One of the unique attributes about GODZone is the fact that the course remains secret to the final day before the event starts. Teams are provided a logistics planner before the start which allows them to organise their gear and food into some kind of order. Once gear has been lodged with logistics officials, teams will have time to relax at the host location before they receive the maps and team handbook. After this time they will have a number of hours to consider their route choices and navigational strategy.
The course is generally linear and as such, it will feel like a journey for competitors from start to finish. Whilst some teams will ‘race’ their way through the wilderness, most should treat GODZone as an expedition that will provide an unrivalled sense of fulfilment should they complete the course in the time frame allowed.
GZ Pure and GZ Pursuit teams are given a team handbook and maps before the start. As a general rule (though we do like to throw in the odd surprise), GZ Pure teams will receive their maps and handbook approximately 5hrs before they start. GZ Pursuit teams will receive theirs at the same time as the GZ Pure teams but they start 24hrs later – giving them an additional day to consider strategy, route choice and for map preparation. The handbook contains the description of each of the race checkpoints, transition areas, information about mandatory equipment and any cut-off points. To complete the full course of the GZ Pure and GZ Pursuit events teams must navigate through all the checkpoints and arrive at the finish line before the courses close.
It is expected that the winning teams for both GZ Pure and GZ Pursuit will complete the courses in three to four days, with weather and other mitigating factors having some influence on the final outcome. All teams in the GZ Pure event will be permitted up to seven days to complete the course. All teams in the GZ Pursuit event will be permitted up to six days to complete the course. There will be at least one mid-race cut off which will allow the slowest teams on the respective courses to move towards the finish in an accelerated fashion. We are keen to encourage and help as many teams as practical to reach the finish line and at the same time experience the most exciting stages.
Transitions will provide a brief respite for highly competitive teams and a well-earned and welcome break for most. These areas may allow teams the opportunity for shelter, sleep and a chance to stock up on supplies. For the GZ Pure teams, transitions will be very much about self-supported efficiency. They will be responsible for packing all their equipment prior to the race start and will not be able to receive any outside assistance. The GZ Pursuit event is a ‘supported’ race which means each team has a small support crew who will be responsible for the teams equipment transport between stages and also for looking after their team in transition.