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 9, 2006

    Marton-Wanganui 2006

    The Ominous Sunrise

    Ready to Start
    Lining up for the Start

    Many of my race reports seem to start with observations about the weather, and this time it is perhaps particularly appropriate. I stopped on the drive in to Marton to take the photo at the left -- strongly suspecting that the colourful sunrise was a harbinger of weather to arrive before the end of the race.

    The field of solo walkers had grown significantly this year - up from just one last year (me) to five this year. All were marathon walkers from the Wellington region: Peter Baillie, myself, and Linton McLay, usually taking out the top three marathon places in that order; Shirley Dixon; and Ian Andrews. Ian was expecting a slow time, so started an hour early.

    I started the race with Peter Baillie. Like me, he was hoping to walk an average of 7:00/km. We walked together for the first couple of kilometres, but then my shins started to tighten up and get sore, and Peter he moved ahead with his clubmate Maria Knott from Scottish harriers. That was the last I would see of Peter until the finish, even though at times he would be less than one kilometre in front.

    Linton right behind me at about the 5k mark

    As Peter slowly pulled away, I could hear another set of footsteps gaining. Those footsteps turned out to belong to Linton. Linton was right behind me going through the 1st lap change, and I led him up the hill at the start of the 2nd lap. Cresting the top of the hill there was an amazing view of Mt Egmont in the distance - a brilliant white cone sillhoueted against the blue-grey sky.

    Linton moved ahead as I stopped for a quick toilet stop, but I stayed within 50m of him through to the end of the 2nd lap, and repeatedly closed the gap to be walking just behind him. At the end of the 2nd lap Linton stopped for a drink from his support vehicle, while I moved straight through the change over. Heading down the hill out of the change over Linton and Bart Jones (a relay walker) were only a short way behind me. Bart caught Linton and then caught up with me about 2km in to the lap. Perhaps another 500m on I had another toilet stop and both Bart and Linton passed me. Linton stayed ahead until the start of the gravel. As I approached the end of the sealed section Linton was no more than about 10m in front. At the top of the rise marking the end of the seal Linton's support crew rushed out with a chair and a change of shoes for Linton. I passed Linton as he sat down and changed his shoes.


    Walking with Bart Jones at around the 21km mark

    I caught up to Bart on the gravel. We were walking together at about the half marathon mark (21.1km), passing through in 2:28:02. A good time, and faster than my target of 2:29:33.

    I walked most of the fourth lap with another "Andrew", a relay walker from Walk For Health. Together through the gravel section and to the start of the seal. Andrew seemed to be having trouble with his asthma on the hill, and I pulled ahead. Looking back down the hill I thought I might be able to see Linton just starting at the bottom. Through the 30km mark. As we got to the seal at the top of the hill I stepped to the side of the road for yet another toilet stop, and Andrew moved ahead again.

    The first solo runner passed me 4:40 into the race, and then it was through the 40km mark in 4:42:53. Although we were using the same car to measure distances as we did last year, each distance marker was a little further than it had been the year before. By this point in the race, last year's distances were several hundred metres before the same distance this year! The second runner - Albie Jane - passed me in 4:52. Then it was on to the marathon mark just as a few light drops of rain started to fall. I went through this year's marathon mark in 4:58:18 - a good fast time, and not far off my target of 4:54:53. It was also only the second time I had walked faster than 5 hours for a marathon. Jan also gave me a progress report on Peter Baillie - he was about 6 minutes ahead, much closer than I had expected. Things were going well.

    Within a short while - just before the lap change over at bottom of Reid's Hill - it started to rain. The promise of the morning's sunrise was being fulfilled! I had some more mashed potatoe to eat at 45km - part way up Reids Hill - but it was not so palatable this time. Nearing the top of the hill there was a good view of the snow-capped Ruahines. 50km came up relatively quickly, although again somewhat further on than last time! If last year was the correct distance, then I went through in 5:53, but on this year's measurement it was 5:57.

    Reids Hill
    Still smiling up Reid's Hill

    The start of leg 9 saw a return to gravel. I was also informed at that Peter was still only 6 minutes ahead. I was still feeling remarkably good at this point, and thought I might have a chance of catching Peter. I caught Ian Andrews on the steep downhill near the start of leg 9. After exchanging pleasantries I kept going. At the bottom of the hill checked behind me to see whether Linton was in sight, but I couldn't see him.

    As the leg progressed two W4H teams passed me, as did several running teams. The blisters on both heels were becoming a problem, and soon after 55k I started to slow significantly. As leg 9 went on I was increasingly wet and tired, and I had sore legs and sore feet. Finally the gravel came to an end, and it was back on to the seal.

    Through the last lap change and on towards the finish. However, it was becoming difficult to keep up a good pace with the blisters, and I had to change gait several times just to take pressure off them. I noticed solo runner Ashley Smith's car near the start of the last leg, which could only mean that he was gaining on me. He finally caught me at around 65km. After walking together for a short way, he started to run again. He ran ahead a short way, then had a drink, promptly stopping to vomit.


    A woman in a blue t shirt from from Levin Harriers & Walkers passed me (walking). Judging by the times, she must have been from a composite team (Levin "No Pressure"). I tried to stay as close to her as possible, but my blistered feet were causing considerable discomfort. Then it was up the hill and in to Wanganui. I wound up the pace as best I could over the last 100m to the finish line. Done.

    I completed this year's race in 8:07:40, a considerable improvement on last year's 8:23. I was very pleased with my time for the marathon and the 50k, and were it not for my blisters, I may well have managed to duck under 8 hours for the full distance. I was also very pleased that Peter - with his accomplishments at 24hrs and 100km, and his relatively fast marathon times - was only 10 minutes ahead.

    Solo Runners:



    Dave Ross


    Albie Jane


    Ashley Smith


    Solo Walkers:



    Peter Baillie


    Andrew Shelley


    Linton McLay


    Shirley Dixon


    Ian Andrews



    Post a Comment