Posted on 2018-03-08


By Annabelle Latz

Glow sticks and lycra galore, a dozen slightly worse for wear and rough around the edges athletes dance around the tents in the rain.
The scene is set amongst the thickest of Fiordland bush.
The occasion is GODZone, Chapter Seven.
The team instigating this vision is Accidental Adventurers (28).
Its’ been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster ride for this South Island team.
Firstly they had to say farewell to their team mate Scott Worthington in the early stages of the race after a stick impaled itself into his leg just ten minutes into the first hike on Day One.
But a stroke of luck had the teamless but primed and fit GODZone candidate Conal Boland-Bristol get the late call up and join their cause for the gnarly Stage Three.
Short coursed for the remainder of the race, Scott joined them again for the Stage Four bike, and planned to finish with them as a team of five.
Jason Hayman, (Stumpy) said they’d learned so much from Scott during their race training, so they did it hard losing him on Day One.
But on they went, and what a great time they’ve been having!
Arriving at Waitutu Hut after the Stage Three trek on Tuesday morning, Stumpy did what you don’t see everyday in adventure racing.
He stripped off into some less than glamorous jocks, put on a gorilla mask, and ran around hugging people.
Describing the glow stick fun experience to the gathering of people at Waitutu Lodge, Stumpy said it was a pleasure to have the two Pursuit teams Team Landpro (86) and Welcome Aboard (92) join them.
“I was running around in the ferns and they were go-pro’ing it… It was like a massive rave with no music.”
Every day Stumpy does the ‘midday’ or ‘6 o’clock news,’ making up news stories and delivering a bulletin of information to his team.
“We’ve had an awesome time!” he said.
Conal has been having an equally fantastic adventure with the team; a massive stroke of luck after injuries in his own team forced a last minute withdrawal.

“At the beginning of the race I stuck around Te Anau and volunteered at some of the check points to wait and see,” he said.
Conal then went back home to Invercargill, having accepted the fact he wasn’t going to wear the race bib this time around.

“I went to the SPCA to get myself two kittens as consolation that GODZone wasn’t happening. I was walking out ofSPCA when I got the call. I was like ‘yup, it’s what I’ve been waiting for.’”
He hadn’t even unpacked his race gear, so set off on his way back to Te Anau.
“I bet Scott will be looking forward to getting on his bike. I’ve heard he’s a bit of a hard case.’

They’re currently on the Stage Five kayak leg. Bring it home!!!!!!

All News