GODzone Adventure - Chapter 4

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The Stromlonauts Finish the Short Course

Rob Howard / 04.03.2015See All Event Posts Follow Event
The Stromlonauts
The Stromlonauts / © Rob Howard

The Stromlonauts team from Australia have just crossed the finish line and are among the first short course teams to finish, but they came so close to being on the full course.

“We missed the cut-off by 9 minutes,” said Kieran McDonald, “and should have had plenty of time to get there but a strong head wind made it impossible. Normally we’d have made that paddle in 2.5 hours, but it took us over 4. It felt like we were going nowhere at times.”

Warren Bates then told them Seagate had a tail wind and took 1 hour 50 minutes for the paddle, and it always seems to go that way, the leaders make their own luck.

The team argued to go on, but rules are rules and they had to accept their situation and make the mental readjustment to go on with the short course.

Like everyone else they had their tough times in the weather, particularly on the bike ride over the Pisa Range.  Team captain Kim Gilfillan said to Bates, “You know, your gear list saved our lives. It seemed like a lot to take, but boy did we need it!”

“We camped out several times,” said McDonald, “on the bike ride and the Alpine trek we needed to and it was the best way to rest up.”  Bates nodded in approval and added, “It’s hard to explain to teams why they need so much and we don’t want to preach, but the weather is so variable here and the terrain is unrelenting.  In many other countries and races there are a lot of tracks in the mountains, but it’s not the case here, it’s rough, open and trackless country. The Kiwis are used to it and its one reason they are so hard to beat here, they grow up learning how to move across it quickly.”

The Stromlonauts raced last year in Kaikoura and Gilfillan said, “Yes, we saw that straight away last year. The local teams could move across the rocks so much more easily while we were slipping and setting mini-avalanches off!”

Only two of last year’s team returned to compete this year and for James Kidd it was only his second multi-day race.  “We got together as a team last year at the Wildside race,” he said, “and really clicked together, which is half the battle.”

After a couple of pies each the team headed off in to Wanaka to recover and think about their adventures here, and Gilfillan commented. “The paddle was good in that as it allowed us to see much of the course we’d done in the surrounding area. It was a great way to finish a great race!”

You can follow the race live at http://godzoneadventure.com/ and see more updates and lots of pictures on our Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/SleepMonsters


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