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Chapter 10 – Traverse

Event Summary

A huge congratulations to everyone who participated in Chapter 10 of GODZONE. The South Island served up a monster course and mammoth experience. You probably don’t need us to confirm what everybody already knows but, it does merit some form of reminder. This is the toughest adventure race in the world. And this was the toughest Chapter yet. (Did he just say 'yet'?). To simply stand on the start line is a big achievement. To make it to the finish is outstanding. Many an elite athlete and team has tried and failed over the years. There are no ‘gimmies’ at this event and we have never lowered the bar. In fact, the opposite is probably the case. The standard of competitor returning to GODZONE continues to improve and that is super impressive in itself. Whatever your outcome at Chapter 10, be proud and reflect on the positive impact it has had on yourself, your team and all those around you.

We were at pains to try and come up with a course that not only went across the entire South Island but also offered as much variety as possible. There is no doubt that the first 2-3 days were quite attritional for teams with tough terrain, challenging navigation and heavy packs making life difficult. After that, there was still plenty of elevation gain through the Eyre Mountains and Old Woman Range to keep teams hurting and whooping as they made it over the tops. This was not a race for the beginner, but we did see the steady and onward emergence of all the youth talent coming through in expedition racing. They are not quite ready to take the top spot but they are getting closer and closer.


You can check out all the GODZONE photos and videos in our galleries.

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The Teams

Another race, another bloody Covid-impacted Chapter. Still, at least we managed to get the event delivered and our hearts go out to all the amazing event organisers who have had their events abused by this pesky virus. At the beginning things looked unbelievably positive (no pun intended). Over 130 teams entered within 24hrs of the event opening and we were full full full! Then, along came Covid-19 which impacted planning and meant international teams were denied access to NZ. Unfortunately, 40+ teams who had originally entered were unable to make it to the start due to border/travel restrictions and essential workers in NZ losing time off. This meant team numbers once again diminshed but, it was still a sizeable and very strong field of Kiwi teams who took to the start line. The general consensus being that everyone was inspired by the journey concept of going Coast to Coast. Nearly all of the international teams unable to make it into New Zealand elected to roll their entries over to Chapter 11...meaning that will be a large field of racers, again. Hopefully!

Team Name Team Captain Team Member 2 Team Member 3 Team Member 4 Final Results
1. AB Equipment Nigel Kelly Simon Bloomberg Jodi Dobson Brad Wallace Short Course
2. Antiques Roadshow Marc scott Matthew pepper Kim sullivAN Tim lynch Unranked
3. Assegai Morne pienaar Jimmie fourie Danie Leonard Sophie MArsh Short Course
4. Ataraxia x Macpac Matt Jeans Tom REynolds Shaun Palmer Hannah Lowe Full Course
5. AVAYA Nathan Fa'avae Sophie Hart Chris Forne Stu Lynch Full Course
6. BAGS of adventure Brendan kerr Angela burnett GleNn mcleay Sean colyer Short Course
7. BMc Structural Engineers Peter Marriott Clare Wilkinson Jacques Bakkenes Taylor Koens Short Course
8. CIC FINANCIAL Luke nuttall melissa nuttall nathan hay kieran sutherland Retired
9. Comfortably Numb Patrick Foley Annika Grant Daniel Anderson jack foley Unranked
10. Drama LlAma Callum Knox SAM NEWLANDS LAUREN ASSINK JAmie Hareb Short Course
11. Dreamers Chris Brand Sam Scott Mark Tree Katelyn Pascoe Unranked
12. Duck Duck Gooseberries Justus Katzur Emily Hunter Carey Lintott Laura Andrews Short Course
13. eudaimonia Abban Quayle Joseph Rea Mathew Morreau Greta Knarston Full Course
14. FearYouth Zac Pearson Molly Spark Josiah Murphy Fynn Mitchell Unranked
15. Fiordland adrian braaksma sky lovill Crystal Brindle Austin Garden Short Course
16. Frontier Adventure Paul Ayres David GILLESPIE Penzy Dinsdale Felix LEMPRIERE Retired
17. Further Faster Fledglings Will Jones Hayley Richards Nathan Sheppard Oak Jones Full Course
19. Goldpine Go Fence Kieran Hickman JeRemy McKenzie James McCone Sara o’neill Short Course
20. Good Form -- Form Construction QT Alex Nichol Lawrence Simpson Hamish Noton Pete Robinson Retired
21. HAGS (Have a go southland) tHOMAS sLEE lAURA cOCKROFT Thomas anderson ed laver Short Course
22. Heads Left Tails Right ANgus Watson Sam Eames Grace Seeley sam walton Short Course
23. highland events Brandon Purdue Eryn CUTLER Patrick garceau ALI WILSON Full Course
25. Integrity Homes Tony Dodds GeorgIna Thornton Tim Brazier Ash Blackler Unranked
26. iSport Rob Nichol Richie mccaw Tim Sikma JOANNA WILLIAMS Retired
27. Jabberwock Cobus van Zyl Liz McDougall Jason Gradwell Tim Farrant Full Course
28. K Racey Roar Kristoffersen Kevin O'Donnell Karati Metcalfe Ngaire Beckett Retired
29. Kauri Coasters Barry Ruddell Graeme Ewenson Anyika SCotland Callum hill Unranked
30. La Sportiva Adventure RAcing Glenn Campbell Dave O'Carroll Jessica fabian John Jessop Unranked
31. Meridian Brett Horwell Tina Frew Izaak WybourNE Scott Jesen Short Course
32. Mexted Sports turf Jade Lilo Kath Kelly TIaan McKinnel Guy MexteD Retired
33. MitoQ Scott Mcnab Sophie Richards Tessa Aukje Dekker Rob Ward Unranked
34. Nga Rakau lOUISE mARK tIM cOCHRANE aLAN kIRKPATRICK Ross Friedrich Unranked
35. No idea will hand Amy Mannering Ed radcliffe Will Adlam Full Course
36. NUTRIENT RESCUE Dave Keen Cheryl young Dave quested darron jones Full Course
37. NZ Fallen Heroes Trust Logan black Laura Bayfield Kaleisha Jones Cam Howell Unranked
38. NZ Trundlers Craig Cox Alex Head Mark Treadgold Alex Martin Short Course
39. Otago University Quinn Hornblow Blake Hornblow Emma Bateup Nick Pascoe Unranked
40. Out for the view Rob Lei Cam Bennett Dave Blundell rachel smith Retired
41. Pining for the fiords Katy plant Nicola kirkham James kirkham KATHRYN bunckenburg Unranked
42. Pulp Friction Dave COWIE Simon SAUNDERS FLYNN GOODGER CATH WATSON Short Course
43. Rolling in the deep Alex Manktelow Alice West James Bayly Hamish Laing Full Course
45. Sardine Racing BEn Mangan SAM GRUMMITT Rose Pearson Steve Fortune Short Course
46. Team Devold Jamie Mountier Thomas Hughes Laura Pattie James McTavish Short Course
47. team gearshop Dean Velenski Rachel Baker Martin Peat Jamie Russ Full Course
48. TEAM KUMHO Milan Brodina Aaron Lynch ruth cornelius Alex Lark Short Course
49. Team Motueka Brent Steinmetz Tom Spencer Weston Hill Emma Mccosh Full Course
50. Team Turiwhate Katie Smith Aliesha Pile Cameron Rogers Neville Thorne Short Course
51. Team Wool+Aid Thomas Moser Luke Parker Todd Wilkins Charlotte Steele Unranked
52. The Brains Trust Tom Hall Matt Smalberger James Borlase Nicky McCool Unranked
53. the secret billionaires Alastair McDowell Emily Wilson Rhys John TOM HADLEY Full Course
54. The Sneaky Weasel Gang Tane Cambridge Jason Brown Deb Lynch Oliver Thompson Short Course
55. TIKI TOUR Tom Lucas Mike KElly george Lucas Kym Skerman Retired
56. Topsport Simone Maier Sam Manson Hamish Fleming Theo Wordsworth Full Course
58. Turquoise Quackers Alex Wilmshurst Inga Booiman Clare ShepHerd Chris ABel Short Course
59. Twisted Noodles Kyla Jasperse Chris young Byron mann Tim Lester Retired
60. Unfinished Business Steve Mosley Nick Thompson Tom Andersen Penny mouat Unranked
61. VERTIGOATS Nigel Robertson holly weston Michael Mitchell harvey brouard Short Course
62. VICTORY VETS NELSON Brendan Hickman Anthony Oswald Adam Stanyer Tina Moore Retired
63. Wild Dogs Ben Miller Shane Armstrong David milne Ashley Graham Retired
64. WSP Mode Shift Bernie HopkinS rex humpherson elke beca andrew scott Unranked
Team Name Team Captain Team Member 2 Team Member 3 Team Member 4 Final Results
1. #hear4u Amy Spence Pete Blake Shane Clapperton Paul Button Unranked
2. Four Blind Mice David Bennison Genevieve Leech Sarah Helmore Mark De Goldi Unranked
3. Ginger ninjas Brian Wilson Anne Commons Rachel Simons Darryl sutton Unranked
4. jane and the tarzans daniel tingey Guy Wilkins Jane Nicholas Ben Smalberger Short Course
5. Ocula Kristy Jennings Steve grieve Dan Cullen Nick Aubrey Full Course
6. otautahians Jonny brewer KENDRA Roddis JAEGA Nikki Kear Unranked
7. Pau te hau Chelsea Eckersley Jesse offner Levi offner Ivan Robertson Unranked
8. perfect strangers Kirk McDonald Craig Ginders Anita Copplestone Dan Harris Short Course
9. Ragtag tigers Antonia P Yarnton KEL POTTS Dan McPherson eric van den broeke Full Course
10. rapid mushrooms Aaron lowe Andrew Mackenzie simon fox mark kelly Full Course
11. RESOURCEs LIMITED Kane Sanson mike garrett kirsty calman CHRIS SANSON Unranked
12. Skins control freaks Paul Humphreys Aaron ROss David Watt Fiona Shanhun Unranked
13. Southern Shellfish Shannon toheroa Goldsmith sarah salmon jenkins william pumice payne andrew pipi rowden Unranked
14. Team Waterboy Kelsi Parker Andrew Prince Jared Drummond alie henderson-corporaal Short Course
15. TeamTaurus Michael Gillum sam scott brad aldridge MAson Bettridge Unranked
16. The BRAT pack Richard Mackley Toby Wheatley Becky Nixon Andrew Robinson Unranked
17. Where are the bears Michael Lieshout Gerard Lieshout gregory Lieshout theresa knight Unranked
18. You Only Live Once Jeremy Priddy Blair Wolfgram Dale smith Kim Hughes Unranked

The Route

Teams started their Chapter 10 GODZONE adventure on the West Coast and finished on the East Coast, just down from Dunedin. The PURE course was a whopping 710km, with teams navigating, rafting, trekking, mountain biking and kayaking across the spectacular scenery of the South Island in a broadly south easterly direction. There were two different start locations for the PURE and PURSUIT event. The two courses merged after the first third of the race, with both categories broadly completing the same route after this point.

There were 8 significant transition areas, and a small number of remote ones, where teams were not be permitted to see their support crews and be self sufficient. The highlight of the course was the incredible variety of terrain and environments on offer. Teams experienced the rugged West Coast, forested lakes and rivers, rainforest, high alpine passes, glacial rivers, high mountain beach forest, open mountain travel, tussock and grassland, unique wetlands, gorges, sandy beaches and some incredible Kiwi historical infrastructure along the way. Expected winning time for the PURE & PURSUIT event was over 5 days. That's a big race and a fitting scenario for this 10th Anniversary Edition of GODZONE.


GODZONE Chapter 10 - Traverse, was won by team Avaya. The team comprised Nathan Fa'avae, Sophie Hart, Stu Lynch and Chris Forne (his 9th victory in the event). Second place was taken by relative newbies, No Idea, who clearly had a pretty good idea of what they were doing. They are young and raced smart. Could they be the future of the sport at the pointy end? The first 24hrs of the race saw a high number of young teams right at the front of the field but the numbers dwindled as time went on and experience began to count. The time of the youngster is not yet nigh, but it is getting closer. Another relatively young team of Ataraxia Macpac took out third spot and enjoyed a breathless run along the beach to the finish to vanquish rivals, Topsport. The finish percentage in this race was the lowest ever at around 22%. Testament to the difficulty of the course and terrain. Hats off to everyone for giving it a crack.

Another consummate performance by legendary team, Avaya. The winners completed the challenging course in fine style, trotting up the beach into Brighton after an epic journey, completing the course in 153 hours and 55 minutes (yep, it was a long one). We were hoping that teams would be able to go with them through the Cascade and along the West Coast. Unfortunately some leading teams screwed up the navigation around Lake Ellery, before the race was more than about 5 hours old which, left Avaya to disappear off the front and they weren't seen again. Someone, somewhere is one day going to learn that you don't try and out navigate Avaya or 'do your own thing' when there is a far better option available. Stay with Avaya as long as you can, especially in the forest.

Team Name Team Captain Team Member 2 Team Member 3 Team Member 4 Final Results
1. Avaya Chris Forne Nathan Fava'ae Sophie Hart Stu Lynch 05d 23h 55m
2. No Idea Will Hand Amy Mannering Ed Ratcliffe Will Adlam 06d 10h 05m
3. Ataraxia Macpac Tom Reynolds Matt Jeans Shaun Palmer Hannah Lowe 06d 22h 15m
4. Topsport Simone Maier Sam Manson Hamish Fleming Theo Wordsworth 06d 22h 26m
5. The Secret Billionaires Alastair McDowell Emily Wilson Rhys John Tom Hadley 06d 23h 31m

Some have said that the GZ Pursuit, Chapter 10 - Traverse, event was more like a normal Chapter of GODZONE for the Pure teams. True, the event was a lot longer than usual and the finish percentages were reasonably tough on the GZ Pursuit teams. The standout performance was completed by first time Wanaka team, Ocula who managed to complete the full course in 158 hours 30 minutes. Almost 7 days! That's a long time for the winners to take. A very capable performance they could readily step up to the GZ Pure event at future Chapters.

Team Name Team Captain Team Member 2 Team Member 3 Team Member 4 Final Results
1. Ocula Kristy Jennings Steve Grieve Dan Cullen Nick Aubrey 06d 14h 30m
2. Ragtag Tigers Antonia P Yarnton Kel Potts Dan McPherson Erik Van Den Broeke 07d 08h 02m
3. Team Waterboy Kelsi Parker Andrew Prince Jared Drummond Alie Henderson-Corporaal 07d 04h 05m (Short Course)
4. Jane & the Tarzans Daniel Tingay Guy Wilkins Jane Nicholas Ben Smalberger 07d 02h 06m (Short Course)
5. Perfect Strangers Kirk McDonald Craig Ginders Anita Copplestone Dan Harris 07d 03h 06m (Short Course)