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, July 30, 2010

    Sport Tracks

    Map of East Harbour Regional Park
    The Mt Hawtrey map
    A number of my posts included detailed rogaine maps or topo maps with my route plotted on them. Some examples from this year include the Wild West Rogaine, the City Safari, and Mt Hawtrey (a topo map). I also used the City Safari map for the Harbour Capital Marathon and the Scottish Harriers' Three Peaks "Out West" event.

    These maps are all generated by some software called "Sport Tracks", which provides very convenient and easy-to-use place to store and analyse workout information recorded on a GPS, and can then plot the recorded route on any map that the user uploads. Sport Tracks is available free from Zone Five Software, although users are encouraged to donate. Sport Tracks has lots of "plugins" which allow it to be customised for individual sports and preferences.

    The default maps available on Sport Tracks are those available on Google. The ability to upload custom maps is provided by the "OziExplorer" plugin from a developer called "Old Man Biking". Again the OziExplorer plugin is available free, but regular users are encouraged to donate. I think it's a fantastic little piece of software, so I have donated.

    I have organised the discussion into an introduction into some of the basic Sport Tracks information and a closer look at custom maps.

    Basic Sport Tracks Information

    Activity Summary and Aerial Photo (“Satellite”) View

    The screenshot below shows some of the basic workout information that is captured by Sport Tracks. The top panel contains a daily list of activities for the week, and below that is a summary of information from the workout (left) and the route plotted on the google "satellite" map (right). Workout information includes basics such as time and distance (automatically generated from the GPS data), but also user-specfied data such as comments on the workout. Depending on how you want to use the software, under “equipment” you can record the specific bike, tyres, shoes, etc that you were using.

    Elevation and Options

    The screenshot below shows the elevation chart, with the summary of ascent and descent for the selected workout, and a different view of the route (this time using the Google street map). Also shown by the elevation chart is the list of workout-specific information available: an overall summary including user-entered comments, splits, pace, elevation, and three further options that I never use (workout, cadence, and power - the last two being cycling related).

    Elevation and Pace Chart

    A different view this time: just an example of how different charts look. On the left is the pace chart, on the right is the elevation chart included in the previous example. Because I have very little smoothing specified the pace is a bit erratic. When I’ve stopped but left the GPS running I get a big spike (but if I was using speed rather than pace in those places it would just drop to zero).

    Custom Maps

    Mt Wainui to Battle Hill

    The screenshot below shows a partial view of the map for this trip. Part of the map is from a local mountain bike rogaine (the "Akattack" - I purchased the map, but didn’t do the event), and part from an official topo map. The OziExplorer plugin allows you to take a scanned copy of any map, identify 4 points on it, and then the software scales it to fit.

    I could have selected prettier examples showing a route fitting nicely within a single scanned map, but my existing posts already do that. The examples below show how Sport Tracks allows multiple overlapping maps to be used, so that when one map runs out you can move on to the next. And in this instance my selection of the anchor points was sufficiently good that the tracks run smoothly from one map to the next!

    One of the things I like best about the ability to import maps is that the rogaine maps have lots of tracks marked that aren't on topo maps, and which I I didn’t take. Once I've uploaded my route I can see where those other tracks went (but from an aerial photo I can’t). And that suggests possibilities for further exploration...

    And here’s another screenshot showing how the workout information can be hidden to get a wider view of the map. This time we have a composite of the Akattack map (where available), a topo map, and the aerial photo. The section between Mt Wainui (the little 3 in a yellow diamond) and the little 4 in a diamond is a marked track, but appears on no maps that I am aware of. The Orienteering people knew it existed, but no one had any idea where it came out. We speculated that it could go either in the direction it does, or south east to point 650. So now we know, and it can be added to future maps.


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