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.

    Tuesday, November 13, 2012

    Ketetahi and Te Maari

    Te Maari
    A quick trip up to Ketetahi Hut to see the damage from the recent Te Maari eruption. I was hoping to head right on to the tops and maybe around the back of Blue Lake towards Te Maari itself, but slow traffic and other commitments meant that we ran out of time and just went as far as the damaged hut.

    The large plume of steam from the Te Maari vents was easily visible from the carpark, but as we climbed above the bushline it became evident that there was increased thermal activity all over the mountain. Steam was pouring out of the Te Maari vents, there was significantly more steam from Ketetahi than normal, and exposed hillsides with sulphur deposits were also steaming. Perhaps the cooler air temperature made the steam more obvious, but it seemed a lot more than that. Whatever heat source is responsible for the Te Maari eruption must surely be responsible for the general increase in activity. Perhaps there will be more eruptions, or perhaps the mountain will just continue to steam away for months to come.

    Track damage: rocks strewn across the track by
    a lahar.
    Mud from the lahar between the trees.

    Although there had been snow overnight, the snow was not nearly as low as the Metservice forecast (1200m) and the snowline was about at the hut (just under 1500m). We were pleased that other aspects of the forecast were wrong, as instead of rain it was pleasantly dry for most of the way up. It wasn't until we were about 20 minutes from the hut that it started to rain and got quite cold.

    Impact crater with boulder inside.
    Impact crater cordoned off.

    We stopped at the hut to put on dry tops, have a bite to eat, and survey the damage from the eruption. One bunkroom had serious damage from a boulder that had come through the roof, and there are big "bites" taken out of the roof in two other places. DOC has removed the bunks from the central room so that people can't sleep there anymore, but it still provides a welcome shelter.

    Ketetahi Hut from a distance.
    Ketetahi Hut showing damage.

    Hole in the roof.
    Damage at the back of the hut.

    Dead vegetation in the grey ash from the eruption.
    Ketetahi Stream - this was just tepid to the touch.

    DOC declared a 2km "volcanic hazard zone" around the Te Maari vents and warned that:
    • You are still at risk from further volcanic eruptions if you are within the 2 kilometre Te Maari Volcanic Hazard Zone.
    • You enter the Te Maari Volcanic Hazard Zone at your own risk.
    • You should move quickly through this Volcanic Hazard zone.
    • Be aware of the potential of renewed volcanic activity.
    • The main danger will be from flying rocks.
    DOC also published the map below showing the recommended direction of travel in the event of an eruption.


    Eight days after this trip, just before 1:30pm on Wednesday 21 November 2012, Te Maari did erupt again. A much less significant eruption than previous, with no rocks ejected and no significant ash. But it was enough for DOC to close the track again.


    Anonymous said...

    Thanks heaps for this! it helped me a lot with a school assignment

    Post a Comment