The world’s biggest expedition race kicks off this evening at 9pm South African time, being 8am on 1 March in New Zealand’s Fiordland, which has promised to hold off its torrential rain for a brief while.
92 Teams have been advised that most will not finish the arduous course. It is the most technically difficult and taxing route yet designed in the 7 years of this event staged in different parts of New Zealand and spectators can follow live tracking on www.godzoneadventure.com
Former Springbok Stefan Terblanche, racing with Team Merrell in his first expedition race says he will not be the one to call “Kan nie meer nie Korporaal!” He will be taking his mind and body to places way beyond where it has yet had to go but with the experienced team rallying him on, there’s no doubt in their mind that they have the capability to finish well. “Going straight for GODZone as your first attempt at adventure racing is like sending Tweet to tackle the All Blacks during the World Cup” he said, talking of team Captain Graham ‘Tweet’ Bird, who has done 21 expeditions (but doesn’t know how to throw a ball backwards)
Adding excitement to their race and the media crew, and just maybe an added incentive to keep moving forward, is the appearance of yet another rugby legend, no less than Richie McCaw, racing with Kiwi team PwC.
The old rivals met up again after the extensive race briefing this morning and behind the genuine smiles and camaraderie was evidence of the hardened game face on both of them.
With just 7 legs for a 450km course, the teams have had to pack very carefully, planning to be out for up to 60 hours on a brutal 150km trek, carrying and using a packraft for up to half of it until they reach a Transition zone. In total the winners are expected to finish no earlier than 5 days after starting, with the back teams taking up to 10 days.
Live tracking of this epic non-stop race and images of the athletes and incredible terrain they will pass through will be on www.godzoneadventure.com from the start with updates from the course on the event FB Godzone Adventure as well as the team page Merrell Adventure Addicts.
Team number is 39
Thanks to the team sponsors Merrell as well as Black Diamond, Island Tribe, Ocean Eyewear, Extreme Lights, ButtaNutt Spreads, Racefood, Giant, Fluid Kayaks, BackCountry Cuisine and Nuun.