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Timing of Logistics Planner evens the playing field

Friday 3rd March 2017

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By Annabelle Latz
The physical and mental challenge the GODZone course delivers is tremendous, and so is the pre planning.
This year for the first time, the Logistics Planner was given to the teams the week before race day.
Delivered by email, it gave teams a chance to plan what gear boxes needed to be where.
For the past five GODZone events, the Planner has been given out just the day before, often at the same time that the course map is revealed.
Race Director Warren Bates said it benefited the less experienced teams entering GODZone, helping them break down the complications of the logistical demands of adventure racing.
“The Planner is just enough to get organised, but not enough to give too much away,” he said.
Teams who have never done GODZone before may have no idea they need two sets of hiking gear, in fact two sets of a lot of equipment.
“It has reduced the amount of errors on the course this year too, no team has had gear in the wrong place,” said Warren.
The nature of this sport means no systems are set in place; each GODZone venue poses its challenges and advantages in terms of when Planners and maps are revealed.
But Warren is keen to keep this system in place.
“We are trying to grow the sport of adventure racing, so we have to break down the barriers for the inexperienced teams, and create a more level playing field,” he said.
Team Pic’s Peanut Butter (8) was a group of first timers in GODZone this year.
Team member Scott Kearney was thrilled with the race, and said being given the Planner the week before was a huge advantage.
“We didn’t realise we’d need two sets of gear for the hiking and water stages. So getting the Planner a week before meant we had a whole week to get what we needed,” he said.
They broke it down meticulously, and only had to make a couple of tweaks when they were given the map the night before the race.
“It all worked out really well, we put a lot of thought into it and learned a lot about logistics and planning.”
Altitude Brewing (29) appreciated the Planner the week before too, and team member Mark Dewsbery said in hindsight he wished the team had focussed more on it.
He said they probably should have spent more time on this than the map we got the night before, because sometimes the gear boxes didn’t have in them exactly what was needed, for example dry socks.
“By the time day three and four came around we just sort of started stuffing things in boxes!” he said.
Having a small towel at each TA and a pair of camp socks would be something he’d factor in next time, instead of having to walk around with wet and cold feet.
“There are lots of little things to critique as you go along, you can see how the top teams have it down to a fine art,” said Mark.
“And I might bring a louder alarm clock next time too!”
Third place team Swordfox (17) said its delivery was helpful, but would have liked to see estimated leg times, rather than kilometres.
“But it was useful,” said team member Brent Edwards, as it meant when the maps were given out, they already had an idea of what to prepare for.
“It’s really challenging doing everything the night before, so this was one less thing to do. Because the more you can do to make things easier, the more fun the race is,” he said.
Second place Yealands Family Wines (31) enjoyed seeing the Planner being a week before race day. Even the top teams find the final days very stressful, and any measures to ease this is appreciated.
Team member Chris Forne said reading between the lines of the information that was provided did potentially give all teams a slight indication into where they might be going.
With great technology such as Google Maps, he hoped teams still would play within the rules and not seek extra information other than what was at hand.
“But it does allow people to get things a bit more organised, which means less stress the night before the race,” said Chris.
Chapter 6 GODZone champions Tiki Tour (13) did pretty well sticking to their plan from the Planner, and team member Tom Lucas said gathering from that collated information, they’d finish around midday on Tuesday.
“We were pretty much bang on!” said Tom. (Tiki Tour finished at 11.15am that day.)
Tom said it took stress out of the evening before the race, and gave a chance to think about details of how much gear is needed where.
Tom’s advice to the less experienced teams once the Planner is sorted and the map has been given out, is straight forward.
“Don’t over think it, just try and stay relaxed, and take extra food.”