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Wednesday 3rd August 2022

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The world’s largest expedition race GODZONE has today announced it is expanding across the Tasman with a new Australian race planned for 2023.

GODZONE Australia is a joint partnership between GODZONE and Australian-based adventure entrepreneurs, high-profile adventure racer Rob Preston and Elite Energy CEO Mark (Emo) Emerton.

Founder and director of GODZONE Warren Bates says the move is the next step in the evolution of the high-profile brand recently sanctioned by the Federations International De Sports D’Obstacles (FISO) as the first ever Expedition Racing World Championships.

“ We are very excited to see GODZONE, the largest and most recognised event in adventure racing, expand beyond New Zealand. We aim to deliver on our philosophy of epic and uncompromising experiences with high production values at the event’s core.”

“GODZONE has reached critical international, and domestic recognition at the New Zealand event, reflected in the number of teams that turn up every year and the viewers that we get across our social and broadcast platforms. It’s given us the impendence and confidence to expand our reach even further.”

As a global innovator of the sport, GODZONE has set the bar high in event delivery, and Bates says the Australian event will bring a whole new athlete group into the world of AR.

“Rob and Mark are the perfect team to work with, combining Mark’s tremendous experience in event management, catering for over 70,000 athletes each year, with Rob’s adventure racing prowess. Rob has been at the top of the adventure racing scene in Australia for some time and has raced in New Zealand several times, so we know they both have the knowledge and expertise.”

The dates and locations for the new Australian GODZONE are to be announced later this year.

Rob Preston says the new event will mirror GODZONE New Zealand racing protocols as an eight-day expedition length race featuring two racing categories, PURE and PURSUIT. He says having the backing of the GODZONE management group is essential to bringing the race to life.

“Obviously, GODZONE Australia Chapter One will feature much different terrain to New Zealand. The benefit of this length of race allows the course to traverse many different landscapes providing greater diversity than a typical 24hr race you get over here. Chapter One will showcase three distinct landscapes, including classic packrafting, long treks and challenging navigation, which our Aussie competitors will love.”

“We expect the reputation of the GODZONE brand will bring experienced racers from Australia and new athletes looking to take on the biggest challenges our sport has to offer. We are keen to encourage more Kiwi teams to get out outside their comfort zone of South Island mountains and come to experience the amazing terrain we have here.”

Mark (Emo) Emerton says adventure racing in Australia has been slowly growing, and now is an optimal time to allow AR competitors to expand their racing capability and experience.

“We feel that Elite Energy Events has the ability, credibility, confidence and trust to build GODZONE in Australia to a similar level of the magnitude the New Zealand event delivers.”

“Having spoken to many adventure racers worldwide, we know the GODZONE brand is the premier of expedition racing. To have the trust of the event founders is very exciting as we work together to design and create the first GODZONE outside of New Zealand.”

GODZONE Australia marks a new era for GODZONE as the high profile adventure racing brand plans for further event expansions into other worldwide territories over the next twelve months.


Rob Preston has been adventure racing for 20 years and has completed 30 expedition races with some of the best teams around the world. More recently, he has been an ambassador for the Adventure 1 Series in Australia and organised the Explore Gippsland 30hr Adventure Race for the last two years.

Elite Energy CEO Mark (Emo) Emerton has been in the endurance world since 1984, having participated in over 300 triathlons, including multiple Ironman events (2 x Kona), Challenge Roth, and Challenge Wanaka. During his 23 years in the Royal Australian Navy, he was fortunate to trek to over 6500m towards Everest, race across the Simpson Desert and break Guinness World Records in paddling.

FISO is the official international global governing body of obstacle sports (FISO was granted Observer Status by the Global Association of International Sports Federations GASIF in 2021), including Ninja competitions, Obstacle Course Racing (ORC) and Adventure Racing.
GODZONE is aligned with FISO to develop and improve the governance and growth of the sport to meet the standards delivered at other top international sporting events. FISO has the right to allocate World Championships, World Cups and Continental Championships, allowing expedition racing to gain traction on the global sporting stage.

For more information, interview & imagery requests, contact:

Margo Berryman
Expedition Racing World Championships
GODZONE Media Manager
P: +64 21 246 3342
E: margo@qt.co.nz
W: www.godzoneaustralia.com

Rob Preston
GODZONE Australia
P: +61403296516
E: rob@thoughtsports.com.au
W: www.godzone

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