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, June 30, 2001

    Butterfly Creek Nighttime Madness

    9.75km up and down narrow, slippery, bush tracks at night in the middle of winter, with temperatures of about 2-3 degrees C. Great fun...

    Given the fact that this is a night run through bush, this is a pairs event. I was running with Andrew Kerr (AK), a colleague from work. About 2 minutes before start, and AK finds that his borrowed headlamp isn't working. We tried fixing the electrical contacts with some medical tape I had on hand, but that didn't work. Never mind, AK also had a hand-held torch, so he would just have to use that. AS (that’s me) was trialing a high-tech Petzl 3-LED headlamp.

    A short 1km through the streets and then into the bush to start the 300m of vertical climb up to the ridgeline. AS took the lead, but suffering the effects of a 3km cross-country race earlier that day, slowed to a walk several minutes up the switchbacks. Just near the top a couple of girls passed us, but they stopped at the top to wait for their third team mate. The ridge appeared in about 12 minutes, and from there it was straight into a downhill. AS stayed in front and warned of rocks, roots, and other trail obstacles. AK stayed behind and chatted with the girls.

    After a few minutes the trail flattened out again and we were running through the bush towards the Butterfly Creek turn-off. We wound our way through trees, were careful not to trip on the various bridges, and tripped on the occasional unseen root or rock. The girls slipped further behind. The turnoff arrived after 35 minutes running time. When we reached the clearing at the Creek where there was an object to find on a tree ... none other than Mickey Mouse. We turned around, with AK taking the lead.

    We made it back to the turnoff after 48 minutes. From here there was a steep climb back up to the ridge. 5 minutes and we had made it to the top. The track turned south along the ridge, and after perhaps 800m, started to descend. Somewhere along this stretch AK ran into a fallen tree. Those girls also caught up to us again – clearly much stronger hill climbers than us. The initial descent was steep and slippery, with AK providing great entertainment for all those following behind. The track then changed into a series of very sharp switchbacks. From the bottom it was along the road paralleling the beach, then a short section along the beach. After a short patch of indecision with not really knowing where we were, it was back on to the road for the last few hundred metres.

    Back at the finish area (inside a hall) there were hot drinks, hot chips, a big screen TV showing the British Lions beating the Australians at the rugby test. AK had cut his knee when he ran into the fallen tree, and looked suitably gruesome with lots of blood running down his leg. We finished in 1:24:00. Not the fastest time of the day (not the slowest either), but we had a great time (and we beat those girls)!


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