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, February 10, 2001

    One Day Southern Crossing

    The Southern Crossing is one of the most common crossings of the Tararua Ranges. It starts at Kaitoke, north of Upper Hutt, and finishes at Otaki Forks. The Southern Crossing covers 40km+ of rugged terrain, and much of the crossing is above the bush line. Aggregate elevation gain is around 2200m (7,200') or more. Hikers normally complete the trip in 2 days of eight hours or so, or even 3 days, but some people do the crossing in a single day. The notes and pictures below are from a one day crossing that I did on Saturday 10 February 2001.

    I was quite tired after doing quite a few hard runs (including the Holdsworth-Jumbo trail race) over the previous two weeks, so I was fairly slow. Each year there is a race held over this course in early March. My time of 9:13:23 on this trip was more than twice as long as the race record of 4:36:21 set by Collin Rolfe in 1999. The Tararua ranges have some of the worst weather of all New Zealand mountain ranges, with rain for about 200 days per year, along with mist for up to 260 days total. I was fortunate to strike a brilliantly sunny day, but still encountered very strong winds.

    The day seemed to start OK and we were on the trail by 7:30am. However, my legs were very fatigued and I was extremely slow on the climbs. Given the circumstances, I was reasonably pleased with my time of 3:41 to Alpha Hut. However, from Alpha Hut to Mt Hector the wind was very strong – probably gale force – at times one had to be almost down on all fours to prevent being blown off the ridge. I found this stretch particularly tough, with the wind often halting all forward progress. There are also some quite significant “undulations” along this ridge. It took a long 2:07 to get from Alpha Hut to Hector. I stopped just short of Mt Hector to take some photos, and then took another photo of the cross from closer up. The wind suddenly abated on the downhill from Hector, and it rapidly became too warm to keep the jacket on.

    Mt Hector
    Mt Hector from the last "bump" before the summit
    Looking back along the ridgeline from Alpha to Hector
    Mt Hector Cross
    The memorial cross on
    Mt Hector
    Kime Hut
    View of Kime Hut
    descending from Field Peak
    Field Hut
    Field Hut appears from the bush
    Made steady but slow progress to Kime Hut, and then on to Field Hut. Even on the downhills it was hard to get the legs working, but I slowly got them moving on the flats. I met two trampers at Field Hut who were very impressed with how far I had come in the day, but they informed me that the others had run through about half an hour before. After filling the water bottle, grabbing a sandwich and filling in the hut log book, I set off for Otaki Forks. There was quite a lot of good running after the hut, but I soon tripped on a rock, and brought my left hip crashing down on to a rock at the side of the trail. No serious damage, but I did have to pick a few pieces of debris from my sandwich. It was mainly downhill and good running the rest of the way to the Forks. I finally made it across the bridge at the Forks some 9:13:23 after starting.

    This was an impromptu trip arranged over the Thursday and Friday before the trip. It was arranged at short notice from the Ridge Runners email list. Trip members: Cheryl Young, Richard Jennings, Nigel ?, Andrew Shelley, although I did the trip solo from Kime Hut to Otaki Forks.
    Otaki Forks
    Otaki Forks
    KaitokeOld Dobson's Hut0:46:020:46:02
    Old Dobson's HutBlock XVI Track1:33:582:20:00
    Block XVI TrackBull Mound Track0:41:263:01:26
    Bull Mound TrackAlpha Hut0:40:143:41:40
    Alpha Hut 0:08:533:50:33
    Alpha HutMt Hector2:07:525:58:25
    Mt HectorKime Hut0:30:076:28:32
    Kime Hut 0:10:406:39:12
    Kime HutField Hut1:07:117:46:23
    Field Hut 0:15:118:01:34
    Field HutOtaki Forks1:11:499:13:23
    Food consumed: 1 banana, 2 powerbars, 3 powergels, 5 peanut butter & jam sandwiches


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