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.

    Friday, December 25, 2009

    Turned Again at Cape Turnagain

    ...I thought that [sailing] farther [south]... would be a loss of time that might be employed with a better prospect of success examining the coast to the northward; about one, therefore, in the afternoon, I [turned to the north]. The high bluff head, with yellowish cliffs, which we were abreast of at noon, I called Cape Turnagain, because here we turned back.
    Lt. J. Cook, 17 October 1769, The Voyages of Captain James Cook, p. 131

    Unlike Cook, our first approach was from the west. Finding our way to the north blocked by the tides, we turned back to the west again at about midday. Progress up the cliffs was blocked either by steep faces or seemingly impenetrable flax, and we thought we might have a better prospect of success examining the coast a little to the west.

    Cape Turnagain from Tautane Road
    We set off from Herbertville Motorcamp at about 10am, crossing the Wainui River and travelling along the gravel road which follows the river down to the beach. From there it was an easy walk along the beach to the start of the Cape. At the Cape the surface immediately adjacent to the water changed from sand to fossil-encrusted rock. We elected to stay down on the rocks and walked around what we assumed was the Cape. Having skirted around one seal we found we needed to continue on the sandy ledge. We progressed for perhaps another 50 metres until we could see into the next bay. The tide was up and further progress would be impossible.

    In front of a dune.
    Fossil shells in the rock.
    Seal resting on the rocks.
    The way ahead blocked by the tide.

    We headed higher up the low lying land, looking for an obvious route up the cliffs. A number of sheep tracks offered promising starts only to peter out in dense flax. After several false starts some tracks leading up a gully offered more prospect of success. Small areas of open land were connected by sheep "tunnels" through the flax and other bushes. Eventually we cleared the last of the flax and bush and were in open land. We found an area in the shade and stopped for a few minutes for lunch.

    Pushing through the flax and scrub.
    Where we stopped for lunch. View south along the gully that we were climbing.

    Having eaten we pushed on up the steep hillside, using sheep tracks where they existed and zig-zagging across the hill where they did not. Jan suggested we aim for a small saddle to our left. When we reached there we found a small cutting that lead through to a farm track, and the track lead eastwards and up the hill in the direction we wanted to travel.

    The track was windy and exposed in places, although the temperature was never cold. There were dramatic rock formations on some of the ridges, and the land dropped away to a lower plateau to the seaward side. Having reached the obvious high point and being at what we assumed to be the Cape, we turned again - this time briefly to the south to obtain better views before regaining the farm track and returning west.


    From the saddle we followed a different gully down to the coast. This one proved to be very quick and easy travelling. At its base was a small rise with a very prominent rock on top. Dropping down the other side we found that we were behind the very large dune that had impressed us on our outwards journey. Over the top of the dune and then we were back down to the beach. From there we travelled along the beach past the lagoon formed by the Wainui River, returning to Herbertville via Seaview Road.
    More photos available on Flickr.
    The Voyages of Captain James Cook is available online at Google Books.


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