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.

    Monday, October 15, 2012

    Jump from the Edge of Space

    A very early morning this morning - up at 1:15am to watch history being made as Felix Baumgartner did a skydive jump from footage of the jump. This has nothing at all to do with my exercise, but it is such an historically important occasion I thought I would at least make a record that I watched it on live TV.

    Two clips are shown below: first the full footage of the jump, including part of the slow preparations for exit from the capsule; and the redbull highlights package for the mission.

    There's a few hairy moments on the jump as Felix goes into a flat spin, but he managed to get out of that and resume a controlled fall. Apparently the "live" broadcast was actually delayed by 20 seconds just in case something did go badly wrong. The broadcast does break away from the flat spin, but then returns to Baumgartner.

    The RedBull Stratos website lists the scientific contribution and the records set by the mission as:

    Red Bull Stratos aims to provide information that will further the progression of aerospace safety. The key benefits for the science community are as follows:

    - To aid development of a new generation of space suits - including enhanced mobility and visual clarity - and other systems to lead toward passenger/crew exit from space.

    - To aid development of protocols for exposure to high altitude/high acceleration.

    - To aid exploration of the effects on the human body of supersonic acceleration and deceleration, including development of the latest innovations in parachute systems.


    - Reaching supersonic speed in freefall:First person to achieve the speed of sound in freefall without mechanical assistance. Felix's speed in freefall on Oct. 14, 2012 is estimated at 833.9 mph, Mach 1.24 (previous record: 614 miles per hour, Mach 0.9).

    - Freefall from highest altitude:Felix jumped from 128,100 feet Oct. 14, 2012 (previous record: 102,800 feet).

    - Longest freefall time:Felix was in freefall for 4 minutes and 22 seconds Oct. 14, 2012, making Joe Kittinger untouchable in that category (previous record: 4 minutes, 36 seconds).

    - Highest manned balloon flight: Felix's float altitude was approximately 128,100 feet (previous record: 113,740 feet).

    All figures are approximate based on atmospheric conditions.

    It is certainly a remarkable achievement, with incredibly advanced and sophisticated systems. Most remarkable, though, is that this appears to have been privately-funded, with the payoff not to come until the technologies are actually used for space missions.


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