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, January 25, 2003

    Holdsworth-Jumbo Alternate Course, 18.8km

    The first-ever running of the "alternate course"
    Race morning was cool, overcast and showery. The weather report indicated that the showers should clear, and the report from the officials up on the tops was that it was 3-4°C, calm, and with visibility of 50-100m. The race would go ahead as planned.

    Five minutes to race start and we all gathered in the rain for the race briefing. The weather report from the tops was still the same, although the organisers were sufficiently concerned that Sue (the race director) announced that jackets would be compulsory from Powell Hut, and in addition to the 2hr cut off at Powell Hut, there would be a 2:25 cut off at Holdsworth trig. Everyone was given one last chance to change to the shorter (12km) Hooper Loop race if they wanted. One last frantic check to ensure that we had everything we needed, and it was time to start. We set off in reasonably steady rain, so I had my rain jacket on right from the start. I started in the middle of the pack, and held my position into the early part of the climb up the Gentle Annie track. A combination of being under-trained and not quite fired up mentally meant that the climb was hard work. My calves were burning, and I was just not enjoying the climb this year.

    A little over quarter of the way up and we get to rocky lookout and then, after a little more climb, pig flat. I like these sections, as they offer a chance to stretch the legs out with some good running. At the end of pig flat is the turn off to Mountain House. I reached this point in 47:31 - about 2 minutes slower than I had hoped, and also about 2 minutes slower than in 2001.

    The next section up to Powell Hut is very steep, and most people walk most of the way. There's even some short vertical rock sections that no one can run! The air became noticeably colder as we climbed higher, suggesting that it could be quite cold on the tops. Not far below Powell Hut, on one of the last steep climbs, a runner was coming back down the track. I thought that this must be the first withdrawal from the race. Obviously conditions must be bad if one of the faster runners has withdrawn. A little further up, and Colin Rolfe was coming down, followed by another runner. There is no way that Colin would have withdrawn, so the course must have been changed. As other runners come past, we learn that it is snowing and bitterly cold up on the tops.

    I made it up to Powell Hut in 1:23:40 - almost 5 minutes slower than in 2001. At Powell Hut it is time to put on wollen hat, polypro gloves, and extra long-sleeve polypro top, and then head to the trig. Only the fastest runners made it to the trig; the marshalls then started coming back down the track and turned runners around at some point before the trig. Conditions on the tops were very cold - in addition to the 3-4°C temperature there was a reasonably strong cold southerly wind (40-50km/h) and rain, sleet, and snow. The ground even had a light covering of fresh snow in places.

    Up to the turnaround in 21:09, and back to Powell in 14:01. The downhill sections either side of Powell were quite fun, with steep rocky sections where the arms played as much of a role as the legs. The steep benched track was eventually reached, and then it was fast running down to the Mountain House turnoff. Rather than heading back down the Gentle Annie track, the alternate course turned down the track to the Atiwhakatu river and from there out to the usual finish line at Holdsworth Lodge. The stretch from Mountain House down to the river is down a steep spur, with a lot of slippery roots underneath (this is the uphill section for the Hooper Loop race), however it's not as bad as the downhill from Jumbo Hut to Atiwhakatu Hut on the normal course. I made 20:54 down to the river, and then it was just 4km to finish.

    Knowing there was just 4km to go, I relaxed and promptly went crashing to the ground. No damage done, but a reminder that concentration was still required for the stretch to the finish line. Through Donnely's flat, 2km to go; the Gentle Annie turn off, 1km to go; then the bridge appears and it's less than 100m to the finish line. My legs are absolutely spent with not even enough for a finishing surge, let alone a sprint.

    I finished in a time of 3:08:27. The winner was Colin Rolfe, who finished in a time of 1:58:20. Prize giving followed several hours later at Fagan Motors in Masterton. I was fortunate to pick up one of the major spot prizes - a pair of Adidas trail running shoes.


    Post a Comment