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, August 27, 2011

    Injury = Slow Fun 50k

    After illness, injury and low training miles the decision was made to drop down from the 80km event to the 50km event. What a good decision that was! It made for a relaxed and enjoyable day, with lots of time for photos, on a course that was made more fun by the presence of snow.

    The plan for the Great Naseby Water Race this year was to do the 80km event again, only this time running and also starting early so that the option existed for changing up to the 100km if everything was going well.

    In the month leading up to Naseby everything didn't go so well... a cold in the last week of July put paid to a 50km training run, dropping it to just 20km and a week of low mileage. Then Heather picked up an injury to her right quad, and I started to develop a range of niggles and problems with my quads. So the next planned long session and big week also faded. Any sensible person would have perhaps decided not to run at all, but we decided to drop down to the 50km and see what happened.

    The day before the event we arrived in Naseby, having conducted something of a recce of the Otago Central Rail Trail along the way. The first order of business after unpacking the car was to check out the course. It was early afternoon, the sun was out, the temperature was pleasantly warm, and there was a lot of snow on the ground.

    Anticipating we'd be slow because of the injuries and lack of training we elected the early start. Up at 5am, showers, breakfast, get all geared up, and ready for the 6am start. I found the start of the first lap incredibly confusing and disorienting: not only was it in the dark, but where there was snow the day before there was now a wide clear path. It turned out that one of the Race Directors, Jamie Sinclair, had been out raking away the snow!

    Emerging from the forest on to Translator Rd.
    Photo: Matt Bixley
    The clear path only lasted so long, and then we were on to some slippery stuff. Time to walk a bit to avoid unnecessary injury too early on. Across the little bridge, skirt the edge of the snow, and into the forest. Even the snow here was much reduced, and Jamie most certainly hadn't been clearing in here. Down on to Translator Rd to be greeted by Jamie, Matt Bixley, and Grant Guise who were effectively acting as impromptu race marshals to ensure we all went the right way. The snow on Translator Rd had also largely gone, so there must have been a lot of snow melt yesterday afternoon.

    Photo: Heather Andrews
    From here the road was "largely clear" until the 3km mark, just one patch of icy snow at perhaps 1.5km. At about 3km we turned up a road that had a serious covering of snow. The choice was a couple of inches of soft snow, or vehicle tracks that had turned icy. This was an uphill section anyway, and we had always intended to walked it due to our injuries.

    Around to Coalpit Dam and the light was just beginning to show. Stopped to snap a quick photo of the trees silhouetted against the sky, then round to the half way aid station. The light was getting better by the minute and it was lights off as we made it up on to the Mt Ida Water Race.

    Coalpit Dam in the early morning light

    A really good fun section as the track dropped down a snowy bank off the water race and then slogged up a steep snow/mud climb the other side. On the first couple of laps this downhill has great fun, but later on turned slippery as the snow compacted down.

    As the trail twisted along beside the water race it alternated between being clear and patches perhaps 50m-100m long of snow. We took it easy through these early on, but discovered later that with a short stride the soft sections of snow were ok for running.

    Back around to the start/finish, lap 1 completed in a relaxed 1:26:38. Time to grab a bit of food, drop off head torches, and stop for a quick chat. Matt Bixley was pushing us back out on to our second lap, saying "bye, bye" until we left!

    Laps 2 and 3 were very enjoyable, feeling fresh with a relaxed pace, and generally good ground conditions. The hill at 3km remained slippery, and we continued to walk that (as well as other hills). Early on the second lap the sun rose properly and we enjoyed the spectacular view of the snow clad Mt Ida range as the light changed. Lap 2 was our fastest at 1:21:41, and lap 3 was somewhat slower at 1:27:40.

    Another slow transition at the end of Lap 2 as Heather chats with
    Viv and Jamie, while Richard looks on and I take the photo.
    At the end of Laps 2, 3, and 4 we stocked up on pizza and salted potatoes from the aid station, plus a couple of bite-sized Heather Bars we had made on the Friday. A few painkillers were popped to deal with our injuries, and half-strength Horleys Replace proved an ideal drink.

    Lap 4 we were starting to tire a bit and seemed to walk a lot more than on previous laps. We were still feeling good though and enjoying our time out on the course. This was our slowest lap at 1:31:12.

    At the end of Lap 4 Heather changed her dress, we had some food and drink, and then walked off munching on a piece of pizza. The snow was well and truly melting by now, and in some places was becoming a muddy bog with the passage of many runners. The fun snow slope from the first few laps was now slippery and treacherous unless one was careful to use the soft snow at the far left. Viv caught us up and ran with us for a bit along here before continuing on. A few km from the finish we encountered Jamie hiding behind a twig (it was his camouflage), and he then ran and walked with us from there to the finish.



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