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.

    Thursday, August 9, 2012


    A new vent on Tongariro
    The problem with having favourite tracks (or routes) on a volcano is that sometimes volcanoes... erupt.

    On Tuesday 7 August I was to be driving up the North Island, via the Desert Rd. As I headed off for a shower that morning I decided to quickly check the stuff news website on my phone. With some disbelief I read the lead headline "Tongariro Erupts", and with some dismay read that roads in the central North Island were closed. Daylight meant that the authorities could make a proper visual assessment of the situation and before I left home the Desert Rd was back open.

    I was hopeful I might get to see the eruption site, but there was ground level cloud shrouding Tongariro and it was impossible to see anything.

    There was, however very clear evidence of the ash. Driving down the hill towards Rangipo the road and surroundings suddenly became very grey and dusty. Initially I thought that perhaps there had just been a lot of logging activity to stir up dust, but quickly realised that it was a lot more than just dust. A layer of ash covered everything; road, trees, blackberry at the side, and was being thrown up in a cloud by the cars. I snapped a couple of photos, and took another one a little further down the road as a comparison - it was only then that the true extent of the ash became apparent.

    Ash on the road
    Ash at the intersection of SH1 and Kaimanawa Rd
    Clear Again
    Clear again...
    Location map

    In subsequent days official photos became available: a thick layer of ash, something of a mud flow, parts of the Tongariro Crossing track destroyed by boulders, and Ketetahi Hut destroyed. The inevitable result of this is that DOC has closed the tracks on Tongariro while we wait to see whether the mountain will settle down again or whether this is the start of a new eruptive sequence.

    Damage outside Ketetahi Hut
    Damage to the track near Ketetahi Hut



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