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, October 18, 2009

    Ultra Fun Run & Ride

    UFR&R Map
    The Map. While stocks remain a copy of the full-size A3 topo map is available for $5 plus postage and packaging.
    More climb than the Karapoti! - Graeme S

    This was originally conceived as an event to link all the various trails that I had trained on around Upper Hutt. I wanted to try it out as an organised training session before making it a real event - partly to test logistics and partly to get feedback.

    8 runners started at 6:45am in pleasant light drizzly rain. A further runner, a "duathlete", and 5 mountain bikers started at 9am, but not long before their start the rain began in earnest. It never really "cleared" until much later in the day, once all the hardest and coldest sections had been done.

    Michael B and Liam
    Michael B, who would last the longest of the runners, has a Leppin soon after dropping off Cannon Pt. Liam, who would run about 35k and ride the rest, fixes his shoe.
    Michael W and Rachel
    Michael W leads the MTBers off Cannon Point.

    Graeme exits the Mt Climie section.
    The MTBers seemed to love it - it had some gnarly adventurous parts, some good ridable single track, and stretches of easy riding between the harder parts. Five riders started, and all five completed the full course. Four of them stopped for refreshments at a cafe at around the 45km mark, and then continued on to complete the 65km. Apparently they did a little over 1500m of climb. One chose to do some extra distance to complete 70km plus some extra climb.

    The back end of an adventure
    Rachel chats with Jenny, while Paul chats with Michael W (hidden).

    Ian and Brenda
    Brenda enjoying the puddles as her and Ian
    exit the Mt Climie section.
    The runners were more equivocal about the course. Several runners had been planning on doing the full course, but by the time they came down off Mt Climie several were concerned about the potential for injury on the road and opted for the short version. They also suggested that a duathlon might be a good option - the first 30km on foot, followed by a 35km ride. Michael B was intending to run the full distance, but fatigue and the thought that he might be the only one completing the full distance saw him withdraw at 47km.

    The tougher parts of the course were fine for (and enjoyed by) those that do rogaines and adventure races, but 2 runners were unprepared for that. The run had only been advertised on the "ridge runners" email group, so I had expected that everyone would be fine with the conditions. Another time advertising should perhaps be more explicit about the gnarly bits. Conditions on Mt Climie were such that full wet weather gear was definitely required, and even then anyone that was moving slowly got very cold.

    RachelSpecial mention must be made of Rachel. She is a machine. Having made it to the top of Mt Climie ahead of the rest of the MTBers she went back down a way to meet them and then rode back up again. Coming off Climie she rode off to go and find Liam, who had run the first half and was having a cup of tea at a mates place. Having rode some extra distance to do that they both continued on to complete the full course. Rachel clocked 70km for the day (the course was 65km) plus the extra climb.

    Post-race musings:
    • It seems I can plan a good MTB course, even when that's not the intention;
    • Don't have a hybrid road/trail course for runners unless it's easy trails and your primary "market" is road runners;
    • If there's gnarly trails, exposed sections, and mountain "adventure" then these need to be over-emphasised in the advertising;
    • If injury strikes it will be in the most hard to reach section of the course. One runner had bad cramp coming down off Climie, but his experience and the group he was with avoided the need for a rescue;
    • The unadvertised aid stations were well received. All the water proved superfluous on such a cold damp day, but probably would have been essential on a sunny day. Lollies, snakes, and bananas go down a treat.

    These photos and more are available on Flickr.


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