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, June 1, 2012

    Missed Summit

    Another trip to Tongariro today, with the intent of heading up to the summit and back. We had hoped for a good covering of snow, but instead found that the mountain was almost devoid of snow. Assumed we wouldn't be needing the walking poles and ice axe, so removed them from my pack and off we went.

    Icy ground around the crater rim.
    To cut a long story short, in exposed places the wind was quite cold. Up on the crater rim it was also very strong and we put all our gear on - hats, gloves, water- and wind-proof jacket and over-trousers. Made our way around to the critical shaded slope and found that it was iced up. The foot track was something of a ledge, and for what seemed like about half the way it was ok, but then it became narrower, more slippery, and dangerous. With no ice axe it was time to turn back.

    The decision point: left across the shaded slope
    (tried that, turned back); straight ahead over the
    knob; right to the North Crater saddle and back via
    the west face and Hardman's Ridge; or just turn
    around and go back?
    Back off the shaded slope we noticed that the wind had picked up and we were getting cold. Hunker down behind a boulder while we decided what to do. One option was to head up and over the knob and continue on to the summit. This looked feasible but we were cold and coming back around into the wind didn't seem like much fun. A second option was to just turn back into the wind and head back down into South Crater. I wasn't too keen on this, as again it meant perhaps 30 minutes into the wind, and a steep and slightly icy descent into the crater.

    The track on the shaded slope, at about the point
    that we turned around.
    The summit is just up there! But the wind was roaring...

    My preference was to go to the right around the knob to the saddle with North Crater, and from there head back to the ridge above the Mangatepopo Valley (Hardman's Ridge). I went ahead and checked that the terrain was free of ice and then we set off on this option. Taking care to stay high and avoid the steep sided gullies we made good progress. Much to Heather's surprise we did indeed pick up a clear but unmarked track up on the ridge. We followed this down the valley for a while and then started looking for the way down. After a couple of false starts we found where the track down came out down by the stream. We started off cross-country down hill and then happened across the downhill track. From there it was easy travel back to the main tourist track and back to the car.

    Heather had initially been a little reticent when I had suggested the off-track travel back to the car. But the terrain was good, route-finding was easy, some fun running on soft scree and moss, and for the most part we were out of the cold wind. The air temperature was about 2 degrees celsius, with winds of perhaps 50-60km/h and higher on the crater rim. The resulting wind chill took the temperature well below zero, soan option that took us out of the wind made for a much morre comfortable and enjoyable day.




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