GZ Life

About GODZone

We saw it as the ultimate team challenge. It's an amazing event and an incredible experience.

- Craig Cook (Oakura)

"GODZone is an epic adventure with the best of friends. In the space of a week everything changes. You'll finish the race and never be able to look at the World with the same set of eyes again."

- Tim Farrant (Christchurch)

GODZone is an annual, multi-day, non-stop, expedition-style adventure race held in New Zealand each year. The event is the largest expedition-length adventure race in the world and widely regarded as the best. Registration for the 2019 event opens to teams of four on the 1st of July 2018 with entry secured by submitting the online entry form located on the Enter Now page. Entries to GODZone are limited and a team entry can’t be guaranteed.

The next installment of GODZone will be known as Chapter 8 – Canterbury. The event will be hosted by ChristchurchNZ and the wider Canterbury district, which is located centrally in the South Island of New Zealand. The host venue will be the stunning, coastal town of Akaroa, located on the Banks Peninsula. Whilst GODZone is a race, it is also a journey and adventure, with teams traversing some of New Zealand’s most stunning landscapes with a logical pathway from start to finish.

Chapter 8 – Canterbury is made up of three categories, or sub events, running under the GODZone banner: – GZ PureGZ Pursuit, and GZ Prime. The GZ Pure and GZ Prime events run for 7 days and teams will be ‘unsupported’. This means GZ Pure and GZ Prime teams do not require a support crew with organisers moving all equipment and gear boxes around the course as necessary. The GZ Pursuit event runs for 7 days but teams will be ‘supported’. This means that GZ Pursuit teams need to provide a support crew. Details about support crew requirements will be released in the Newsletters. In all three sub events, kayaks, canoes and certain other key items of equipment will be provided by the organisers.

What’s Involved?

Teams will navigate, trek, mountain bike, kayak, canoe and raft over a vast array of different landscapes. Other disciplines may be included at the discretion of the organisers – teams may or may not be notified of these disciplines before the event starts. GODZone will test the mental and physical skills of participants as well as other factors such as team work and emotional stress. The route will be highly demanding both technically and physically, testing teams in many different ways.  Those taking part in the event should not underestimate the importance of being well prepared for travel in very remote locations and a high degree of outdoor competency is a pre-requisite of entry. GODZone in New Zealand represents the pinnacle of adventure racing challenges, is the most technically demanding adventure race in the world and individuals who intend to take part in the event should prepare accordingly. The general format of GODZone is set out below:

  • Teams receive a logistics planner approximately 1 week before the race starts
  • The planner gives teams the opportunity to pack their boxes with food and supplies whilst keeping the actual course secret
  • Teams are provided with marked maps and a team handbook approximately 6-12hrs before the race starts
  • Once the race starts, teams must pass through a series of mandatory checkpoints along the course
  • To finish ranked, teams must visit all mandatory checkpoints on the course (this is important…we don’t allow teams to opt out of checkpoints and take a time penalty – that simply diminishes the achievements of those competing)
  • In most instances the route between mandatory checkpoints is optional which allows for significant navigational challenges
  • The entire course is generally broken up into 8-15 stages depending on host location and terrain
  • Stages may contain more than one discipline – e.g., trekking and fixed ropes
  • Competitors change stages, from one mode of transportation to another, at designated transition areas (known in adventure racing as a “TA”)
  • TA’s and some checkpoints are staffed with race officials and medical personnel, as well as volunteers from around the world
  • One of the unique aspects of GODZone and expedition-length adventure races is that the maps and course remain secret to all teams until just before the start

Teams taking on GODZone are expected to travel day and night. Decisions to rest and sleep are left solely to the discretion of the teams themselves. It is anticipated that the winning teams for the GZ Pure, GZ Pursuit and GZ Prime events at Chapter 8 – Canterbury will take approximately 3-4 days to finish. Teams may be allowed to take as many as 7 days to complete the GZ Pure, GZ Pursuit and GZ Prime events. All three events will have at least one mid-race cut off which will shorten the route to ensure that all teams reach the finish line in the time allowed. All courses close for competitors on Sunday 17th of March 2019.