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.

    Saturday, November 6, 2010

    Great Forest Rogaine

    An 8 hour rogaine through Rotorua's Whakarewarewa Forest and surrounding areas. This was Heather's first rogaine, and seemed like it would be an enjoyable way to have a bit of "time on our feet" as we built up to Kepler.

    We set a reasonably ambitious route, based on what we should be able to achieve if we were "just" out ultramarathoning. But we were carrying more gear and water than we are used to, Heather was recovering from the Auckland marathon the week before, and I had various excuses! So we followed the initial part of our plan, but then cut a big chunk off later in the day as it became obvious our plan was too ambitious.

    Heather emerges onto the forestry road after
    control 72.
    First stop was an easy #39 behind the Redwoods visitor centre. Then up the hill on the walking tracks to #92. Out on to the foresty roads and along to #72. Then it was down some MTB single track (I can run some of this faster than I can ride it) and a short push through the bush to emerge on another forestry road. A quick out-and-back down the side of a fenced off compound to #55.

    On the way to #68
    From there it was a lengthy trek along gravel and then dirt roads before the steep climb up to the Whakarewarewa lookout and #99. We missed the single track short cut down, so followed the dirt road down into the MTB park. From there it was an out-and-back along the dirt road and single track to #68, and then pick up #41 near the carpark. I needed a quick stop here to tape some hot spots on my feet - the adidas trail runners that I was wearing were causing unexpected problems on both feet.

    Feet dealt with it was off down the road towards the Waipa Mill. Around the side of 2 effluent ponds to gain the track behind. We were making our way along an indistinct part of track when right beside us at chest height was a "sprinkler"... only problem is these sprinklers use effluent! It was time to make haste before they came to life. The sprinklers seemed to be everywhere through this section of forest, although for the most part they were well off the track.

    Map with route
    Our route. In most places the layering of the route on the map works well,
    although it does go a little astray in the bottom left hand corner.
    Along to #77, then back out to a logged out area and the forestry roads. We stopped for a quick break at the clearing at the base of #94, while Heather sorted a hot spot on one of her feet. There was no track up to #94, but for the most part travel through pine forest was relatively easy - it was just a case of continuing to head up. Rather than coming down the way we went up we continued over the other side, and stumbled on a rough track which led us most of the way back down to the foresty road. A short scramble down and we had come out pretty much where I had hoped.

    Easy travel along forestry roads to #71 and then some compass work to get to #57. Just when I was starting to get concerned that the undergrowth was becoming significantly more difficult to push through and it seemed to be taking a long time to get to the track, out we popped! Turn right and follow the single track (+ a climb) and there was #57. Follow the single track out to the clearing by the road and time for a stop for food and warmer layers.

    Pansies growing in the old quarry
    Up the hill to #93 then a mixture of jogging and walking down. Along here we started reconsidering our plans. Time was getting on and we were well behind where we should be. There were a couple of out-and-back options from the cross roads; we decided to do #66 in the old quarry and see how long that took. #66 done, along to the main road, and the sensible decision was to start heading back. Unfortunately that meant a long slog along a paved road with no controls! It was around this time - about 7pm - that we noticed that the effluent sprayers were operating in the forest either side of the road. A good time not to be in there!

    MTB rogainers check their maps as darkness falls.
    Thought about going for #52, but it looked like it could be a bit slow to get there so we opted for #37 instead. From there it was #48 beside a small pond, #46 behind a big metal tank, and #43 in a clearing. Next stop #60, then #90 and we would reassess at that point.

    We got #60 with no problems, but on our way to #90 made a blunder... It seemed to be taking a long time to get to #90, and after checking the map several times I worked out that we had taken a wrong turn. The good news was that this would still get us there, just a little more indirectly. The foot track had been following a stream, and then started to climb away from it. We must be getting close... and then looming up out of the darkness was a huge tree killing machine with enormous pincers and a mass of downed trees strewn behind it. I tried clambering over the trees to see if I could find a way through, but there was nothing obvious. In the end we decided that it would be better to just retrace our steps and take our originally-intended route to #90. So we got there, but not without wasting a lot of time. And it turns out that if we had clambered over the logs we would have found ourselves on the road that leads to #90. It all seems so much less obvious in the dark!

    #90 done and all that time wasted it was time to start heading back. Out to the road, we should be able to run along that and pick up #42 on the way. We were jogging along quite nicely until the edge of the road where I was suddenly had a big hole and I tripped. Thump, I went down hard. The map in my right hand protected most of that hand from the coarse chip - the bag shredded, the map was largely ok, and there was a gouge out of one part of my hand. My left hand was saved by my compass, with the cover of the compass shattering on impact. I also took a solid blow to my left knee, and once I stood back up it seemed like I would only be hobbling slowly back to the finish. My leg loosened up a bit as I started to move, and after a couple of minutes I was walking at a reasonable speed. #42 was now out of the question, so it was straight back to the finish and pizza!

    More photos available on Flickr.


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