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 23, 2003

    Hutt River Trail Marathon 2003

    This was the inaugural running of the Hutt River Trail Marathon. The course is largely off-road, and the run proved to be something of an adventure and navigational challenge! Although this event was only one week after my first 50 mile race, I decided that I would have to run it - I was feeling surprisingly good, and it's not often that one gets to run the first race of a new marathon.

    The course started at the entrance to the Te Marua water supply lakes and stock car track. We initially headed towards the water supply lakes, which was in exactly the opposite to the direction that would take us to the finish. As we headed along the road towards the lakes there was a row of orange cones on the grass to our left. It looked like that was the course that we would follow on the way back to the start area. As we reached the lakes we climbed a short hill, turned left, and followed a line of cones to do a circuit around a paddock. We dropped back down on to the road at near the top of the hill, and followed the road down towards the river. As per the race briefing we turned left and crossed a stream (which was too wide and deep to avoid getting our feet wet). At this point we seemed to lose the course, as we ended up threading our way through a narrow bush track to emerge on to the golf course. We ran around the edge of the golf course and crossed a stile in to the spectator parking area for the stockcar racing track. Across the parking area, up another short hill, and we were only about a hundred metres or so from the start line and the first drink station. We weren't sure at this point whether the impromptu course change was a short-cut or a long-cut!

    From here it was on to the road for several kilometres. We headed down river on State Highway 2 through Te Marua. Another hill climb and then it was a right turn in to Birchville. At the far end of Birchville we crossed a bridge across the Hutt River, then a quick left turn to cross a single-lane bridge across the Akatarawa River. Up until this point we had been running down the true left side of the river; we now ran down the true right side. We soon reached another section of trail that gently climbed above the river. We reached the "35km to go" mark at the start of this track. The time split suggested that the diversion through the golf course was longer than the real course, as our time was a little slower than it should have been given the pace we were running.

    The trail was a little rough under foot, but soon dropped steeply back down to the banks just above the river. We followed the bank under the Norbert Bridge, where we found the second drink station. I took the opportunity to have my first Leppin Squeezy at this point. Runners soon climbed on to the stopbank and continued down river. Perhaps 400m-500m from the bridge the river and the stopbank both turn sharply right, and soccer fields lie between the river and the stopbank. Orange cones over the far side of the soccer field brought runners down off the stopbank, and we headed towards the Totara Park Bridge. The "30km to go" mark came up at the far end of the soccer field, and the 5km split showing that we were running about 5 minutes per kilometre. I was more than happy with this pace, as I was intending to just run a comfortable 4 hours.

    All of a sudden confusion reigned. Those who had listened at the race briefing knew that they were supposed to turn at the end of the soccer field, head back up to the stopbank, and run up-river back to the Norbert Bridge. However, the Hutt Multisport Club had an offroad duathlon starting at this point, and many runners were confused by the additional cones and started to follow the wrong course!

    Back on the stopbank I made a break from the bunch that I had been running with, as I felt I could comfortably maintain a slightly faster pace. It was back to the Norbert Bridge and across the bridge to the true left of the river. At the far side of the bridge there was another drink station, and it was time for another Leppin Squeezy. A short section of tarmac, and then it was on to gravel road along the side of the river. The road was more or less straight for several kilometres before reaching a rough grassy area. There was no defined track across the grass, no clear point to aim for, and no course markings either! Runners picked their own line across the grass, each hoping to run the shortest course. Back on to the gravel road at the far end of the grass, and it was about 1km to the next drink station. The sun was starting to get quite hot by this time, so the drinks and sponges were very welcome.

    In very short order it was under the Moonshine Bridge and down towards Trentham Memorial Park. We had seen no distance markers for some time, but the end of Trentham Memorial park marked approximately 20km to go. My watch showed 1:54 elapsed time, so I was on target for a time comfortably under 4 hours. Unfortunately, my hamstrings and glutes were also starting to feel sore by this point - rather too soon with 20km still to go, but somewhat understandable given the 50 mile race one week earlier.

    Heading down the river trail to the Silverstream Bridge I gradually caught the runner (Debbie) in front. I passed her not long before the bridge, which also happened to have the next drink station. Time for another Leppin Squeezy and a sponge, and then it was time to be on our way again. I was starting to tire by this time, so I walked a little until Debbie caught me up again. We ran together for the next couple of kilometres. This section was fairly narrow, and quite undulating. As the course flattened out again I pulled away, but then dropped back again as a I took another walk break. Under the railway bridge at the North of Taita, and then it was on to the drink station at 13km to go. I regained my pace at this point, picked up Debbie again and started to put some distance between us. It was extremely hot at this point, and the sponges at the drink stations were increasingly welcome.

    On down the river trail to the second-to-last drink station and my last sports gel - this time a "Gu". We crossed the Melling Bridge, and continued down-river towards the Ewan Bridge. For some strange reason most runners continued to follow the stopbank which curved away from the river, when a much more direct route was available across carparks between the stopbank and the river. Under and then over the Ewan Bridge, and it was the last drink station. We had not seen any more distance markers for some time, but we had been advised at the race briefing that this point marked approximately 5km to the finish.

    Along the stopbank down the true right side of the river, and then under the railway bridge. Officials then directed us straight up to the stopbank, and from there into the streets. Shortly we turned back on to a trail alongside a stream or backwater parallel to the river. We were told to run "all the way to Jackson Street". I ran through to the end of the trail, which did come out on a street, but I had no idea what street it was! A couple of marker flags directed us to turn back towards the river, although this may not have been clear to runners without cross-country experience. At the end of the street there was no indication of where to go. I followed the most likely looking route back to the stopbank, and followed the path under the Petone Estuary Bridge. At this point the course seemed to disappear, as there was absolutely no indication of where to run. However, we were advised at the race briefing that "if in doubt, stay close to the river". This was good advice, and the gravel path around the estuary led us to a race official and some more orange cones. From the official it was less than one kilometre to the finish, with most of that across grass. One final surge halfway across the rugby league field to cross the finish line.

    My time was 3:46:16 - very pleasing for an off-road course on a very hot day, just one week after running 50 miles. My legs were tired and sore, but I could walk with ease. A massage helped loosen tight muscles, and I had no significant aches and pains over the next few days.

    This is "just" a relatively ordinary marathon, so it was just four sports gels for this run: 3 Leppin Squeezys, and 1 Gu.


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