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, September 10, 2011


    After leading the Trentham Gold relay team through into first place at the end of 16.7km, I continued on to complete the full solo event for the 9th time.

    My plan had been to walk slowly for a km or so to loosen up and then run and walk the remaining 50km to the finish - walking the ups and running the flats and downs. In theory it should have been possible to have a fairly relaxed and comfortable day. In practice it was a little different - although I was walking well over the first 2 laps of the relay, my muscles were not trained for walking that fast and my glute medes were very tight and sore after I had finished. This would affect me for the next four laps, ensuring a time that was slower than last year's walk!

    At around 22.2km I had to lie on the ground and get Heather to push down on those muscles with all her body weight. That gave some relief, and I jogged off along the gravel road. However, by the top of the big hill at the end of lap 4 (~30km) I was very tight and sore again. Just before the end of the lap I lay down on the ground again for Heather to push down on the affected muscles. This time I also took a couple of neurofen and decided that I wouldn't try running again for quite some time and would just walk the next two legs. By about half way through leg 6 the muscles seemed to have come right and I was into a good walking stride. By now I was questioning my decision to try and run rather than just walking the entire event again.

    Stopping for food and drink at the top of Reid's Hill.
    Walked up Reid's Hill and met Heather at the top for a drink of coffee milk and a tollhouse biscuit. In the photos I look absolutely knackered, but I was feeling much better here than I had for quite a while. After some food and drink I jogged off at a comfortable pace.

    Mixture of running and walking through to Fordell, going through 50km in a pedestrian 6:03:50. A drink of coke at Fordell and then along the gravel leg. By now I was down to a mixture of running and walking on the flats, and only consistently running on the downs. What a fantastic change it was to be able to run the big downhill near the start of lap 9 - over the last four years while I have been walking I have always had some significant heel blisters by this point and they are very sore on this steep downhill, sometimes even bursting at this point. This year I was able to run comfortably down with still no hint of any blisters at all.

    The rest of lap 9 progressively became harder as I became more tired. Heather generally drove only about 1km up ahead of me, and it was always a morale boost to catch her up. Best of all, she was greeting me with a big cheery smile, and that seemed to make the world of difference.

    It was also very hot by now, but I couldn't be bothered taking a layer off. Out on to the sealed road again, and it's probably only about 8km to the finish. Vivian Cheng was catching me now despite having started an hour after me. I held her off for as long as possible, running when I could and walking with purpose when fatigue told me to walk rather than run.

    Viv closing in on the last lap.
    Through the last lap changeover and Viv had still not caught me, but she was closing relentlessly. When I ran I was faster than Viv, but when I walked I was slower, and her speed was faster than my average. With about 2.5km to go she finally caught me. As she passed she asked if I wanted to run with her for a bit, but I was too fatigued and just wanted to walk for a bit.

    Some more big cheery smiles from Heather, and she was probably only driving forward about 500m at a time along here. Around the bend and it is about 1km to the finish. A combination of run, walk, run, walk. My right calf was also starting to feel a bit crampy, but I just kept quiet about that. One last smile from Heather and then she was off to the finish. Up the hill (small rise) into Wanganui, I started to run, but my calf was really threatening to cramp. On the flat I did start to run again, around the corner and into the finish.


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