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, April 6, 2002

    Great Forest Marathon

    An off-road marathon run in very pleasant surroundings at Waitarere Beach. My first time walking a marathon, I recorded a time of 5:04:26.

    A very early start. Start time was 6:30am, so I needed to be at the start area at about 6am. I got up at 5am, got dressed, and warmed up some baked beans for breakfast. It was a little too early to eat much, so I only had about half the tin. Caught a taxi out to the start area, but had to stop at a petrol station to get cash because the taxi didn't take credit cards.

    After a short while I met up with my training partner, Barbara Tucker, and her husband Mark. After final preparations we made our way to the start area. The marathon runners were starting half an hour after the walkers, so there weren't many people at the start - perhaps only about 6-8 of us. I guess walking marathons isn't perceived to be quite as much fun as running them. Then again, maybe it's just because training and racing takes that much longer.

    I had splits for 5h:00m and 5h:10m written on my hand. There was a slim chance I could break 5 hours and, with Barbara's belief that she would only be able to do about 5h:10m-5h:15m, a possibility that I could even win. When I saw Peter Baillie at the start I knew straight away that I wasn't going to win this one. However, I did think that I might be able to stay close... until we were told "go" and Peter raced off into the distance. Never mind, second was still looking like a strong possibility, and I still had a time goal. Most of all, I wanted to beat 5h:08m, which was the fastest time that I was aware of that anyone in the harrier club had ever walked a marathon.

    During the early stages of the race my shins were as painful as ever, and as usual my legs didn't really warm up properly until 50 minutes into the race. The effects of this can be seen in the pace chart at the bottom of the page - it's not until my legs were warmed up that I managed to sustain a pace faster than 7:30/km. Although I had sore legs, the initial few km were very picturesque, running beside the forest, looking out at a nice sunrise over the paddocks.

    A short distance before the 6k drink stop we turned a sharp right-hand corner and then started the undulating section of the course. The undulations became larger, and the surface underfoot became slipperier (more grass and mud). I still managed to stay ahead of Barbara, although she closed in by about the 10km mark and we walked together for a short while. She fell behind again as she had a gel, and we turned into a short section where the trees were hanging in close and the course was very uneven under foot. I pushed hard to try and open a gap, which I held until I needed to take a toilet stop between 15km and 16km. Barbara caught and passed me, but I soon caught back up to her again. We walked together from the 17km mark until about 19.5km. Barbara had to stop momentarily, but I kept going. I was well warmed up by now and was keeping a very good pace. I came through the half way mark to see Nigel Doyle and Sue Kerr. I kept up my pace, wondering how far behind Andrew Kerr (who was running the marathon) might be. He caught me at about the 2km mark, looking and sounding very relaxed, and then very slowly headed into the distance.

    I was starting to feel a bit sore by now. My hip flexors were a little painful and my legs were starting to feel tired. I was still keeping up a good pace, although Barbara was slowly gaining. I had a stone under the heel of my right foot, so I stopped to take it out. Barbara whizzed by, and now I was playing catch-up. I managed to keep pace with her over the next several km, and nearly caught her by the time we got back to the 6km drink stop. However, stopping to remove the stone had interrupted my rythm, and I was finding it hard to keep my speed up. As we hit the undulating section, I used short bursts of normal walking to try and give my hip flexors a rest.

    Name Time Place
    Peter Baillie 4:36:00 M1
    Barbara Tucker 4:59:43 F1
    Andrew Shelley 5:04:26 M2
    Averil Sheehan 5:30:44 F2
    Roger Morrissey 5:45:56 M3
    James Reed 5:49:14 M4
    From there on I was pretty much on my own for the next 6km or so. Barbara was some distance ahead, and I passed a couple of marathon runners(!) at about the 12km mark, but other than that there was no one around. I encountered the 10k runners with only a couple of km to go. That was a good boost, and helped me keep my pace up. I was feeling very tired near the end, but managed to dig in and have a strong finish, recording a time of 5h:04m:26s (full times and placings are shown in the table at the right). My legs were quite sore, but not nearly as much as I recall from my first or second efforts.


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