’t believe how fast they are running. At the prize giving I will learn that the fastest half marathon runner completed the course in 1:09 – 22 minutes faster than I have ever run. At about the same point where Jeff Dench passed me on the first lap, I am passed by another marathon runner, demoting me to 7th place. I pass through the 35km mark in 2:49:21, 4:17 behind schedule, so I only lost 7s walking the hill. Considering the energy that was saved by walking, I think that was a good investment.

    Now is when the race starts to get really tough. My parents and Angelene and the boys cheer me on from several points from here to the finish, but I just have to concentrate on keeping going. My legs are sore, I feel like I am running very slowly, I’m still being passed by half marathon runners, and it’s still raining. I stop for several walk breaks, particularly at the 15/36km and the 3km to go drink stations. Between 3km to go and 2km to go is a particularly bad patch: I’m running very slowly and stop for several walk breaks to record a time of 8:34 for the kilometre. The next kilometre is better: I manage to run most of it and record a time of 5:27. Just one kilometre to go. I can do this. 400m from the finish I pass two half marathon runners, and get passed by another one. I stick behind him and we pick up the pace. It feels like a sprint finish, and I must be running 4 minute pace or faster. As we cross the finish line I stop my watch at 3:29:31. Slower than I had hoped, but still about 19 minutes faster than my efforts at Rotorua, and not bad for such a wet day.

    At the prize giving I find out that one of the early leaders failed to finish, so I was the sixth finisher overall, and the fourth in the open mens category. The third place getter recorded a time of only 3:25:54. Jeff commented that today was a day for finishing rather than running for time. He was slower than he had hoped for, but still managed first place in the mens 40-49 age group, while Albie picked up second place in the mens 40-49 age group with a time of 3:19:49 – five minutes slower than his normal range.


    Post a Comment