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Chapter 12

GZ Pure Event

"It is simply the race of the year if you love expedition races. It traverses the stunning terrain of the South Island. Regardless of where you finish you get treated like a champion by the people following Live Coverage and the organisers. Being part of a team with a common goal I believe you can achieve so much more than you ever imagined possible. GODZONE regained my mind and showed that you can do anything with belief."

- Sia Svendsen (Christchurch)


GZ Pure is the ultimate expedition adventure racing experience with teams travelling between 500 and 700km across New Zealand’s wilderness for up to 8 and a half days. GZ Pure represents the most technically challenging adventure race in the world and teams should prepare accordingly. Places for GZ Pure are limited and the event is expected to sell out. All teams should consider carefully whether they have the requisite skills, physical and mental strength to complete the GZ Pure event given the technical difficulty and course length. For teams or competitors uncertain about their ability, or those who have not done a race of this length or magnitude before, the advice is to do the GZ Pursuit event. This event has all the challenges, strategy, thrill of racing hard in the wilderness, but is more achievable, particularly for first timers.

Expedition races are not all created equal. Overseas or international teams who have completed other events away from New Zealand should take the GZ Pure event extremely seriously. It will be much harder, from a technical perspective. Get the skills.


COURSE DISTANCE: Approximately 550km
RACE DATE: Friday 1st March – Friday 8th March 2024
EXPECTED WINNING TIME: Approximately 5 Days
MAXIMUM TEAM NUMBER: Strictly limited – Be warned, these will go fast
TEAM FORMAT: Teams of 4. Teams must contain one female to be ranked. All male teams permitted but will not be ranked
SUPPORT CREWS: Required (‘Supported’ – please see below for details)
DIFFICULTY RATING: Extreme (train and plan accordingly)
ENTRY PRICE: $8,800 (Early Entry Discount) – $9,400 (Payment Plan Entry) – $9,800 (Standard Entry) – $10,800 (Late Entry)
TROPHY CATEGORIES: Overall, International, Colt
EXPEDITION RACING WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS The winning team will be crowned the Expedition Racing World Champions. Teams must contain at least one female and complete the full course in the time allowed to qualify for prizes. The 1st placed team will win the GODZONE trophy.
INTERNATIONAL TROPHY Teams must contain at least one female and complete the full course in the time allowed to qualify for prizes. All team members must have an overseas passport, be full time domiciled and resident overseas to qualify as an international team. The 1st placed international team will win the GZ International Trophy.
COLT TROPHY Teams must contain at least one female and complete the full course in the time allowed to qualify for prizes. The team must have a cumulative age of 110 years or less to qualify as a Colt team (at the time of the race start). The 1st placed colt team will win the GZ Colt Trophy.

What’s involved?

GZ Pure is designed to give teams the ultimate adventure racing experience. The course is set up to test the full range of skills of participants. A high level of proficiency, competence and fitness is required to successfully negotiate the course in its entirety. For example, decisions on whether to negotiate higher grade rapids or to paddle at night may be left for the teams to decide. Checkpoints will be placed in positions that will create difficult navigation and route decisions. There may be additional challenges (such as orienteering) that are set at an elite level to ensure the event provides a good challenge to both brains and brawn. As a general rule, teams will only receive key course information (maps and route handbook) a few hours before the start. Teams will receive a logistics planner one week before the race starts so that they can pre-organise their equipment.

Each team is required to provide a support crew. You are welcome to bring more supporters but only your official support crew will be able to assist you in key transition areas. This restriction is to keep things fair, to help create a level playing field and also to ensure that we can fit everyone into what can sometimes be limited space at transition areas. You will also need to provide a vehicle to transport your support crew and certain equipment around the course. Vehicle advice and restrictions will be provided in the Newsletters. Support crew will, in general, be required to transport gear and bikes of their team. The organisers will, in general, transport other key equipment items such as kayaks for each team. Canoes will sometimes need to be carried by support crews. Exceptions to these general rules may exist where transition areas have limited access, etc. Support crews will be a vital component of planning, preparation and ensuring that teams begin each stage with the correct mandatory equipment and enough food and water.

It is anticipated that the winning teams for GZ Pure will take approximately 5 days to finish. Teams may be allowed to take as many as 8 and a half days to complete the GZ Pure course and there will be at least one mid-race cut off that will shorten the route to ensure that teams reach the finish line in the time allowed. GZ Pure is the ultimate event at the Adventure Like No Other. For all teams that have not done an expedition race before and who are keen to take on GODZONE we highly recommend that you elect to do either the GZ Pursuit event first before diving straight into GZ Pure – it’s a lot harder than you imagine. If you believe you have the requisite skills, experience, determination and desire then please Enter Now.