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, September 11, 2004

    Marton-Wanganui Ultra, 67.7km

    First up, we should clear up the minor matter of how long the race really is. The entry form said 69.2km, up from last year's 68.1km due to a course change. However, I am told that the course was remeasured at 66.3km (and this was on the results), but it's not clear whether this was last year's course or this year's slightly altered course. The car measured the course at 67.7km in both directions.

    The solos and the composite (run/walk) teams started together at 8:30am. The hares from the composite teams shot off down the road. I was running a more sedate 4:45/km, keeping just at the back of the teams but leading the solos. We were running into a head wind, but I was feeling good. Realising early on that I had the possibility of winning the race, I skipped my first planned walk break and kept on running. By the end of the first leg the solo race was down to a two-man contest, with me in the lead and Albie Jane a mere 50m behind.

    The start of the first leg also marks the first of the hills. Having not taken a walk break, it was time to walk the hill and take on some sustenance. Albie quickly caught and passed me, and the disappeared around the corner. Not to worry - that climb was followed by a long downhill into the Turakina Valley, and it wasn't long before I caught and passed Albie again.

    I retained the lead through to around 20km, where a succession of hills on the (now) gravel road saw Albie pull ahead. Not to worry - I had a good training base, was running well, and I kept telling myself positive things about potentially winning the race. Landmarks arrived and went sooner that I was expecting - a pleasing side effect of my faster pace this year. My tummy wasn't feeling the best, so it was a quick jump of the fence and dash across the sheep yard to the only long drop on course at the 32k relay changeover.

    I went through the marathon mark in 3:35:06 - almost exactly on 5:00/km. Albie remained tantalisingly close at this point - being only about 4 minutes ahead. Not long after the marathon mark is the 45km relay changeover, followed by the dreaded 2.5km long slog up Reid's Hill to climb out of the Whangaehu Valley. I like to think that I was duelling with some walkers from Lower Hutt Walk For Health as I climbed Reid's Hill, but in reality I my legs were too tired to keep pace with them. After the hill it was time to start running again. It was harder to keep running now, although in retrospect there were a mixture of good and bad patches, with the transitions between each being quite rapid.

    The ninth leg was changed this year - instead of running along the sealed road from Fordell towards Wanganui, we diverted to a gravel road in the Matarawa Valley. The best bit about this stretch was a nice long downhill. Running was much easier when gravity assisted!

    One final leg to go, and the going was getting tough. Walking breaks were longer, and the running harder. With about 2km to go I settled into a nice steady running rhythm, breaking only for a slight rise as I entered Wanganui! The end was in sight and I ran the last 500 or so metres hard. I finished in a time of 6:02:18 - 25 minutes faster than last year, faster than six of the seven composite teams, faster than three of the six two-person teams, and in the third fastest time in the three years that the solo event has been held. Albie finished in 5:48:38, but then did his usual trick of heading straight back home to Stratford to milk the cows.

    As a side note, my preparation for the race this year involved no speed training at all, and fewer but longer training runs to achieve the same total training volume. The result was a PB at the club's Mangaroa handicap road race, and slicing 25 minutes off last year's time for Marton - Wanganui. Innovations introduced into my race diet this year were Le Snax crackers with cheese dip, and mandarins. The Le Snax are a perfect combination of carbs, fat, salt, and good taste! The mandarins were only discovered at around the marathon mark when other foods were starting to loose their appeal - the juice, sugar, and slightly acid taste of the mandarins was perfect.

    Solo Finishers
    Albie Jane5:48:38
    Andrew Shelley6:02:18
    Kym Black6:09:18
    Ashley Smith6:39:09
    Maura Skilton7:34:59


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