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.

    Sunday, April 26, 2009

    Mt Fell Hut

    An overnight trip in the Richmond Ranges with Lisa Nicholl, Grant Bowers, and Stephen King.

    The plan was fairly simple: up reasonably early on the Saturday morning, tramp in to Mt Fell Hut, drop our gear off, then head up on to the tops to bag a few peaks. It should be possible to pick up Mt Fell, Mt Richmond, and Johnston Peak with just a couple of hours on the tops. Reality was slightly different, as we lost the poled route in the clouds and rain on top, attained no peaks, and had to wait for three hours for the river to go down before we could walk out on Sunday. Great fun!

    Photo: Lisa Nicholl
    The walk in was very pleasant, although the climb was steep and seemed relentless with our packs on. After the long climb the track sidles around the side of Mt Richmond for "a while" before attaining the hut. The sidle seemed to go on for ages, and many a time Lisa was heard to say "I think it's just around the next bend" or words to that effect.

    After a lunch of two minute noodles, and dropping most of our gear at the hut, we headed up to the tops. It was overcast, but the weather seemed ok. The bad weather was rolling in, however, and it started to rain while we were up there. The plan was reduced from three peaks to Mt Richmond (Lisa's original choice was Mt Fell).

    Photo: Stephen King
    Becoming clagged in.
    Photo: Grant Bowers
    Travel along the ridge wasn't always as easy as it might have been.
    Stephen, Grant, and Lisa just before we head back down.
    The poles on the poled route were widely spaced and as the cloud descended it became easier and easier to miss them. Eventually we did miss them and spent quite a bit of time hunting around. Retracing our steps to where we had last seen a pole Stephen discovered that the correct route was down to our right. We had inadvertently been following the unpoled route along the ridge to Johnston Peak - probably fine in good weather, but increasingly difficult as it became clagged in. We started down the route to Mt Richmond, but after a few minutes stopped to reassess in light of (a) how long it had taken us so far; (b) how much climb we still had to do; and (c) the worsening weather. We decided to head back, sans peak. If we had gone with Lisa's plan then we would have at least got Mt Fell!

    Heading down was largely uneventful, although a few pairs of legs were starting to feel the strain of the day. A few photos before we started down from the main ridge, and then back to the hut.

    Spent a great evening in the hut. Once we got the fire going the hut warmed up nicely and we were very warm. A nice dinner of venison medallions, pasta and sauce, and salad, finished off with fresh fruit salad.

    It rained solidly all night, and by morning the creek below the hut was roaring. Although it was making a lot of noise, it didn't seem to have risen a lot. We collected and cut fresh firewood in the rain, and then it was time to head off.

    Although the creek below the hut didn't seem to have risen much, other creeks along the track had. Creeks that had been a mere trickle on the way in now had a more significant volume of water. We were in for a treat when we finally reached Timms Creek.
    Photo: Lisa Nicholl
    Grant, me, Lisa, and Stephen just before heading back down.

    Photo: Grant Bowers
    Lisa and the Giant Snail.
    Somehow I managed to lose my camera on the way down. The last time I had it was when photographing Lisa holding a giant snail before the track commenced the sharp descent. About half way down I went to take a photo of the group, but the camera had gone. I went back up the track for about 5-10 minutes, but there was no sign of it. Back down again to rejoin the others.

    Photo: Stephen King
    When we got to Timms Creek it was impassable. There were no trees down that would enable us to slide across on one of them, and the terrain was far too steep to try and walk either up or down to find an alternative crossing point. So we collected wood, and Stephen demonstrated the use of a gas burner for lighting damp wood. With damp gear and no longer moving around we got cold quite quickly, but in a short time there was a good blaze going. Another feed of two minute noodles and then toasting marshmallows over the fire. We dried off as best we could, and probably also did a good job of becoming smoked.

    After 3 hours the creek was down to a level that looked passable. It turned out to be an easy passage, and we probably could have crossed sooner. From there it was an uneventful walk out to the carpark, and then a mad dash (for me) to catch a flight back to Wellington.


    Mt Fell Map


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