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, October 1, 2011

    Support Crew at Sri Chinmoy 12 Hour

    A couple of hours in to the race, Heather running with Vivian Cheng,
    winner of the womens' 24 Hour race, with Simon Clendon fooling
    around in the background.
    Last year Heather was my support crew at the Sri Chinmoy 24 Hour Track Race. This year she was doing the 12 Hour and I was her support crew. She did a fantastic job for me last year, so I had a lot to live up to!

    Everything went to plan for the first 4 hours. Heather stuck to her planned schedule of run 4 laps, walk 1 lap; and her pace was a consistent 8km/h. There was a brief bout of nausea during this period... perhaps too much electrolyte drink?? A break from any food and drink for a while and that came right.

    4 hours brought the first change of direction and, for Heather, a change of dress! Heather's schedule also changed to a planned run 3 laps, walk 1 lap. This continued for another 10km before Heather was hit by a sustained bout of much more serious nausea. Heather had her challenges over the next few hours and I had mine! What to give her to eat? What not to eat? What would sit well? Gingernuts, cups of tea, chicken soup, grapes were all tried with varying degrees of success but none were the magic bullet.

    The wind was strengthening and was cold. Not so much fun for the support crews sitting and standing around, but even less fun for the athletes. The cold head wind at the south end of the track was cutting through whatever layers the runners were wearing and seemed to be knotting up a lot of stomachs. The other end of the track was relatively sheltered, or at least a tail wind, and runners would overheat. As a result the runners were struggling to get their layers right and stay at a comfortable temperature, and many were suffering stomach problems. On one lap I walked with Heather I noticed a couple of large pools of vomit by the start/finish line!

    I got Heather to layer up a bit more with a jacket and tights in the hope that might make a difference. The warmth did seem to help a bit, but as with everything else it was not the magic bullet!

    Heather in her evening dress, but also jacket, gloves, and tights to
    keep out the cold. Running beside the winner of the mens' 24 Hour
    race, Graeme Butcher.
    8 hours brought another change of direction and another change of dress, this time a black number for the evening! By this time the stadium was cold and quiet. The 6 hour runners had long finished and gone home, the sky was grey, and light levels were slowly dropping. Two hours later the light had faded enough that the stadium lights were coming on, creating a much better atmosphere. Rain showers also started to come through, but with the stadium lights that just added to the atmosphere.

    Heather continued to complete laps. At 11 hours she was 4km behind 3rd place. Seeing this she asked how many laps the gap was... that would be roughly 10 laps, but that is a lot to make up in the last hour. She was back alternating running and walking now and the laps kept ticking by.

    With about 15 minutes to go I informed Heather that by my reckoning she had 6 1/2 laps to go to get to 75km. That was the spark she needed, and she suddenly found a new source of energy and determination. No more walking from here, and all the laps were run. We started counting down the laps, and Penny Kirkwood joined her to run the last few laps. Heather received her wooden block, I grabbed a warm top for her to put on when she'd finished, and I then joined her for what should be the last lap. Over the start/finish line for one last time, and Heather put on a big surge as we pushed towards that last half lap, still time on the clock so we just kept on going... and finally the hooter went when we were almost right outside our tent!

    Heather had made up that 4km in the last hour, plus a little bit more. She finished in 3rd place, a little over 300m ahead of the woman in 4th. I was using my GPS as a backup timing device, and had managed to clock up 21.79km run and walked as I went backwards and forwards, did a few laps with Heather, multiple trips to the kitchen, etc!



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