Chapter 1

Course Details

"I would say, just do it. Put your hand up and say your keen to take on something that is bigger than anything you have ever done. You will experience things that very few ever get the chance to experience. The GODZONE crew are amazing from start to finish and you will leave feeling like part of the GODZONE family."

- Frank Young (Hukunui, New Zealand)

One of the unique attributes of GODZONE is the fact that the specific details of the course and maps remain secret until a few hours before the event starts. GZ Pure and GZ Pursuit competitors are provided with a logistics planner overview approximately a week before the start which allows teams and support crews to organise gear and food into some kind of order. This pre-race logistics planner outlines the broad lay out of the course – individual stage disciplines, distances, travel recommendations and any ‘remote’ gear movements that the teams need to prepare for – which allows teams to get gear into decent order without giving the exact route away. A more detailed logistics planner is provided as part of the team handbook (and course maps) which outlines, in great detail, the full course and may give some hint of  estimated timing.

In some Chapters of GODZONE teams have had plenty of time with their maps before the start. In other Chapters teams have had to organise their maps in a remote venue just a couple of hours before the start  – it all depends on the location and resources available. Teams should be prepared for both outcomes but we will let you know as soon as we can. Well, as soon as we think it’s appropriate!

A GODZONE course will generally be linear in the sense that the route will not normally involve looping back to the same point or visiting a location more than once. The GODZONE philosophy is to make the course feel like a logical and inspiring journey for teams from start to finish. Whilst some teams will ‘race’ their way through the wilderness, most should treat GODZONE as an expedition that provides an unrivaled sense of fulfillment should teams complete the course in the time frame allowed. It really is an Adventure Like No Other.

GZ Pure and GZ Pursuit teams are given a team handbook and two sets of waterproof maps before the start. An additional set of maps will be provided to GZ Pursuit support crews. As a general rule (though there has been no set format in previous Chapters), GZ Pure teams will receive their maps and handbook a few hours before they start. GZ Pursuit teams may receive their team handbook and maps earlier than GZ Pure teams if time for map preparation is limited – giving those teams additional time to consider strategy, route choice and aid map preparation. The handbook contains the description of each race checkpoint, transition areas, information about mandatory equipment and any cut-off points. To complete the full course of the GZ Pure and GZ Pursuit events, teams must navigate through all the checkpoints and arrive at the finish line before any short course cut offs come into play and the course closes.

It is expected that the winning teams for both GZ Pure and GZ Pursuit will complete the courses in approximately 4-5 days, with weather and other mitigating factors having some influence on the final outcome. All teams in the GZ Pure and GZ Pursuit events will be permitted up to 8 and a half days to complete the course. There will be at least one mid-race cut off which will allow the slower teams on the respective courses to move towards the finish in an accelerated fashion. GODZONE encourages and helps as many teams as practical to reach the finish line and at the same time experience the most exciting stages.

Transitions are areas where teams change from one discipline to another. They provide a brief respite for highly competitive teams and a well-earned and welcome break for most. These areas may allow teams the opportunity for shelter, sleep and a chance to stock up on supplies. GZ Pursuit is a ‘supported’ event which means each team has a small support crew who are responsible for the teams equipment transport between stages and for looking after their team in transition.