Over 70 teams teams of four are set to compete in this year’s GODZone expedition adventure race after tickets sold out last month within 90 minutes.
Unprecedented interest in the Southern Hemispheres leading adventure event has been welcomed by the organizers and Race Director Warren Bates says the attraction of racing around the scenic Tasman District have proven to be a winning formula.
“There is tangible excitement amongst our competitors and taking GODZone to Tasman, with the beachside location of Kaiteriteri as host town, has ensured we are receiving a lot of world wide attention already,” says Bates.
“ Selling out 70 team spots in 90 minutes was truly exceptional, beyond even our ambitious expectations, and this will allow GODZone to set a number of new, important, milestones.”
GODZone will get underway in the Tasman area at the top of the South Island next year from April 2 – 9. It will be the largest expedition race ever hosted in New Zealand and is now the largest expedition race in the world by some margin.
Bates says its heartening to see the sport of adventure racing return to a participation level not seen since Eco Challenge days back in the early 2000’s.
“ Not since the heyday of Eco Challenge has an expedition event sold out so quickly and attracted so much attention. We are still receiving enquiries from teams around the world who want to find a spot on the team roster which we are endeavouring to work through.”
Interest has been high in a new supported racing category introduced this year, the GODZone Pursuit, which will bring new players to the adventure racing scene.
“ We have successfully launched our supported format event, GZ Pursuit, which will enable even more competitors to take on the ultimate expedition adventure race. It’s a concept we believe will unlock a lot of potential adventure racers who have so far wondered whether they have it in them to complete a GODZone Chapter.”
Countries represented include the UK, Japan, USA, Canada, South Africa, Brazil, Sweden, along with a particularly strong showing from Australia.
“ It’s a fantastic mix of teams,” says Bates. “ A strong showing from overseas with 25% of entries from international teams. As USA journalist, Randy Erickson, said recently in an online interview, “When you ask any international racer which race do you want to go to, they always say “GODZone”.
“Perhaps one of the most exciting developments going on with teams at the moment is the effective trading and swapping of team mates as they look to shore up the strongest competitors for their team of four. Whilst this can lead to some interesting discussions and dynamics at a personal level, it is indicative of a healthy sport and is testament to how much it means to some to do well at GODZone. “