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, January 29, 2011

    Tussock Traverse

    Rainbow in the clouds as we drive to the start.
    The remains of tropical cyclone Wilma swept across the north of the North Island the day before the race, with the township of National Park receiving a good downpour during the night. But the rain was forecast to clear, so it shouldn't be a problem. Apparently conditions on the other side of the mountain weren't so good though, and the organisers delayed the start of the race (and the departure of the buses to the start area). After a 2 hour delay it was finally on to the buses and on our way. Luckily I had extra food with me, so it was no problem keeping my energy levels topped up.

    By the time the bus was underway the weather was clearing rapidly. Although there was still significant cloud around the mountains, there was also lots of sunshine. A couple of rainbows attested to the moisture that was still around.

    Big bus towing little bus
    Turning off State Highway 1 onto the Tukino access road there was a new lake! Hopefully that wouldn't cause too many problems with the buses getting to the start area. There were a couple of streams to drive through, but they were ok. More problematic was a patch of sand where our bus became stuck. Everybody out and try pushing. That didn't work, so the bigger, heavier 4WD bus up ahead backed up and towed us out.

    No more dramas and it was up to the start area. As we arrived I saw Colin Horne, the record holder for the walk. With him in the race there was no chance that I could win: I thought I could perhaps do 3:30-3:40 in good conditions, but his record is 3:29:19. We chatted a bit, made our final preparations, and lined up at the start.

    The start was as brutal as ever, a 2.2km climb gaining 180m in elevation. I led the climb, but Colin was very close behind. I was first to turn North onto the Round the Mountain track, but Colin was soon speeding away from me as he was much faster than me over the rough rocky downhill.

    Progress is "generally" downhill as the course works its way down to the Waihohonu turnoff. "Generally", but there are some undulations along the way and a couple of tough climbs.

    Travelling down a wadi
    The turn west at Waihohonu takes us out of the wadis and exposes us to the full force of the gales. For the next 10km or so we are climbing most of the way as well as pushing our way into the wind. The track is quite wet in places along here, with large puddles left by the recent rain. Never have I been so pleased to find the sections of track that DOC has "upgraded" with gravel!

    At the far western end of the Tama Saddle we drop sharply into a stream bed and then climb back out even more sharply. It's at this point that the two lead runners come past, running lightly and still looking fresh. Talking to the winner that evening I learn that they have been regularly rotating the lead so that neither of them becomes too tired from constantly working into the wind. I also learn that there was a third person with them, but he doggedly stuck to the lead and then was dropped when he wore himself out.

    Taranaki Falls
    Taranaki Falls
    From there it's an undulating slog, with more climbs and downhills, then a horrendous set of washed out steps. Eventually it's down the steep steps to the Taranaki Falls, and from there the trail is generally pleasant all the way to the finish.


  • Event website
  • My photos on Flickr

  • Course Map

    Tussock Map


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