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The Queenstown adventure racer is bracing herself for the Godzone course — set by husband, race director Warren.
"I’m sure Warren’s going to send us places you wouldn’t think of going, really off the beaten track," she said.
"I imagine we’re going to be on our feet, out on the open tops. And by the sounds of the biking it’s all going to be pretty hard — so we’re going to be climbing up some big mountains and riding down the other side."
The course, revealed in today’s ODT, takes more than 300 competitors through 410km of wilderness. The "Pure" course has more than 12,000m of ascent.
Lisa Bates’ Rebel Food team is comprised of fellow Queenstowners Hadyn Key and Karl Johnson, and multisport veteran Richard Ussher, whom Bates describes as a "superstar".
Despite their pedigree, Bates says they will not be pushing hard for the front.
"I’m not sure how many other teams will say this but we’re actually there for the ride and the adventure and to have fun.
"So we will probably sleep every night, for two to three hours, depending on where we are and what the weather’s like."
"The top guys will be pushing really hard — barely sleeping and always on the go.
"Whereas we’re going to be looking around, taking in the scenery and not hurting ourselves so much."
Bates is carrying the biggest "niggle" into the race. She had her gall bladder out in mid-December and has been training for only five weeks.
"But I know that I can do it. It’s just the speed I can do it at.
"And I’ve got some really strong guys around me who can carry stuff for me if they need to.
"They’ll look after me."