Chapter 9

Course Details

"I would say, just do it. Put your hand up and say your keen to take on something that is bigger than anything you have ever done. You will experience things that very few ever get the chance to experience. The GODZone crew are amazing from start to finish and you will leave feeling like part of the GODZone family."

- Frank Young (Hukunui, New Zealand)

One of the unique attributes of GODZone is the fact that the specific details of the course and maps remain secret until a few hours before the event starts. GZ Pure and GZ Prime competitors are provided with a logistics planner approximately a week before the start which allows teams to organise their gear and food into some kind of order. GZ Pursuit competitors also get a logistics planner to help their support crews prepare for the event. The pre-race logistics planner outlines the broad lay out of the course – individual stage disciplines, distances, and any key gear or box movements that the teams need to prepare for – which allows teams to get gear into decent order without giving the exact route away. A more detailed logistics planner is provided with course maps and team handbook which outlines, in great detail, the full course, related logistics and expected timing.

In some Chapters of GODZone teams have had a few hours with their maps and access to some or all gear and bike boxes before the start. In other Chapters teams have had to hand in their gear and bike boxes before they get their maps – it all depends on the location and resources available. Teams should be prepared for both outcomes but we will let you know as soon as we can. Well, as soon as we think it’s appropriate!

A GODZone course will generally be linear in the sense that the route will not normally involve looping back to the same point or visiting a location more than once. The GODZone philosophy is to make the course feel like a logical and inspiring journey for teams from start to finish. Whilst some teams will ‘race’ their way through the wilderness, most should treat GODZone as an expedition that provides an unrivaled sense of fulfillment should teams complete the course in the time frame allowed. It really is an Adventure Like No Other.

GZ Pure, GZ Pursuit and GZ Prime teams are given a team handbook and two sets of maps before the start. As a general rule (though there has been no set format in previous Chapters), GZ Pure teams will receive their maps and handbook a few hours before they start. GZ Pursuit and GZ Prime teams may receive their team handbook and maps earlier than GZ Pure teams if time for map preparation is limited – giving those teams additional time to consider strategy, route choice and aid map preparation. The handbook contains the description of each race checkpoint, transition areas, information about mandatory equipment and any cut-off points. To complete the full course of the GZ Pure, GZ Pursuit and GZ Prime events, teams must navigate through all the checkpoints and arrive at the finish line before any short course cut offs come into play and the course closes.

It is expected that the winning teams for both GZ Pure, GZ Pursuit and GZ Prime will complete the courses in approximately 4-5 days, with weather and other mitigating factors having some influence on the final outcome. All teams in the GZ Pure, GZ Pursuit and GZ Prime events will be permitted up to 8 and a half days to complete the course. There will be at least one mid-race cut off which will allow the slower teams on the respective courses to move towards the finish in an accelerated fashion. GODZone encourages and helps as many teams as practical to reach the finish line and at the same time experience the most exciting stages.

Transitions are areas where teams change from one discipline to another. They 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 and GZ Prime teams, transitions are very much about self-supported efficiency. GZ Pure and GZ Prime teams are responsible for packing all equipment prior to the race start and do not receive any outside assistance once the event has started. The GZ Pursuit event is a ‘supported’ race which means each team has a small support crew who are responsible for the teams equipment transport between stages and for looking after their team in transition.