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, February 25, 2012

    Bedrock Ultra

    Mt Oxford
    Mt Oxford
    The Bedrock Ultra has three main sections: a lovely trail run across the Coopers' Creek and Wharfdale tracks; a "road" run along shingle roads through the Lees Valley; then a mountain "run" over Mt Richardson. Each section had its own challenges, and by the end of the day we certainly knew we had done an honest 53km!

    At race briefing we were warned that it might be a bit muddy on Cooper's Creek, and it certainly was! There was lots of mud puddles along the track, ankle deep in places, and wide and long enough that there was no way to avoid it. This section winds through the bush, but there were also areas where it opened out, in one place giving us views back towards where we had started, and in another giving views of Mt Oxford.

    On to the Wharfdale track there was a lot less mud, but more sustained climbs and and several stream crossings. I was hoping to top up my water at the Wharfdale Hut, but the marshalls there advised there was no water, so a quick photo and then on down to the river.
    Wharfdale Hut
    Wharfdale Hut
    At the first river crossing.

    Aid Station
    The first Aid Station.
    We stopped and refilled our water at the first river crossing, then followed the marked route along the rocky 4WD road and across two more river crossings to the first (25km) aid station. What an excellent spread at the aid station: chippies, salted potato, pizza, lollies, pretzels, soft drink!

    Lees Valley Road
    Back along the 4WD road then off across a farm track that led out to Lees Valley Rd, an unsealed gravel road. This section was very flat - just a few minor undulations - and extremely hot. We would run for a bit, then walk for a bit, all the while slowly gaining on the runners we could see ahead in the distance.

    In to the second (38km) aid station, it was time to eat and drink some more, top up the water in our hydration bladders, and I made up another bottle of electrolyte drink. We walked off down the road while eating the last of the food we had taken from the aid station.

    Across another river crossing - this one apparently strategically positioned so that the unwary would go for a swim. Heather led wide around the hole, then it was across another shallow crossing and into the long slog up Mt Richardson.

    Looking Down
    Looking down into the valley where we have come
    from - it's a long, long way down!
    The climb up Richardson begins with a hike up farmland, following a fence line, before zig zagging higher and eventually reaching the bush. Even once the bush had been reached we kept on climbing and climbing. The temperature dropped and the wind picked up, but we still kept on climbing! We eventually popped out on top into low cloud and cold wind.

    Again there was more mud across the top of Mt Richardson, only this time even deeper! Through and past the mud, and on to the Canterbury SAR volunteers marking the turn down off the tops.

    Hidden Trig
    The unexpected, hidden trig.
    The downhill started well and was generally quite runnable. We were expecting it to be all downhill, but unfortunately there were still a few climbs left! The most significant of these occurs about half way down, and it was not long after this that Heather spotted an old trig in the bush. It was less than 5m off the track, so we had to stop and get a photo!

    From here down there were several big "steps" where the track would drop steeply through a rocky, washed out section. We had anticipated running easily and quickly downhill, but instead had to pick our way carefully down through these sections.

    After the last steep descent we emerged at a large mud puddle. Making our way around and through that we had several hundred metres of mainly flat track, then rounding a corner we could hear and then see the finish line. One more short section of downhill and then we were at the finish line, greeted by Tracy Benjamin, Heather's mum, and race director Lisa Nicholl. It had taken us about 2 hours longer than expected, but we had finished!



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