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, July 11, 2011

    MP3 Conversion

    I never been one to run with music but a number of my running friends swear by it, particularly when the going gets tough on ultras. And top athletes like Kilian Jornet do it, so perhaps it is worth trying...

    When the going does get tough I'd like to be able to select a playlist based on the type of music that appeals, rather than just having to endlessly skip through tracks. I had an old MP3 player, but that didn't let me use playlists. So I was talked into buying a Sony Walkman NWZ-B152F. It was an end-of-line item and I got it at a good discount.

    A nice little unit, but apparently somewhat out-of-date. Heather could download m4a files on to her Walkman and they would play just fine, but mine kept coming up with 'file error'. A search on the net, and the data sheet said that it should be able to play m4a files. A search on the player itself, and the operations guide on there said only mp3 and wma files. Hmmmm, clearly an old version of the player.

    Not to worry, the net is a repository of all things useful (as well as many things not). A post on Microsoft Answers pointed to a useful tool and a post on eHow detailing how to convert m4a to mp3. The conversion software is from maniac tools and is super-simple to use... instructions in the eHow article. By default the mp3 files are even written into the directory that holds the m4a source files.


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