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GZ Life

About GODZone

We saw it as the ultimate team challenge. It's an amazing event and an incredible experience.

- Craig Cook (Oakura)

"GODZone is an epic adventure with the best of friends. In the space of a week everything changes. You'll finish the race and never be able to look at the World with the same set of eyes again."

- Tim Farrant (Christchurch)

GODZone is an annual, multi-day, non-stop, expedition-style adventure race held in New Zealand. The event is the largest expedition-length adventure race in the world and widely regarded as the best. Registration for the 2020 event opens to teams of four on the 1st of September 2019 with entry secured by submitting the online entry form located on the Enter Now page and the payment of at least the entry fee deposit. Entries to GODZone are limited and a team entry can’t be guaranteed.

The next installment of GODZone will be known as Chapter 9 – Rotorua. The event will be supported by Rotorua Lakes Council and hosted by the wider Rotorua District and Bay of Plenty, which is located centrally in the North Island of New Zealand. Whilst GODZone is a race, it is also a journey and adventure, with teams traversing some of New Zealand’s most stunning landscapes with a logical pathway from start to finish.

Chapter 9 – Rotorua is made up of two race categories, or sub events, running under the GODZone banner: – GZ Pure and GZ Pursuit. The GZ Pure and GZ Pursuit events run for 8 and a half days with ‘supported’ teams . This means that all teams need to provide a support crew. Details about support crew requirements will be released in the Newsletters but you can get general information about support crews here. In both sub events, kayaks, canoes and certain other key items of equipment will be provided by the organisers.

What's Involved?

Teams will navigate, trek, mountain bike, kayak, canoe and raft over a vast array of different landscapes. Other disciplines may be included at the discretion of the organisers – teams may or may not be notified of these disciplines before the event starts. GODZone will test the mental and physical skills of participants as well as other factors such as team work and emotional stress. The route will be highly demanding both technically and physically, testing teams in many different ways.  Those taking part in the event should not underestimate the importance of being well prepared for travel in very remote locations and a high degree of outdoor competency is a pre-requisite of entry. GODZone in New Zealand represents the pinnacle of adventure racing challenges, is the most technically demanding adventure race in the world and individuals who intend to take part in the event should prepare accordingly. The general format of GODZone is set out below:

  • Teams receive a logistics planner approximately 1 week before the race starts
  • The planner gives teams the opportunity to pack their boxes with food and supplies whilst keeping the actual course secret
  • Teams are provided with marked maps and a team handbook approximately 6-12hrs before the race starts
  • Once the race starts, teams must pass through a series of mandatory checkpoints along the course
  • To finish ranked, teams must visit all mandatory checkpoints on the course (this is important…we don’t allow teams to opt out of checkpoints and take a time penalty – that simply diminishes the achievements of those competing)
  • In most instances the route between mandatory checkpoints is optional which allows for significant navigational challenges
  • The entire course is generally broken up into 7-12 stages depending on host location and terrain
  • Stages may contain more than one discipline – e.g., trekking and fixed ropes
  • Competitors change stages, from one mode of transportation to another, at designated transition areas (known in adventure racing as a “TA”)
  • TA’s and some checkpoints are staffed with race officials and medical personnel, as well as volunteers from around the world. It is here that teams will meet their support crews to change equipment and resupply for the stage ahead
  • One of the unique aspects of GODZone and expedition-length adventure races is that the maps and course remain secret to all teams until just before the start

Teams taking on GODZone are expected to travel day and night. Decisions to rest and sleep are left solely to the discretion of the teams themselves. It is anticipated that GZ Pure and GZ Pursuit events at Chapter 9 – Rotorua will take the winning teams between 4 and 5 days to finish. Other teams may be allowed to take as many as 8 and a half days to complete the GZ Pure and GZ Pursuit events. Both events will have at least one mid-race cut off which will shorten the route to ensure that all teams reach the finish line in the time allowed. All courses close for competitors on Saturday 13th of March 2021.