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.

    Monday, October 25, 2010

    A Snowy Tongariro Crossing and Summit

    Central Crater
    Looking back at Red Crater. Click on the photo for a panorama that stretches around to North Crater.

    For the first time in about 30 years I was lucky enough to be on Mt Tongariro when there was a reasonable amount of snow!

    Heather had never done the Tongariro Crossing before and, after her crewing for me for the entire 24 hours at the Sri Chinmoy 24 hour race, how could I refuse? It took no effort at all to convince me, and we had an absolutely brilliant day.

    An early start saw us on the start of the track by 7:30am. Up the Mangatepopo Valley we passed a number of people, but our early start meant that not many tourist walkers were on the track yet. At the end of the Valley we left the tourist track and I led the way up the old Devil's Staircase. Views back down the valley were spectacular, but there was very little snow in evidence. Ngaruhoe had some snow on its slopes, and there was patchy snow on the outer flanks of Tongariro, but we weren't at all sure that we would find anything significant once we reached the craters.

    We reached the saddle and the entrance to South Crater, and there was snow! Initially a small patch to walk across and then as the crater opened up in front of us there was snow covering most of the crater walls. We stopped for a quick bite to eat and then ventured across to the "seasonal lake" which is ignored by most people. The lake was frozen and after a brief exploration we returned towards the tourist track.

    Clouds streaming in through the saddle.
    It had been clear and sunny up until now, but ominous clouds were approaching from the west through the saddle between Ngaruhoe and Tongariro. We started up the crater wall but stopped to put on extra gear as the wind picked up, clouds came in, and the temperature dropped.

    Summit Ridge
    The summit ridge.
    At the top of the wall we found a partially sheltered spot and stopped for lunch #1. While we were there the cloud cleared, although the cold wind remained. After lunch we decided to head across the snow slope until we joined up with the track to the summit. A couple of "bumps" along the crater rim and then we were on the ridge to the summit. It was absolutely spectacular up here, with the ridge and slopes covered in snow.

    We visited both summits, stopped for various photos, and then retraced our steps around the crater rim. At the snow slope we donned our waterproof over-trousers and glissaded down the slope. After a hesitant start Heather found that it was great fun, so we walked back up the slope for another go.

    Emerald Lakes
    Emerald Lakes with ice.
    After the glissading we walked back across to the Crossing Track and walked around the edge of Red Crater and ran down the steep sandy slope to the Emerald Lakes. Another short glissade, lunch #2, and then it was off across the snow again to rejoin the track. The snow here was soft enough that we often broke through the surface, although we didn't usually sink in very far.

    As we had seen on the summit trek, Blue Lake was frozen. And just around the corner from Blue Lake started the descent to Ketetahi Hut and then to the car park. We ran most of the way down, stopping just for a few photos along the way. About 1km before the end of the track my legs had had enough running so we walked the rest of the way to the end.


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