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 28, 2009

    St James Ultramarathon

    StJames_thI had an absolutely fantastic time at this event, but unfortunately it appears that it won’t be run on a regular basis in the future. I walked the entire event and finished in 11:10:38, which placed me 35th out of 48 in the men’s field (there was no separate walking division).

    Fishing BoatMy adventure started 2 days before the race with a ferry trip across Cook Strait on a beautiful sunny day. I stayed out on deck a little too long and picked up a touch of wind and sun burn, but it was too nice not to be out there! I camped overnight in the back of the car at the Kerr Bay campground at at Lake Rotoiti, St Arnaud.

    Marlborough SoundsOn the Friday I drove down to Lewis Pass. I stopped to check out the start area in daylight, and then drove further down the road to find the campsite and meet up with the others. A friend, Lisa, arrived after I’d been reading a book in the sun for a while. We then set up camp and drove down to Windy Pt lodge to wait for race registration. Lisa sized up the opposition (Amy Campbell), and I met Matt Bixley, Oliver Halford, and Grant Bowers – all ultra runners that I only “knew” from facebook. Also caught up with Simon Clendon and Nic Miller-Clendon, and saw Jamie and Aileen Sinclair for the first time since the Marlborough 50 in 2005.

    After registration Lisa, Grant, and I camped overnight on a terrace near the finish line. It started to rain started not long after we had eaten our evening meal, and was quite heavy for several hours. But by the early hours of the morning the skies had cleared, setting the scene for perfect weather for the day to come.

    Pre RaceUp early in the morning to have breakfast and break camp. 20 mins drive up the road to check in at just after 6am. Our “wave” started in the dark at 6:30am. I was fourth away; twenty minutes before the next person caught up to me and passed me; at least 20 minutes before some more came past, and that was only because my glasses were fogging up and had to stop to hunt for the track on the other side of streams.

    Not knowing the course, I had prepared a pace schedule based on DOC distances and estimates of ascent that Lisa had taken from a training run earlier in the year. I made Cannibal Gorge Hut right on schedule, although with the roughness of the track it is one of the slowest 8km of the race.

    Early Morning SunThe sky started to lighten, the blackness in the bush changed to grey, and then the sun eventually rose over the mountains and lit up the grass in golden tones.

    Elvis is alive!We were greeted by Elvis at the first checkpoint, Ada Pass Hut. Again I was right on schedule. I quickly refilled my water and then continued on. There was some lovely country through this section, with grassy flats interrupted every so often by short bush sections.

    Amy and Oliver check in at Christopher HutI went past Cullers Hut, but had no real idea of where I was in relation to the next checkpoint. A short distance further on the Christopher Hut materialised – the next check point. Again I checked in right on schedule and quickly refilled my camelback.

    Wild HorsesLooking Back
    There was a long stretch around Ada Flat, eventually made it to Anne Hut. I thought I must have lost time on this section, but to my surprise I was ahead of schedule. Simon Clendon caught up with me at the hut, mentioned that there was a saddle somewhere up ahead. I thought we must have already been over it, but was mistaken.

    Simon, knackered at the top of Anne Saddle This was the start of a period of “leap frog” with Simon. I left the hut before Simon. He caught me briefly a few hundred metres later, but then I got away again. Simon ran past at 40km, and then came the slog up Anne Saddle. I caught Simon again as he was sitting on the sign at the top of the pass. Continued down the other side and left Simon well behind. Down on the river flats towards Rokeby Hut couldn’t see Simon anywhere behind me. Mistakenly took the climb up to Rokeby Hut, when could have just stayed down on the river and avoided the climb.

    Back down on the flats then a few more small climbs. Up to Boyle Flats check point. I had lost time and was now back on schedule. This was a bit of a concern, as it definitely felt like I was slowing rather than my calculations simply being wrong. The good news was that we were told it was only 14km to the finish rather than 15km, so that meant I should still be ok. I partially refilled my camelback and continued on.

    It was just 4km to the swingbridge, but I was slowing. Simon finally caught me and passed me again on this stretch. I caught him up at the bridge and ate an easter egg while he was crossing.

    I was ahead of schedule again, and thought I might be on for a sub-11 hour finish, with an outside chance of possibly 10:45. Not long after starting the bush section after the bridge I started to slow badly. My pace was down to 10 to 13 minutes per km, and my head was feeling light and “whizzy”. I tried eating various items of food, none of which seemed to work. Eventually I tried 2 voltaren and a bit after that some Le Snax crackers. At around the last swingbridge I seemed to start coming right, and could pick up the pace a little over the last 2 km.

    Finished!At the finish there was a small group of athletes and supporters cheering in the finishers, and we were able to sit down and eat the complementary chippies and Em’s power cookies and drink the complentary drink. And a few people incredulous that I had walked the whole race in the time I did.

    I had a great time out on the trail, and the scenery was marvellous. The weather also co-operated, which undoubtedly allowed the event to be a lot more enjoyable than it might otherwise have been.

    These photos, and more, can be seen at on Flickr.


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