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, August 18, 2002

    Freedom Air Half Marathon

    2nd place in the starting sprint.
    New PB! Conditions were perfect for a fast time. The morning was cold and clear, with just a light breeze. I was hoping for a time of 2:20:xx, which would equal my personal best, although I was not too hopeful. The previous Sunday I had done a 46km training run, and I had run 12km a little too quickly on Thursday night. I suspected that I might only manage a 2:25:xx.

    After a thorough warmup, I lined up in the front row to ensure that I got a good start. The starter counted down from 10 seconds, and we were off at a sprint. I was second after about 50m, but that didn't last for long. Within a couple of hundred metres I was passed by another walker (the eventual 2nd place getter), and I tried to stick as closely to him as possible. He had started to edge ahead of me by the 1km mark, which came up in an amazingly fast 5:01. Admittedly there is a downhill start, but this was incredible. The 2nd km passed in 5:50, and I was passed by another two walkers. Coming off the Fitzherbert Ave bridge, I could see the other three walkers stretched out ahead of me, each at an appreciable distance ahead of the next person.

    I managed to catch the person ahead of me by about the 3km mark, but dropped back again by the 4km mark. Went through 5km in 29:40 - a personal best (PB) by a big (gravity assisted) margin. By now my pace had slowed to about 6:22/km - a pace that I would hold for most of the rest of the race. Within another 2km I could hear voices behind me as a couple of walkers slowly drew closer, but it would take until about the 13km mark for them to finally pass me. 10km passed in 1:01:35 - another PB. However, these PBs were starting to take their toll, and I could already feel some soreness in my hip flexors and down the front of my quads.

    Not long after the half way point, the course markings ran out... the officials marking out the course had simply not expected any walkers to be that fast. As we entered the racecourse, there were no markings to guide us at all. After some hesitation, four of us followed the old route behind the racecourse... and straight past the unmarked turn-around point. By the time that we realized that we had gone too far, we had gone too far to turn back without incurring significant extra time. Instead, we followed the old course (400m too long) and eventually reached a locked gate that we had to climb over. All up, I estimate that the 400m of extra distance cost about 2:33, and climbing over the gate and other hesitations in trying to figure out where the course went must have cost in the order of another 30s.

    A few metres from the finish.
    After a short while we were back on the official course. I was still averaging about 6:23/km, but I was starting to tire. 15km (15.4 with the extra distance) came up in 1:36:01, and it was not long before there was just 5km to go. There was no one in sight behind me, but two walkers were not far in front.

    Over the last few km I started to tire significantly, and it required a big effort to keep my walking rhythm. My pace was starting to slow noticeably, and was now down to 6:42/km. However, by the 19km mark it was clear that I had been able to hold my pace for long enough to record a new PB - the question was by how much? There was a possibility that I might just be able to record a 2:15:xx. The 1km to go mark arrived in 2:09:53. However, most of the last 1km is uphill, and I could only manage 6:51. My final time was 2:16:45 - a new PB by 3:37! If the course had been properly marked, then I may have improved it by 6 minutes!

    Top 10 Finishers:

    PlaceName    Time
    1Graeme Jones1:46:31  
    2Leon McPhillips1:55:38  
    3Peter Baillie2:07:19  
    4Ian Bailey2:14:20  
    5Shelley Vettise (W)2:15:00  
    6Andrew Shelley2:16:45  
    7Stephen Wright2:20:54  
    8Olive de Ridder (W)2:21:11  
    9Bob Fairley2:23:36  
    10Robyn Wolfsbauer (W)2:23:53  


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