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.

    Saturday, March 19, 2016

    Kirikiriroa Marathon

    The inaugural running of the Kirikiriroa Marathon in Hamilton, and I was actually able to attend. Starting with a scenic lap of the Hamilton Gardens, the course then heads down river on the walking and cycling trails alongside the Waikato River. The trails themself are a very scenic place to run, in many places wending their way through bush and ferns.

    For an inaugural event this was incredibly well run; just as well as many events that have had the benefit of years of fine tuning.

    Part of the early loop through the Hamilton Gardens.

    Te Rapa Dairy Factory
    Waikato River

    One of the distance markers
    This was never going to be a fast one, with very little training under the belt: just one 22km walk 4 weeks before the event and a 32km walk 2 weeks before. Not the best preparation, but enough to get me around. But the course also turned out to be a lot harder than expected, with one walker who would normally clock 5:00-5:05 only getting 5:20 (and no faster walkers). This almost makes my time of 5:33:13 look half way reasonable!

    Sunday, May 31, 2015

    Christchurch Marathon

    This year the Christchurch Airport Marathon went nowhere near the airport, as the course finally moved back to an inner-city course after the earthquake. It was all new for me anyway, as I had not participated in any of the previous incarnations of the Christchurch marathon. The large loop went around the outside of Hagley Park, through some city streets to the Avon River, and followed the river down through the red zone. The new course was rather complex, with a small inner-city loop followed by a large loop, with some confusion for the marathoners as they repeated the two loops after the first half.

    Went through the first half in 2:39:25, but after a fast next 10km started to fade a little and could only manage 2:45:54 for the second half. Total time was 5:25:20.

    What has become an iconic image of the damage
    wrought by the Christchurch earthquake: the ruined
    Along the Avon River

    Pipers in the central city

    Monday, April 13, 2015

    More Parkaeology

    In April last year I speculated about the origin of an old track I found in the Mangatepopo Valley. That post included a map showing the Mangatepopo Hut on the other side of the valley from where it is today. I have since found a map from 1926 that both confirms the existence of the old hut site and confirms my speculation about a track from that hut.

    The new (old) map from the New Zealand Department of Lands and Survey shows both the old hut site and the new hut site. A track is indeed indicated as originating at the old hut and heading east towards Ngaruhoe, and it is highly likely that this is the track that we found. Pukekaikiore is in approximately the same place as the (7) beside the old hut.

    1926 map of Mangatepopo Valley
    Part of 1926 map of Tongariro National Park. Click for larger version.
    National Library of New Zealand,[page]=6&search[path]=items&search[text]=%22Tongariro+National+Park%22+map

    This map also shows a number of other interesting tracks. The track passing east from the new hut, through the (8), is the approximate location of the curent track through the valley, with the dog leg south being the old Devil's Staircase.

    The track heading north from the new hut is also of considerable interest. That track also still exists, zig-zagging up the side of the valley and being clearly apparent when one is on the ridge. (See, for example, this post). The more easterly of the two branches seems to mirror the route taken when we dropped off Tongariro summit in June 2012 (see that post for a map of the route taken). The route on the 1926 map also seems to head over the top of North Crater before dropping down to the Ketetahi Hot Springs. This seems an obvious route when one looks at a topo map, but I have never tried it.

    Finally, the more northerly route skirts around the side of Tongariro to go direct to the Ketetahi Hot Springs. It would be interesting to see whether any trace of that route remains.

    Saturday, February 7, 2015

    Hot Springs Road Loop

    Boot cleaning station at the start of the track
    A loop hike/run in the Kaimais, taking in a Kauri grove, a hut, and a section along the main ridge line.

    Kauri die-back disease has become a serious problem in New Zealand, so both ends of the track have boot cleaning stations, where boots can be scraped clean and sprayed with an anti-fungal agent (photo at right).

    We were completing the loop in an anti-clockwise direction, which would give us a steep climb and gentle descent, rather than a gentle ascent and steep descent. A short distance back down the road to the trailhead, and then it was down to the river. A very pleasant tiver, and the exposed stones made it easy to keep one's feet dry at this time of year.

    Across the river and the track climbs to the kauri grove, and keeps on climbing through more kauri, and then keeps on climbing some more. It's a solid slog and also quite hot at this time of year.

    River crossing
    Early part of Kauri grove
    Near the top the track heads over a knob, which of course means a descent and then a further climb. The vegetation opens up, the ground is now essentially flat. Nearing the hut we hear a low whistling noise and look up to see a glider soaring along the ridgeline. Before long we are at the Te Rereatukahia Hut.

    Te Rereatukahia Hut and name plate
    After a short look around the hut we head back out to track and south along the ridgeline. Undulating, but more down than up in the direction we are heading. Immediately to the west of the track along the ridge is an old post-and-wire fence, including a strand of rusted barbed wire. It's hard to imagine why such a fence should ever have been here in the first place.

    Along the way we cross a slip, see some fungi, bumblebees on scotch thistles, and as we descend to the track junction that will take us east back to the cars, impressive rock formations further south on the ridge. We had run the section of the track down to the carpark before, but as usual it seemed much longer than we remembered it. A reminder of how unfit we currently are, but a good day in the hills.

    Bumblebee on thistle flower.

    The slip.
    Looking east to Tauranga Harbour.

    Looking west into the Waikato.
    The ridgeline, immediately south of where we turned
    east on the trail back to the carpark.

    Thursday, November 13, 2014

    Trig 7510

    A rather battered trig in Kaitoke Regional Park near Upper Hutt. A short run on a very pleasant trail from the old SH2, undulating through pine forest, before popping out into the open a few hundred metres before the trig.

    Saturday, November 8, 2014

    Trig B0P2

    Trig B0P2 (16098) enveloped in gorse.
    James and I had tried to find this trig earlier in the year, but failed. This time we picked the trail right and made our way through the bush to the trig. A trail was through the trees was marked with trapper’s ribbons and travel was easy until within a few metres of the trig. The trig itself was enveloped in gorse, and it took a bit of manoeuvring to manage to get the photos.

    Name plate.
    Pink ribbon marking the trail through the bush.

    Sunday, November 2, 2014

    Mt Victoria No. 3 and No. 4 (Davenport)

    View from Mt Victoria across Davenport naval base
    to central Auckland.
    A chance to pick up two survey markers on at the Mt Victoria gun emplacement in Davenport, Auckland: trig A5WN and survey pin C5EH on the gun emplacement.

    Brass plaque for A5WN (Mt Victoria No. 3).
    A5WN on the side of the carpark. C5EH is behind
    the bushes to the right of the trig.

    View up the inside of A5WN.
    One of the Mt Victoria guns.

    Brass plaque for C5EH (Mt Victoria No. 4).
    View across the top of the disappearing gun to
    Rangitoto. C5EH is just out of shot on the concrete
    at the bottom left.

    Dramatic views across to Browns and Motuihe Islands
    Old cemetery at the base of Mt Victoria.

    Across the harbour the HMAS Sydney was in port on the final leg of her farewell tour.

    Sunday, October 26, 2014

    Mt Cecil

    Looking down over the transmission lines and
    logged over forest.
    A short hike with the sole purpose of tagging the Mt Cecil trig near Upper Hutt. This was the first time I had been in through here since the large-scale logging of the area, and some of the logging roads had changed significantly from before the logging. The trig, however, is on a grassy knoll in an unlogged area. Being relatively remote the trig suffers from little damage other than a few bullet holes.
    Bullet hole damage.