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 1, 2002

    Aurora Marathon

    Rather than racing to the best of my ability, my intention for this marathon was to use it as training for a possible ultra and stay well within my abilities so that I would finish the 42.2km feeling reasonably fresh. To achieve this, I planned to alternate running and walking in 5 minute blocks, and I was also hoping to try drinking something other than just water and energy gels during the marathon.

    This is also a handicap race, with entrants being disqualified from the handicap results if they are too fast. The twist is that no one knows what the allowed margin is until they finish. I was just 23s too fast, joining six other entrants in being disqualified from the handicap results.
    After frosts of -2 and -3 degrees celsius the last two mornings, I had been a bit concerned that we would have another very cold start to the day, which could make the initial few km quite slow. However, the day started at 5 degrees with no wind: still cold, but quite good for running. I started wearing a cap, gloves, a LS polypro, a singlet, and a nylon jacket. The jacket came off after about 6km, when the sun had come out and the temperature started to rise. However, I wore the LS polypro until about 26-27km, when the temperature would have risen to at least 15 degrees celsius.

    Handicap Race
    The Aurora Marathon is a handicap marathon, with a local rule specifying that any entrant who finishes faster than their predicted time by more than the handicappers hidden margin is disqualified from the handicap placings. In order to provide an incentive for entrants to estimate their time accurately, the margin changes from year-to-year. The margin is not announced until prize giving so no one out on the course knows what time will result in disqualification.

    I had walked the Great Forest Marathon at about 7:10 pace, so I knew I could walk a marathon quite quickly. However, I didn't think I would be able to hold a similar walking pace while alternating running and walking, as my training runs had indicated that the transition from running to fast walking was quite difficult. Accordingly, I estimated that I would run at about 5:15/km and walk at about 8:00/km. This would give a time of 4:27:56, so I predicted a time of 4:30:00.

    The transitions were no trouble at all on race day, and I was generally able to slip into a good walking rhythm quite quickly. By 5km, I was 32s faster than the required split for 4:20:00, and the gap grew at every 5k marker until it was 3:19 at the 30k mark. 4:20:00 was already 10 minutes faster than my estimated time, so I was in real danger of disqualification from the handicap race if I didn't slow down a bit! I put in a couple of slower kms (helped by a stop for a drink of chicken soup), and by 32km I was back to 11:55 faster than my estimated time. The amazing thing was that I was being caught and passed by another runner, and my club mate Nigel, who had also estimated 4:30:00 was several minutes ahead of me. I was certain that they would be disqualified.

    By now my legs were starting to feel a bit tired and sore, but I was still feeling quite fresh. I felt like I could have run at quite a fast speed from here to the finish. This meant that I ran quite a fast 33rd km and, even with two slower kms to follow, the margin was back up to 12:26 at 35km. Between 35km and 40km I walked quite a bit more than what my schedule called for, but I was finding it difficult to keep the pace slow. By 40km I had only managed to reduce the margin to 12:12.

    From here to the finish was largely down hill. I was careful not to go too fast, because the pounding from going downhill would be bad for my injured achilles tendon. I jogged and walked downhill, but it was extremely tempting to give in and run hard to the finish. Finally, I gave in and started my finishing surge with about 500m to go. I finished in a time of 4:16:09, 13:51 faster than my predicted time. I knew it would be touch-and-go as to whether I was inside the hidden margin. If I was inside, then there would be a good chance that I would win the handicap race. At the prizegiving, the margin was announced as 13:28. I was just 23s too fast, joining six other entrants in being disqualified from the handicap results.

    Breakfast consisted of about 3/4 of a 420g tin of baked beans and sausages on toast. During the race I had 6 Leppins. However, I found that the cold water at the drink stations was causing stomach cramps, so I asked Angelene to go ahead for a few km and make up a cream of chicken "cup a soup". That cured the stomach cramps almost immediately, and tasted great too. Definitely something to keep in mind for any ultras.


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