Latest News


Friday 27th November 2020

News Categories

Share Page

Former All Black champion Richie McCaw has announced he will be lining up for a third crack at New Zealand’s premier adventure racing event, GODZone, in March 2021.

McCaw will tackle the gruelling expedition race, the largest of its kind in the world in Rotorua from the
4th – 13th March 2021 alongside fellow adventure racing teammates Rugby Players Association CEO Rob Nichol and Wanaka adventure racer Sarah Fairmaid.

“GODZone is the ultimate adventure that tests your limits in every respect. It was too hard for us to walk away from the opportunity to race it again especially given the fact it’s in the North Island for the first time,” says Richie McCaw.

“Unfortunately, our normal teammate Bob McLachlan has to sit this one out, which aside from driving him crazy with envy means we have to get another member on board. You can’t replace Bob – he is an amazing person to both train and race with and stating the obvious, it’s pretty important to get the fit right if you’re going to take on this type of challenge together as a team.”

McCaw, Nichol, and Fairmaid entered the event for the first time in 2016, where they attracted thousands of supporters who cheered them on to complete a 539km course through Tasman. They then competed for a second time at GODZone Chapter 7 in Fiordland, alongside world champion adventure racer Bob McLachlan, attracting similar attention for their efforts.

“From what we understand, the Chapter 9 course in Rotorua is set to be of epic proportions similar to Fiordland, which was a real challenge that we enjoyed,” says McCaw. “It was the first time Rob and I got to race at the pointy end of the field; we pushed it and put pressure on ourselves to be competitive, which was an amazing space to be in.”

Since then, McCaw and Nichol have developed a solid adventure racing partnership, completing several Coast to Coast events and several 24-hour adventure races across New Zealand.

“Added to these events, we have also done a few missions of our own, so collectively we are starting to build some more exposure to endurance racing, which has been beneficial. We are lucky that Sarah is keen to race with us for a third time as it’s an opportunity to take our learnings from Fiordland and see if we can improve on that.”

Rob Nichol says that Rotorua as the location for GODZone Chapter 9 was a real drawcard for the team.

“It’s such a unique and beautiful spot, and that was a key attraction for us to sign up for this particular GODZone because we are all keen to explore that area more. We’re looking to go and do a recce there soon and maybe link in with Olympic Kayaker Mike Dawson, who is a friend of mine also doing GODZone, which hopefully will help us pick up some local knowledge before race start.”

Nichol says there is a real buzz and excitement around the event. The team plans to spend the summer training for both GODZone and the Coast to Coast, which will be time well spent in the outdoors.

“We are fortunate that Sarah is always competitive and in the front of the field racing space, so for Richie and I, it’s about training to improve on what we achieved in Fiordland. We now know what it’s like to race hard over five to six days and have a better knowledge of what to expect from ourselves mentally and physically.”

McCaw adds – “it’s probably similar to rugby players playing their first test match for New Zealand. Once you have one or two under your belt, your understanding of how it all comes together is greater. We are looking forward to this epic adventure challenge ahead.”

For more information on GODZone, Chapter 9, go to:

For further information contact;
Margo Berryman
GODZone Media Manager
P: +64 21 246 3342

Related posts

Vet, farmer and athlete

Country Wide Magazine – April 2021 Taihape vet, farmer and family man Anthony Oswald finds adventure racing takes his mind off the everyday as well as being good fun. Annabelle Latz tracked him down to find out more. Multi day adventure racing means entirely removing yourself from society. Your entire focus is about getting to

Meet Martin, the GODZone trophy guy

He loves New Zealand so much, so bugger it, he’ll draw it. Meet Martin Rogers, you’ll probably be more familiar with his work than you realise, as he’s the man you can thank for the stunning logs of wood we call the GODZone trophies. It all started way back in 2012, just before Chapter 1

The Stuff Legends Are Made Of

The Legends Trophy went to Team Swazi (19) for GODZone Chapter 9 Rotorua. For each GODZone this Trophy is awarded by the race organisers to the team that, in the twilight of their sporting careers, show how it should be done. The Legends Trophy is open to both race categories. And true legends, as the


The weather has turned, the sun is out and the last team – Unfinished Addiction (37) – at the back of the field, is slowly moving forward! Day eight of GODZone has a super positive vibe wherever you are on course. The finish line is humming, the music is playing and the Cargo brews and

Pushing through the puddles

Where’s Warren? Buying gumboots. Well, that’s fair. It was late afternoon of Day 7, down on the finish line at Waipa Hub. It was wet, very wet. Puddles everywhere. The rain falls hard and fast in Rotorua, all of a sudden. And then it’s gone. And then it comes back again. The rain in Rotorua is not


Day seven at GODZone and teams at the back of the field are taking the brunt of Chapter 9. With cold, wet weather socking in over the Kaimanawa ranges its been a very long 24 – 48 hours for some who are struggling to make and find their way across the 88km trek and down