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, January 19, 2008

    Hutt River Trail 2008

    HRT_SignThe inaugural Hutt River Trail Ultramarathon. Three of us started at 6am on a road side in the Wairarapa, making our way over the Rimutaka Inclince to join up with the marathon course. I walked the ultra in 7:32:14, and felt better at the end than I have after many marathons.

    The Entire FieldWith little publicity the field for the inaugural event was very small: two runners (Simon and Vivian) and one walker (me). I had only found out about the event just before Christmas. I had no other plans, and it is almost literally in my backyard, so I figured I would have to do it.[1]

    On the gravel access road I was expecting Simon and Vivian to pull away, but they didn't. Then came a rocky piece of single track. Simon would run ahead to take some photos before rejoining us. However, after Cross Creek Simon and Vivian slowly pulled away into the distance. A drink station just before Siberia Gully, and I caught back up to them. They again pulled away on the section up to the Summit Tunnel, but I caught them again at the Summit drink stop. But from there they did pull away, and I didn't see any of the competitors from any of the events (marathon, half marathon, 10k) until about 2k from the finish.

    Simon and Vivian crossing Siberia Gully

    The Pass
    The Summit tunnel lies under the pass.

    The event itself went very smoothly. Having walked the approximately 20k over the Rimutaka Incline, I went on to walk the marathon course in 5:04:48 - which made me fastest walker on the marathon course that day! I passed through 50k in 6:14:35, which seemed to be a reasonable time given the hill at the start. I finished in 7:32:14. I was also happy with this, as I had done very little training in November or December, and had not walked a distance over 32km since the end of October.

    Stokes Valley
    Walking past Stokes Valley - at about 45km

    At the 50k mark


    Simon Clendon6:45:59
    Vivian Cheng6:47:39
    Andrew Shelley7:32:14

    Thanks to Jan Bliekendaal for support crew duties over the latter part of the course, and for the photos of yours truly. Start photo taken by a helpful official. Photos on the Incline section taken by me.

    [1] As the crow flies, the Hutt River Trail is only 260m from my front gate.
    The above photos, and more, are available on Flickr


    Post a Comment