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, April 28, 2007

    Rotorua Marathon 2007

    For the first time in its history, this year the Rotorua Marathon had a category for "competitive walkers" - walkers in this category would be judged to ensure that they were genuinely walking and not running. To assist the scrutineers, walkers started in a separate wave after the runners.

    It was raining heavily before the start, so rather than lining up behind the runners, I waited under the comparative shelter of a tree and joined the throng after the runners started and the walkers moved up to the line. The rain continued for the first 11-12km, sometimes heavy, and sometimes relatively light. However there was only the gentlest of breezes, so the rain fell vertically and the temperature was pleasant.

    David Sim, Peter Baillie, and another walker moved to the front of the field within the first few metres. I was in fourth, but was very quickly joined by a walker from Taranaki Race Walkers (3154, Wayne Loveridge). Within 500m we had caught the back markers from the runners start (most of whom were walking), and other walkers began to overtake me. Over the next 6km I counted as I progressively slipped back from 5th to 8th to 10th to 12th. Being passed was a little disconcerting, but I was determined to walk at my target pace and not race too early. I told myself that many of those passing me were probably going out too fast would come back to me later in the race, and I just had to hope that this was true!

    Chris Aroa passed me between 1km and 2km, together with a couple of other walkers. Things then settled down for a while as I passed a number of the slower runners in front of me. I heard Peter Green and Alan Clarke chatting not far behind me a bit before the 6km mark, but it wasn't until about 9km that they moved up to join me. Alan got ahead on the hill, but then Peter dropped off and I caught Alan. David Jones from Palmerston North then charged ahead of us, but when he was only a short distance ahead he slowed to almost the same pace that we were walking, barely gaining any additional ground. I walked and chatted with Alan for several km. Chris was slowly coming back to us, and eventually we caught her. Alan stopped to attend to an achilles niggle, and Chris and I continued on. At some point Chris dropped off, possibly at a drink station, and I continued on.

    In to the hilly sections, I was trying not to push too hard either up or down hills. I wanted to save my quads on the up hills, and I was concerned that the pressure on my heels going downhill might contribute to blisters like I had last year. My pace was a fraction slow, but I was feeling good and kept telling myself that I could make up the time later on. By 20km we were on the more serious of the hills, and I was looking for a suitable location for a toilet stop. Evetnually I found a suitable bush, and while I was stopped at least 4 walkers passed me, including Alan and Chris.

    The split time at half way was a bit of a shock -- I had been targetting 2:27, would be happy with anything under 2:30, but actually did 2:30:52. Sub 5 hours was still possible, but I would have to focus.

    At about 24.5km we turn the corner on to the main road in to Rotorua. I had three walkers to target in front of me: Richard Davies (3052), Keith Still (3254), and David Jones. Distances were remaining relatively constant, and it looked like it would come down to a question of who had judged pace the best.

    Soon we were heading up Rotorua's Heartbreak hill, but I was feeling good. At each km marker from 31km onwards, I would do the mental arithmetic to see if I could finish in under 5 hours. My finish time slowly drifted from 4:57 to 4:58 to 4:59, but I was still in with a chance. At the 32km mark David Jones disappeared into a Portaloo, giving me an easy gain of one place. From 35km I started to pick up the pace, and started to talk to myself to help my concentration. By this time Richard Davies and Keith Still were less than 150m ahead. I was closing in, albeit extremely slowly. At about 38.5km I moved in behind Richard. I sat there for perhaps 25m gathering myself and eating my last Gu, then tried to put in a burst as I went past.

    Keith was still some distance ahead, and time to catch him was running out. Through 39km, and then 40km as I very slowly pulled him in. At around 40.5km I caught both Keith and another competitive walker (3083, Doug Gartner) who appeared to have hit the wall. I passed them both but Keith put in a spurt to draw level with me. He dropped behind as we approach a puddle across the path. Around the corner into Hinemoa Street and past the 41km drink station. I grumbled to myself as we were directed down the footpath, as the culverts at each of the road crossings were quite large. Turn the corner and through Princess Gate and its the final push to the finish line. I crossed the line in 5:00:33, not quite under the 5 hour mark, but my best road marathon.


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