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.

    Friday, October 21, 2011

    Charming Creek

    The Charming Creek walkway follows an old tramline that was used for extracting coal and timber from the Charming Creek area. The northern end of the walkway starts at the old mine entrance. From there the track descends gently downhill to the Ngakawau River and then down through the Ngakawau Gorge to the coast.

    The Charming Creek end of the walkway has a number of old relics, including old boilers. The track passes another vertical boiler that has been painted to better preserve it, and then winds passed a large flat area that appears to have been the site of a coal stockpile. While isolated railway sleepers have appeared at odd intervals till this point, now there are several long straights with all the closely-spaced sleepers still in place.

    Mumms Mill Steam Engine
    Steam Engine at Mumm's Mill
    Mumm's Mill has the mill steam engine under cover, and informative story boards describing the operation of the mill. There are also a number of other relics in the area, including isolated sections of rail.

    Just before a small swing bridge is a small spring, leaching sulphur. This is apparently the site of a hole drilled during coal prospecting in the period 1910-1912. Across the bridge and the scenery becomes more spectacular as the old railway formation begins to wind its way through the Ngakawau Gorge.

    Mangatini Falls

    Mangatini Falls are first seen approaching a tunnel, then once through the tunnel again visible and more spectacular. A side track leads down to the river to provide better views.

    Section of track showing wooden centre rail used
    for braking.
    Ngakawau Gorge
    The track remains largely intact along this section, including a wooden centre rail which would have been used for braking to slow heavy coal trains as they descended through the gorge. The track then crosses a swing bridge before edging its way along the bottom of some sheer rock walls (marked with signs pointing out the danger of falling rocks).
    Ngakawau River mouth
    View of Ngakawau River mouth
    Finally down to "The Bins", which was also the site of a railway siding. Near here are views down towards the mouth of the Ngakawau River, including the road bridge for the road north.

    The posted time for the walkway is 3 hours on the DOC sign, but it took us about 1h45 with some running, some walking, stops for photos and to admire the views, and stops to read the information boards.

    Plan from 1912 showing coal at Charming Creek
    Plan showing coal at Charming Creek. Source (with explanatory text): New Zealand History online



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