GODzone Adventure - Chapter 4

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Keep on Moving

Rob Howard / 01.03.2015See All Event Posts Follow Event
Team Super subs
Team Super subs / © Rob Howard

The back marking teams in Godzone Adventure are making their way back to Wanaka, the slowest of the field still completing the Albert Burn trek and a few on Matukituki Paddle or the coasteering/swim.

There was some drama today when the race sent a helicopter to look for 3 teams who had taken a major route deviation below the Albert Burn Saddle. These were teams 22, 33 and 55 and they were well off course in poor weather at high elevation with the weather worsening. Race Director Adam Fairmaid flew in to give them the bad news and ask if they wanted a lift to be put back on course ... which of course meant being unranked.

He said the teams were cold and shocked at what they’d done and both teams 33 and 55 took the option to get into the helicopter, but team 22 said they didn’t want any help and would retrace their route, continuing as a ranked team. This is team Fit for Life, lead by John Hensen, and they are the only team in the race to include 3 women. “Fair play to them,” Fairmaid said, “it was a gutsy decision and would have been so easy to get in that helicopter.

Through the night Fairmaid had been managing the swimming stage at the end of the coasteering section on Lake Wanaka. “It did get quite windy for a while,” he said, “and that made conditions a bit marginal so we took the teams packs for a while. It meant we could keep the stage open right through the night. We don’t really like Dark Zones or stages which are on/off. Some of the teams were complaining about the swim, but we aim to push them towards the boundaries of what they feel comfortable with and this stage did that. Even Seagate were not comfortable and it was kind of nice to see that!”

While we were talking, more dripping wet teams walked along the beach into transition and I found the Supersubs team I’d spoken to before the start. None of them knew each other before the race and when I saw Mike Raid again he shouted, “We are still going!”

At the time his team had just come out of the water and Deklan Hodsell was extremely cold and shivering badly. The team went into the shelter of the bushes, got some clothes on him and decided to heat up a hot meal to help him recover there and then, rather than walk 500m to the transition.

“Things are going pretty well,” said Raid. “We’ve had some problems of course. I didn’t sleep the first night and was hanging off the back yesterday, but felt much better after sleeping last night. We are aiming to sleep a few hours each night and the marshals say we are in better shape than many of the teams ahead of us.  We’re sticking to our plan and getting on O.K.”

Soon after the Pat Farry Trust came out of the water and one of their racers too was very cold. He tried to walk around to the transition but had to stop half way and put on some dry clothes. At this stage many of the teams were both very cold and very footsore, and looking forward to getting on to their bikes for the first time.

Unfortunately a Southerly weather system is already blowing in, so they are likely to get wet again on the bike ride, which goes to a very high elevation on the Pisa range. So another tough night lies ahead for the teams.

You can follow the race live at http://godzoneadventure.com


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