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, April 15, 2014


    On this particular day we didn’t feel like much of a climb, but wanted to at least go up the Mangatepopo Valley. We made our way part way up the new staircase and then dropped over the side back down towards the valley. Initially steep in places, the terrain soon levelled out and we picked a line across the various lava flows.

    Our first view of the stone-bordered path
    Heading towards the base of Pukekaikiore (on the route marked as “Cross-Country” on the map below), we stumbled across an old track. Certainly not built by the current generation of track builders, this track had been cleared of rocks, and the path was bordered with rocks. We would be able to follow the track back towards the carpark, but we decided first to follow it in the other direction, towards Ngaruhoe, to see where it led. For the most part the path was easy to follow, with only a couple of places where it was indistinct. And then the path abruptly stopped at the foot of a lava flow.

    It seems that we had probably stumbled on one of the earliest tracks in the park, tracks that have long since disappeared from public consciousness (or event that of DOC staff). The gravel access road from State Highway 47 follows the same route as the original cart track. An old map (below) shows the hut on the true left of the valley, near the base of Pukekaikiore, rather than the true right as it is now. The cart track does not extend beyond the hut, but it seems reasonable to assume that the foot track from the hut continued up the true left of the valley. At some point the foot track may have split into two directions, with one arm aiming for the saddle between Ngaruhoe and Tongariro, and the other for the saddle between Ngaruhoe and Pukekaikiore.

    A Mead and W Mead, "Part of Tongariro National Park in the vicinty of Whakapapa Cottage", National Library of New Zealand. Complete map available online at

    In 1954 Ngaruhoe erupted several times. The map below shows lava flows mapped by Fiona Sanders as part of her thesis. The GPS trace of the stone-bordered path is indicated. The terminal end of the path is very close to the indicated lava flow from 30 June 1954.
    Source: Fiona Sanders, Rheology and Flow Emplacement Processes of the 1954 Lavas, Mount Ngauruhoe, thesis, University of Waikato, 2010. Available online at

    On the basis of this map, it seems reasonable to assume that the 1954 eruptions rendered existing tracks unusable for a considerable period of time. Lava would remain hot, and the prospect of fresh lava eruptions would deter people from re-establishing tracks. For those still intent on gaining access to Tongariro, it would make sense to establish one or more tracks on the other side of the valley, in the general position of the current track. Another track also exists atop the ridge above the Mangatepopo Stream.


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