GODzone Adventure - Chapter 4

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Seagate Stride On

Rob Howard / 02.03.2015See All Event Posts Follow Event
Seagate start the final bike ride
Seagate start the final bike ride / © Rob Howard

In race which has been hard on the feet Seagate were glad to complete the final trek of the race, arriving at TA7 in the Waikaia Forest after their night time crossing of the Garvie range.

The transition was set up in grassy visitor area near the edge of the forest, a beautiful spot next to a wire bridge, which the team had to cross to complete the trek. The narrow tread and bouncing of the bridge which throws off your stride feels awkward and of the 4 in the team it was Stuart Lynch who looked most uncomfortable.

The team came across one by one, as you are instructed to, and quickly set about their usual slick transition. There is no discussion about who is doing what, or who is carrying what – they all know what needs to be done and not a second is wasted. They did seem a bit confused when offered a hot drink by the transition marshals. Obviously they wanted one but didn’t want to accept help and it was only when the marshal said it was OK and they’d offer all teams the same that they gladly accepted some tea and coffee.

They said it had been a rough night with the heavy rain, but Sophie Hart still had a thought for the other teams. “We felt sorry for those on the bike ride over Pisa in that weather,” she said, “that must have been so cold.”

Although the final trek was now complete, there was still one short foot stage to come – the orienteering stage in the forest. It’s a mature and ancient deciduous forest, full of bird life, and judging by how tame they are there are not too many visitors here. (While standing still waiting for the teams I found I was surrounded by curious birds, some of which hopped to within a few inches.)

The orienteering will test some teams, with a change in scale to a detailed orienteering map with 5m contours and a free route choice on the 17 checkpoints, which are scattered either side of the forest road. Teams can get them in any order they choose, and can even leave their bikes, get some CP’s, then ride up the road a bit before getting some more. However, they must get them all to remain ranked.

It is unlikely Seagate will have any difficulty with one of the county's top orienteers as their navigator and in fine daylight conditions, but others may have a more difficult time.

Once through the orienteering Seagate must then complete the longest ride of the race to get back to Wanaka, before the final paddling stage on Lake Wanaka and the finish.


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