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.

    Sunday, October 23, 2011


    The Mokihinui Valley should perhaps be called the Valley of Unrequited Dreams: the river sparkles with Fools' Gold, and at the right time of year there is an influx of whitebaiters hoping to catch the delicacy that sells for over $100/kg in North Island shops. The old timers will tell you of days past when the "spotters" in the river used to go black as the huge shoals of whitebait swum past, but those days are long gone.

    At the head of the valley lies the township of Seddonville, once the base for logging and coal mining operations. Coal mining was centred particularly around Chasm Creek, Coal Creek, and Charming Creek - the latter being one of the longest lived mines in New Zealand.1 Even those activities have an element of unrequited dreams: Seddonville was the site of the first state-owned coal mine in 1893, but that struggled and closed after just 21 years; and private mining ceased in the 1990s as the high sulphur coal became difficult to sell.2

    The Grader works on one of the side streets
    Nowdays Seddonville no longer has any particular reason for continued existence, and like many small New Zealand settlements continues to exist solely because it was established at some point in history when there was more work to be done.

    At the end of a side road that leads up the valley from the main road through to Karamea, the main reasons for visiting Seddonville would seem to be to walk the Chasm Creek walkway, walk the Charming Creek walkway, or to fish for whitebait when it is in season. The Mokihinui is a good river for trout fishing, but will never draw the same numbers as flock to the Tongariro River and Lake Taupo.

    Seddonville Hotel
    Seddonville Hotel
    Any visitors must surely visit the Seddonville Hotel, which is also the local cafe, restaurant, dairy, and motels. We never sampled the fair from the cafe, but the meals were very good, and the newly refurbushed motels were excellent. It also appears to be a place to visit in its own right - three middle aged motorcyclists were observed arriving, then after some refreshments tinkering with their bikes for about half an hour or so before riding back out to the main road.

    A testament to more prosperous and populous times, the old school has been converted into a Holiday Park. Rates are reasonable, both for caravans and the (very tidy) bunk rooms. The toilets and showers are very clean, and the kitchen and common room are very welcoming. For my money, the Seddonville Holiday Park is a better standard than the larger holiday parks in more popular locations.

    Expensive View
    View from the section
    Just past the old school, where Gladstone Street becomes Charming Creek Road, an unsealed driveway climbs steeply up a low hill to a 1 acre section. At the top of the driveway is a decrepit old caravan and piles of old wood, iron, and other assorted items. The driveway turns left into a flat site, cleared a year ago, but now being reclaimed by gorse. We are told that the section was bought 5 years ago by someone on Waiheke Island who wanted to "live the dream", but is now being sold as the dream slips further away. There would be extensive views of the valley with a little bit of clearing, but the price was more than a little steep for a section with no utility services - no power or phone. The owner will be hoping for another gold rush perhaps!

    Regardless of the above, or more likely because of it, Seddonville is a remarkable place to visit. The pace of life slows and one can really relax. I hope to be back again in the not too far distant future.

    [1] New Zealand History online: Charming Creek
    [2] New Zealand History online: Seddonville



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