Reflections and New Goals

With this year coming to an end I’ve been contemplating on goals for next year. When I look back on the last 12 months of 2015, I’ve not achieved as many personal bests although I’ve almost run about the same amount of distance as 2014. For me 2014 was so far the best year in terms of achievements, however 2015 was better in that I got to travel to many different places and experience some great trails for running. Most of the travel related running is on our shared blog at

We get back to New Zealand on January 13th – this is going to be the start of the next chapter of our lives.

So what goals do I have for 2016, well it’s twofold. First since I had always wanted to try an Ultra Marathon distance (ever since I started running again in 2009), I had the Tarawera Ultra Marathon in mind. So my first task is to complete the 60km distance on February 06th.  Training wise I am not putting any extra effort, the goal being finish not compete most of my weekly mileage has been at around 70km per week of easy running. I think this will be enough to get through the distance.

Secondly I want to focus on getting back into running half marathons and break the 1:25 mark. My current PB is 1:26 which I ran in 2014, since then I haven’t done any specific training for a half. I prefer the half marathon distance over any other distance. The plan is after Tarawera take a break from running and start building back into a 16 week plan to get stronger and faster. I am thinking of doing Rotorua Marathon (late April) again but not committed at this stage.

Thirdly or rather in parallel, explore more trails and try different activities such as Orienteering and Mountain Biking.

Also late February I am giving a talk at RunFest in Wellington. My talk is about looking at running data and the use of activity tracking apps such as Strava and how to use these tools in training for events. Myself I have been using Endomondo and Strava for a few years. But I prefer Strava nowadays and you can get a lot of insight to your activities and use these for planning.

2011 to 2015 Running

2011 to 2015 Running Data gathered via Strava

The above graphs data shows my running mielage since 2011. Since 2013 I have been averaging over 70kms per week with 2014 having the highest recorded kilometers of 4074. If you are in Wellington, New Zealand register for Runfest where you’d be able to experience a one of a kind event catered specially for runners of all abilities.

All the best and happy New Year!


Costa Trail de Oleiros

Another trail running event in Galicia – posted on #whatrunnersdo – it’s all about Mud, Trails, Churrasco and beer… go read it..


Last Sunday 22nd of March the whatrunnersdo team was in Oleiros – a small coastal town in the municipality of A Coruña, Galicia in Spain. We were there to take part in the 5th edition of “Costa Trail de Oleiros” trail running event organised by the local trail running community.

We first visited our friend’s house and then drove to the start of the event with them. Oleiros is a small seaside town with a nice beach and some rolling hills. The event start was on a small park named “Parque da Lagoa” next to a lake. Here is an aerial view of Oleiros and the “Mera” beach. The last part of the race included about a 1km of running along the beach.

Photo credit –

We arrived at the start a bit early so had some time for a coffee at a local café –for that all…

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B is for Berlin and the place for Marathon World Records

So yes, it’s been actually a month since running Berlin (28th September) and yes I’ve been a bit slack in updating the blog lately and I’ve also been travelling but that is not an excuse.

To get to Berlin from Wellington, NZ is a fair bit of travel. Door to door I think it took me about 40hrs until I slumped on the bed in a Berlin hotel room completely exhausted. Not the best way to run a marathon in a few days with that kind of travelling.

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The Skyline 160 – Post Event Update

160kms (100mile) relay on one of Wellington’s iconic trails – don’t mind if I help myself to a lap or two of that awesomeness with an even awesomer group of runners!

The idea was conceived by local runner/web stocker Mike Brown whilst.. wait for it running! Mike is part of Wellington Running Meetup who hold regular running events and help get like minded folk come together and run some of Wellington’s sweet trails. The Skyline trail runs along the ridge line starting from Karori (Makara hill) then connects to Mt Kaukau (the one with the tall radio mast overlooking Wellington).

One way is roughly about 10kms and a return is 20kms or so. So the idea was simply start at 10am (officially) then run there (1 lap) and back (2laps) in a continuous relay where runners can run a single lap or two laps (out and back) till 160kms was completed in 24hrs ending at 10am the next day. Officially there was 16 legs since each leg was  10kms to complete the 160kms.

From Saturday 1st Feb morning there was a stream of runners who started from 10am  and ran multiple laps so they could just be part of it. I signed up to do the final leg which started at 7am on Sunday 2nd February. I was joined by Amanda (celebrity runner), Gemma and Alastair. In fact Alastair had already done 2 laps (20ks) and he was doing another 2 to make it 40km in total. Amanda had already done 1 since she started at the Kaukau end and Gemma had done 2 the day before so I was in some serious running company.

We headed off at 7am on the last two legs – Leg 15 to Kaukau and Leg 16 final leg back to Makara start. It was a stunning Wellington morning with a slight southerly breeze coming off the tops and perfect weather for an early morning jaunt on the hills. We hit Kaukau in about an hour and a bit and picked up another runner Clinton who joined us at Kaukau. After a quick stop and some drinks we headed back, Amanda bid adieu at Kaukau so it was me, Alastair, Clinton and Gemma who were on the final leg back. Here are some photos from throughout the day and all those wonderful runners who were part of this great event. I think that this will be a keeper and we’ll do the same next year!

Ewa not enjoying the early morning shift being on support watch at top of Makara Hill - apparently sleeping in a car is not that fun whilst people are out running through the night

Ewa not enjoying the early morning shift being on support watch at top of Makara Hill – apparently sleeping in a car is not that fun whilst people are out running through the night


All set for the last two legs of the Skyline 160 – Alastair, Amanda (in her trademark yellow fancy pants), Gemma and Me.



Skyline 160 enjoying the views



Looking towards Kaukau in the distance and some company heading our way



At top of Kaukau Leg 15 complete only 1 to go!


Mark and Ash who started it the day before doing the first two legs.



Some of the other regulars from Wellington Running Meetup



Some of the other regulars from Wellington Running Meetup



Mike who tricked Mark to run with him in the middle of the night! They both seem happy enough.



Squeaky the Pig is transitioned from Ewa to Mike in the middle of the night.


We are officially done! 16th leg completed! Gemma, Clinton and Alastair.




So many hills, so little time…

Collectively I think we ran more than 160kms and vertical ascent would be close to 120,000 or more easily! Two laps is about 850meters or so according to my Garmin. Here is the elevation profile from my two laps.

Makara to Kaukau and Back Elevation

Happy trails and if you are in Wellington come join Wellington Running Meetup! More awesome photos are here on Meetup Event page.

Road to Rotorua Marathon

Happy 2014 everyone!

With a new year come new running plans, well actually not really ‘new’ but goals for the year nonetheless and events that I am looking forward to. Unlike last year I won’t be planning on doing a lot of events but will choose a few key running events as the year goes on. After my first successful marathon attempt in June 2013 I already had added Rotorua marathon as my second marathon attempt. For the Rotorua marathon it is a significant year as it is going to be the 50th anniversary event. I am currently in a build up phase and it will be 16 weeks to Rotorua (3rd May 2014) from next week. Ideal time to start focusing and get into training mode.

Before Rotorua I am also going to be aiming to run at the Wellington Round the Bays half marathon. This is the local Wellington event that I have done for the last three years so it is only logical that this was in the running schedule for the year. It’s roughly about 6 weeks and then 10 weeks to Rotorua after that.I actually love doing half marathon events, in fact I am probably going to stick mostly with races that are 20-30km in distance apart from the odd marathon maybe once a year.

Goal for Rotorua are to beat my current PB of 3:25 for the marathon. So my training goal is 3:15-3:20 but the Rotorua course is a bit harder than other courses so I will need to keep that in perspective. In any case I will aim to train well and be ready as much as I can be. Beyond Rotorua marathon I have another significant overseas marathon event planned but at the moment I will keep myself focused on Rotorua first.

thanks for stopping by.