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, March 31, 2007

    Great Forest Marathon 2007

    It was a new course this year - advertised as being "challenging", and it lived up to its billing. At 5:06:55 my time for this course is comfortably within the range of 5:00-5:10 that I normally walk for a marathon, but the course seemed to take a much greater toll on me than normal. The old, two-lap course had been within the northern forest. The new course started with 1.9km on the streets of Waitarere, 9.2km in and around the southern forest, another 3.6km through the streets, and the remaining 27.5km in the northern forest. While the addition of the short street sections could have made the course faster, the forest sections were now more undulating, and included sections of soft sand and more undulations.

    At the start a lead group of three quickly formed - Chris Aroa, Lynton McClay, and myself. Tim Dutton was not far behind. We had a good initial pace, but then we were still on the streets. After some uncertain (and unmarked) turns through the streets, we entered the forest. By now Chris and I had a short lead on Lynton. The surface was intially very good, but shortly gave way to an uneven track through grass and sand. I decided to push for an advantage through this section, and opened a lead of a few metres over Chris. Eventually we came back on to a good metalled road, and we could pick the pace back up again. Around a bend and up a rise, I took the opportunity to check behind. Chris was still only just behind me, and perhaps 50m back Tim had passed Lynton.

    Chris caught me as I stopped briefly to flick a stone out of my shoe, and then we walked together through to the end of the loop through the forest. At 11.1km we were back on the streets of Waitarere. 12km came up shortly, and I again took the opportunity to look back. An orange singlet appeared to be around 800m back, so that was probably Tim. I didn't conciously pick up the pace, but suddenly Chris dropped behind me. I was feeling good at this point, and felt I had a pace that could maintain for a long time to come.

    Shortly before 15km we entered the northern forest. It immediately became clear that (a) we weren't on the same forestry roads as the old course, and (b) this year's roads were not going to be nearly as fast as previous. It also looked like a lot of feet had already passed this way, leaving a lot of the surface quite muddy and slippery. However, I was still making good progress along this section, and managing to hold a pace just a little slower than 7 min/km [see pace chart]. I started to catch the back markers from the half marathon and 10k walk. Initially there was just one or two, but as I crested one rise I was dismayed to see a sea of walkers in front of me. Most were easy to get around, although some weaving across the track was required, but there were also several large groups spread four abreast across the track.

    Unofficial Finishers List for the 2007 Marathon Walk





     Tim Dutton5:06:12M1
     Andrew Shelley5:06:55M2
     Chris Aroa5:18:49F1
     Shirley Dixon5:31:20F2
     Lynton McLay5:43:26M3
     Janice Sangster5:46:36F3
     Kevin Vicary5:50:59M4
     Brian Sangster5:53:52M5
     Mike Leahy5:54:04M6
     Bruce Worsley5:59:28M7
     Averil Sheehan6:05:18F4
     James Reed6:05:21M8
     Donna Bainbridge6:05:31F5
     Ann Benney6:05:41F6
     Linda Derry6:12:03F7
     Albie Jane*6:13:15M9
     Ian Andrews6:27:11M10
     Sheryl Hunt6:27:55F8
     Wayne Hunt6:27:57M11
     Carol Vince6:29:09F9
     Ces Reed6:29:11M12
     Dave Scott6:35:42M13
     Elise Broadbent7:10:17F10
     Connie Nisbet7:10:17F11
     Lisa Johnston7:10:17F12
     Richard Leach7:51:48M14

    * officially entered as a runner, but
    had a broken arm and walked the entire way

    On to a soft sandy section through the forest, turn right and up a narrower (but still sandy) track. Near the end of that track Sonja McLean from my harrier club, ran past. Also at the end of that track was a drinks table, and the marathoners turned left while the half marathoners went straight ahead. Initially we were on good roads, but again they deteriorated and we were on to softer sand, and several noticeable undulations. At two points we emerged on to the true left bank of the Manawatu river, although it was not a particularly picturesque sight. Turning away from the river for the last time, we had to climb a short, steep, sandy hill, which was quickly followed by two short, steep, sandy downhills.

    My pace had now slipped considerably, having lost around 5 minutes over 6km. I reasoned that the roads home should be fast, so I might still be able to make the time up and finish at around 5 hours. I was also starting to grow concerned that although I hadn't seen anyone behind me for the last 15km or so, 5 minutes was giving them a big chance to catch up. Sonja was still visible from time-to-time, so I tried to increase my pace so that I could close the gap.

    Finally we were out on to the hard packed gravel roads again and I could pick up the pace, at least in a relative sense. We were also back in to the throngs of slower half marathon walkers, and it was getting very hot in the sun. Down the road and again the half marathoners and marathoners parted company: half marathoners were turning left and heading straight for home; the marathoners turned right and headed away from home! A few hundred metres down the road we turned left and on to a track through the forest. I took advantage of the turn to look back up the road. To my dismay I could see Tim Dutton perhaps about 200m back. I immediately picked up my pace in an effort to hold him off.

    Out of the forest and back on to the road at the last drink stop, once again joining the walkers from the shorter distances. Tim was still closing, and with almost exactly 2km to go he drew level. We walked together for the next km, dodging around the slower walkers. With 1km to go Tim pulled ahead. I had run out of steam, and Tim continued on to win by less than 100m.


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