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, March 17, 2002

    Round the Vines Half Marathon

    I had one good half marathon performance under my belt, but this one promised to be a tougher challenge. I had been warned that I would need a time of about 2:20 to win the "Round the Vines" - quite a large improvement on the 2:28:41 at the City-to-City two weeks earlier. Barbara and I spent a few minutes warming up, then we made our way towards the start area. Looking around, I was pleasantly surprised. I recognized three walkers from the lead bunch at the City-to-City - all of whom I had beaten - plus there was a quite serious-looking walker from Scottish Harrier & Athletic Club. I was quietly confident that I was back in contention again.

    This time when we were called to the line, I made my way to a gap in the front row. I knew that I was a contender and I wanted a good start. When the starter said "go", I flew across the road. I had expected Barbara and two of the others from the initial lead bunch at the City-to-City to take the lead, but they didn’t. Within 50m I had opened up a small gap on the other fast walkers, and a sizeable gap on the field. This surprised me enormously, and was not at all what I had planned to do.

    I knew that my shins would become quite sore and slow me down, so I decided to go hard and open up as much of a gap as I could before the inevitable occurred. By the 1km mark I had been caught by a group of three, including Barbara. They slowly pulled away, and after about another km, another two people passed me. They pulled away a bit, but I still kept them in sight. As the pain was starting to disappear from my shins, I was passed by another man, dropping me to 7th place overall. I stayed close behind him, and as my shins came right I drew level and then passed him.

    For the rest of the first lap I set about clawing back the places that I had lost. I took second place as I came down the street towards Martinborough square towards the start of the second lap. Barbara was still quite some distance in front of me, but I wanted to see how much I could close the gap.

    Not far into the second lap I encountered the tail end of the crowds of 10km walkers spread right across the road. I wended my way through the crowds, taking as straight a line as possible, until the point where we first turn into the vineyards, perhaps 1.2km into the lap. Potential disaster loomed ahead - crowds of near-stationery walkers blocked the entrance to the vineyard. I was well warmed up at this point, and moving fast. With a mixture of "coming through", "excuse me", and pushing through the gaps, I made it into the vineyard. It was no better in the vineyard - several hundred metres of very slow walkers blocking the way. Thankfully, there was a row of pampas grass at the left-hand side of the walking lane. The slow walkers were avoiding the over-hanging grass, so I walked straight through it. After a few hundred metres of very dense traffic, the walkers thinned out enough that it became relatively easy to make good progress again.

    As I worked my way through the thinning field, I saw a number of fellow club members from Trentham. I passed Della, Robyn Iremonger, Helen Bassett and Christine Taylor (all 10km walkers), and was passed by Jake Jacobsen and Trevor Murphy (half marathon runners).

    The gap between Barbara and me was closing slowly, and there was a chance that I might be able to close it completely. As I came out of the last vineyard and on back on to the road, Barbara was only a couple of hundred metres ahead. There was probably less than 2km to go. Barbara turned the corner and I temporarily lost sight of her. Sometime around then she must have put in a burst of speed, because she rapidly pulled away and I didn’t see her again until the finish.

    Although I was tiring, I kept pushing hard all the way to the finish. Even though I had the men’s race sewn-up, I wanted to see what time I was capable of. As I crossed the line, I was very pleased to see 2:20:22 on my watch. I had managed the 2:20 that I was told I would need. I had also won my first ever prize for winning a race - a nice bottle of wine to be awarded later at the prize giving.

    Finishing times were:
    1st Barbara Tucker 2:17:??
    2nd Andrew Shelley 2:20:22


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