As endurance athletes were arriving at the finish line of
five separate Motatapu events on Saturday afternoon, athletes
of one other adventure race set out for five days in
Now in its second year, the Godzone adventure race began on
Saturday morning when competitors met at Pinewood Lodge with
no clue of where they would each be for the next five days to
New Zealand's highest mountain, Aoraki/Mt Cook, in the Mt
Cook National Park, was where the adventure race began
One hundred and forty competitors in teams of four set off at
6am having received their course itinerary less than 12 hours
earlier on the bus ride towards the West Coast.
Race directors Adam Fairmaid and Warren Bates said the start
location had the potential to frighten the adventure racing
''How do you cap off last year's Milford Sound start line?
That was the question we kept asking ourselves, and the sheer
magnitude of Mt Cook and the surrounding alpine environment
was the answer.''
The second chapter of the 514km course is expected to take
the lead teams three to four days and the last teams six.
Mr Bates said competitors would paddle among icebergs on the
Moraine Lake then head down challenging whitewater on the
Tasman River to Lake Pukaki and on to Braemar Station where
they will transfer to their bikes.
By last night, some of the lead teams would have been on a
night trek over into the Dingle Burn mountain range in the
The course then leads to Passburn, on the south side of the
Lindis Pass, from where competitors cycle over Mt Grand then
on to Albert Town, near Wanaka, and undertake a kayak leg on
the Clutha River and Lake Dunstan to Lowburn near Cromwell.
Teams will then enter the final stages of the race over the
Pisa Mountain range to the Snowpark Lodge where they will
change to their bikes for a fast leg down to Arrowtown.
Meanwhile, on Saturday, the ninth successful Motatapu Event
was held with over 3700 competitors taking part in five
different disciplines on the course running from Glendhu Bay
Race director Geoff Matthews was pleased with the numbers
participating and said the event was a ''beautiful showcase
of the region'', for those visiting from all over the
''This has got to be the most unique course in the world.''
Mr Matthews said next year would be the 10th anniversary of
the event and it was likely to sell out quickly once entries
opened in late June and July.
The mountain bike race had attracted a record number of
entrants this year and race records were set in the men's
elite and masters categories.