Chapter 9

GZ Prime Event

"Rookie blunders during the race showed that we had under-estimated the enormity of the event and were a little unprepared. However we went on to have an awesome race, due in no small part to the organisers. Their commitment to giving everyone the best race possible was outstanding. Never let a chance go by, you never know how much fun you’ll have. I would truly recommend anyone thinking about it to just get on and do it."

- Alison Russell (Taranaki)

A Shorter GODZone without a support crew

The GZ Prime event is the ultimate gateway to GODZone. It marries up the unsupported traits of the GZ Pure event with the shorter distances and more moderate technical difficulty of the GZ Pursuit event. This category is very much aimed at those people who want to take on GODZone for the first time and those who no longer want or feel the need to put in the training that is required to finish the GZ Pure event.

The course design is based around the GZ Pure event with some subtle changes. The course distance is shorter than GZ Pure event and, in places, navigationally easier, but teams may well just race harder. Teams entering the GZ Prime category should see the event as a great entry point to expedition racing, but it is a very serious challenge which requires good backcountry skills and thorough knowledge of how to negotiate the New Zealand wilderness. Teams will be responsible for packing equipment away into gear and bike boxes that will be available at different locations on the course. More information about these requirements will be laid out in subsequent Newsletters.


COURSE DISTANCE: Approximately 530km
MAXIMUM DURATION: Up to 8.5 days
RACE DATE: Friday 5th March – Saturday 13th March 2021
EXPECTED WINNING TIME: Approximately 4-5 Days
TEAM FORMAT: Teams of 4. All female/male teams permitted. Only mixed teams eligible for trophies and prizes
SUPPORT CREWS: None Required (‘Unsupported’)
ENTRY PRICE: $7,000 (Early Entry Discount) – $7,500 (Payment Plan Entry) – $8,000 (Standard Entry) – $9,000 (Late Entry)
GZ PRIME TROPHY $4,000 Total Prize Pool. Prizes available on the following basis: 1st overall = $2,500 sponsor product; 2nd overall $1,000 sponsor product; 3rd overall $500 sponsor product. Teams must contain at least one female and complete the full course in the time allowed to qualify for prizes. Prize will not be reallocated if less than 3 teams qualify for prizes. The 1st placed team will win the GZ Prime Trophy.

What’s involved?

The GZ Prime event is a standalone race in itself and is a perfect introduction for those who want to take part in the GODZone experience. The GZ Prime event will largely follow the same route as the GZ Pure course with some subtle changes to checkpoint locations and a shortening of the overall course length. Teams will still take on big mountains, big rivers and some of the technical parts of the GZ Pure course. However, there could be significant route differences or entire stages missed to make the overall route more achievable. The start and finish of the event is hosted at the same location as the GZ Pure event. Teams on the GZ Prime route will have at least one mid-race cut off which will move them on to a shortened version of the race. This will help to bring all teams to the finish line in time before the course closes.

This will be a challenging event, comparable to any of the top expedition races in the World. The concept will create the perfect expedition racing experience for those new to these types of races, those without the experience to do the GZ Pure event and perhaps those who do not wish to spend so many hours training in the build up. It’s also cheaper, so if you’re looking for the perfect segue into expedition racing in New Zealand, this event hits the spot.

All teams will be expected to be self-sufficient during the event. The organisers will transport all gear boxes, bike boxes and other key equipment items such as kayaks and canoes for the teams. GZ Prime teams will transition between the different disciplines without any outside assistance. With this in mind it is important for teams to manage their equipment and supplies carefully. More information about the gear box and bike box requirements will be provided in the Newsletters.

It is anticipated that the winning teams for GZ Prime will take approximately 4-5 days to finish. Teams may be allowed to take as many as 8 and a half days to complete the GZ Prime event. If you believe you have the requisite skills, experience, determination and desire then please Enter Now.