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, June 27, 2010

    PB at my Birthday Marathon

    Harbour Capital, 40km
    New PB! It's not often that one's birthday falls on an event, but this year mine did. Not only that, but a new PB of 4h:51m:28s and 2nd place in the men's walk!

    From the start Joff Hulbert and I walked off from the front of the field. The pace was much faster than I had planned, about 6m:30s/km rather than my planned 6m:50s, but I foolishly thought I could keep it up and just hang on. Before we had gone through 3km the first woman, Lee McCracken, caught and passed both of us, and then started to open a commanding lead.

    Over the next few km Joff started to open a lead, and the chasing bunch of about four was close behind. By 8km I had closed in on Joff, and Malcolm Gray from Auckland YMCA had broken away from the chasing bunch and wasn't far behind.

    It took until about 11km before I was level with Joff. We went through 14km in 1h:31m, still a blistering pace compared to my existing PB of 4h:52m. By this time Malcolm had dropped off behind us, and Lee McCracken was well ahead.

    14km also marked the top of the Miramar Peninsular, and from there we were heading south around the bays towards the Pass of Branda and Cook Strait. The southerly wind was intermittent, with stretches of about 50m where it was very strong, followed by a lull in the more sheltered areas. I started racing on this stretch - much too soon - trying to drop Joff during the gusts.

    Up and over the Pass of Branda, and along to the turn. We were still walking together at this point, but not for much longer. As we went back up over the Pass Joff started to pull away and I had nothing to respond with. There were lots of runners coming towards us now, although only a few faces that I recognised.

    Heading back north was pleasant with the wind behind, and I still kept up a reasonable pace, going through 28km in 3h:08m. The next 750m were also good, but then we rounded the top of the Miramar Peninsular again and were heading straight into strong southerlies. There was nowhere to hide from the wind this time: the angle of the wind meant we were battered by the wind the entire way back to and past the airport. I struggled between 30km and 25km, slowing to an average of 7m:19s/km. Perhaps the one consolation though was that the wind was blowing straight off the airport and we could smell the jet fuel for a stretch of about 3km!

    From 35km I picked up the pace to a more reasonable 7m:08/km, but I was still a long way short of my 6m:50s target. It felt like I was working hard, but my heart rate data shows otherwise: I had run out of steam and my heart rate was down to the low 140s.

    Just a few more km to go, past the 40km mark, the 41km mark, and then... 2km to go!!! What??? Grrr, if the 41km mark had been accurate I was still on for a new PB, but with 2km to go it was going to be close. My efforts at picking up the pace were not too successful, but with 1km to go I did manage to crank it up and managed to walk the last 1km in 6m:58s.

    I was tired and my hip flexors were sore, but I had done it. I had held on to take 2nd place in the men's marathon walk and claim a new PB!

    Harbour Capital Marathon
    Route (blue) super-imposed on the map from the City Safari.


    tom said...

    Great walking Andrew. I like the comment about the jet fuel. Seems that this could be the next performance boosting supplement people are looking for.

    The shorts are great too.

    The effort to PB is significant! Very well done.

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