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, November 22, 2003

    Colonial Challenge Rogaine

    5 hour rogaine, Titahi Bay - Makara
    A very pleasing end to the 2003 rogaine season - 6th mixed team (out of 21 starters), and just one more 30 point control would have catapulted us into 3rd place.

    The day had very heavy low cloud, with teams in the 10hr event finding that visibility was down as low as 10m in places. By the time the 5hr event started at mid-day, the cloud had lifted a little and it was just the hill tops that were affected. Even that had cleared by the time that we got to the hill tops.

    There was a tempting collection of points (two 90s and an 80) at the northern end of the map, with a gap of several kilometres between them and the main area of controls. We decided to head north, collecting control 54 at the top end of the main area, and then continuing on to collect the 260 points at the top of the map.

    Control 54 was easy to find, and then it was on to control 90 at the head of a stream. An hour after the start and we had a choice to make:
  • to the left, find a grassy ridge and head over the top;
  • to the right, find a grassy ridge and head directly to the head of the stream; or
  • to the right, and go directly up the stream.

  • We chose the first option because it looked to be shorter, and it looked on the map like there would be plenty of grassy ridges coming up. We had to travel a substantial distance before finding any grassy ridges, and then made a navigational error so that we ended up taking perhaps 15 minutes longer than we should have to find the control. A costly error, and only a short time into the event! The other two high-scoring controls were easily picked up, and then it was down the road to the beach at Titahi Bay.

    From Titahi Bay we climbed up a track that led up the hills at the southern end of the bay. Hoping that we were reading the map correctly we then went cross-country across a horse paddock to pick up the road. A short section on road and soon we were heading south along the private road. From there it was cross-country to pick up control 45, and then follow an easy farm track down to the coast to pick up control 21. Our next target was control 71, and we could either continue on the farm track or head around the coast. There was a very pictureseque beach (with a well-used foot track), so we chose that option. Counting off the streams, we reached the point to turn inland. The scramble up the stream was a little moe difficult than anticipated, but soon we were back on the farm road and kept going upstream until we hit the road/stream junction. From here there was no choice but to walk up the stream itself. The scrubby bush became harder to penetrate, but it was clear that many people had been here before us.

    On reaching the control, we now had another decision to make - back down to the farm road, or up the stream and climb out at the top. For some reason that doesn't seem particualrly clear now, we decided to go up the stream. Vegetation became ever thicker and progress ever more difficult. Eventually we decided it was time to cut our losses and just climb up the steep slope out of the gully to the farmland 100 metres above.

    In short order we were back in the clear, but time was running short. We no longer had time to go out of our way to collect controls: it was time to head straight for the finish. We crossed the valley and started up the rolling hills on the flanks of Colonial Knob. By this time we were both very tired! We found the bush track and zig zagged for what seemed like an interminable amount of time before we appeared out on the Colonial Knob access road.

    By this time there were a large number of teams heading down the road. A few went flying past us, but we also passed a couple as we ran down the road. We picked up the last control (11) and headed down a side track towards the start/finish area. A few brief moments of confusion amongst the teams as the track had an extra branch or two that weren't on the map, but we made it.

    Team Score
    Gillian & Malcolm Ingham580
    Leo & Rita Holmes490
    Dan Rhodes, Rachel Dawber, Paul Abbott470
    Gerard Crawford, Brent Burson, Raewyn Peters460
    Dorothy & Neil Kane460
    Andrew Shelley & Jan Bliekendaal450
    Billie Marshall, Sue Lyttle, Eric Barber430
    Fiona Clendon & Gerard Hoffman430
    Cathy Worthy & Jonathan Ravens410
    Graeme Silcock & Sue Eastwood360
    Full results are available here.


    Post a Comment