Newsletter 2

100% PURE Racing is proud to present Chapter 6 of GODZone, hosted by stunning Queenstown and the wider Lakes District, in New Zealand. This Newsletter, the second of three to be released in the build up to Chapter 6, is predominantly aimed at race competitors. However, for official volunteers, invited VIPs and accredited media there may be useful information you may appreciate. Newsletter 1 can be found by clicking here. If you or your friends, family or supporters wish to keep up to date with developments then please remember to visit or like our Facebook page. If this Newsletter raises any questions or you are uncertain about any aspect of the event then please feel free to get in touch with us via the following options:

Competitor Enquiries General Event Enquiries
Contact: Keren McSkimming Bennetts Contact: Anna Bastin
Mobile: 029 269 5263 (international +64 29 269 5263) Mobile: 027 441 8004 (international +64 27 441 8004)
Email: Email:
Address: PO Box 1600, Queenstown, New Zealand, 9348 Address: PO Box 1600, Queenstown, New Zealand, 9348

Alternatively you can contact us on our Facebook page or by completing the form on the Contact Us page of this website. It is also worth checking our Frequently Asked Questions page to see if you can find your answer there.

Course Update

You won’t be surprised to hear that course planning and reconnaissance is the most enjoyable part of organising GODZone. We spend many months deliberating over the vast amount of route options and your every potential step is carefully deliberated over. The simple placement of a checkpoint could take many days to discuss as we are always striving to give you the best experience and provide a course with the right balance of adventure, risk and reward.

For 2017, with the benefits of staging the event in the place we call home, we have once again tried to come up with a course that showcases the iconic terrain and unique aspects of the wider region but also takes you somewhere that you will not have considered a possibility or likely have been before. Queenstown itself is famous for its natural beauty and dramatic scenery, and the course should be a scenic stunner with a wonderful mix of terrain types to whet the appetite of even the most seasoned adventure racer. The route is linear and in true GODZone style, there are no cloverleaf stages or senseless out and back legs – a true expedition-style event from start to finish.

The GZ Pure course traverses a distance of approximately 450km with over 10,000m of ascent. The GZ Pursuit course is slightly shorter with approximately 8,000m of ascent. Those who have followed GODZone closely will know that this is quite a bit shorter than in previous chapters. However, do not be deceived by these statistics, the course is very challenging with a substantial amount of elevation gain over demanding terrain. Truth be told, we currently expect finish times to be slightly slower than in Tasman despite the course being nearly 80km shorter.

GZ Pure teams have seven days to complete the full or short course and we expect that most will do so in the time allowed. GZ Pursuit teams will also have seven days to complete their full and short courses. At this time there is one confirmed Dark Zone, due to safety, which, depending on a teams position and timing, may mean camping in a remote location. Depending on circumstances, it is conceivable that your team may be dark zoned for over 10hours – with this in mind in makes sense to have food, clothing, cooker and shelter to cater for such an eventuality – and it might be raining, cold or both.

matakitakiThe water sections will play a significant part in the event and we, as ever, highly recommend that all our participants ‘skill up’ and ensure that they are capable of coping with open water paddling and white water. The course covers sections of open water for both GZ Pure and GZ Pursuit events that may or may not be exposed to wind and waves, depending on conditions. The river canoeing in the inflatables will be up to Grade III. All teams are reminded that we use both double bladed paddles and single bladed paddles – learning how to control an inflatable canoe with the latter is a skill that everyone should acquire, it can make descending rapids a lot less stressful. Teams are also reminded that it is vital that they can secure all items inside their boats when they are paddling, particularly in white water. Safety teams reported a number of ‘jumble sales’ in key rapids on last year’s Matakitaki with equipment going everywhere if a team capsized. Lock it down.

Do not underestimate the need to be able to cope in these types of water conditions. It is highly important that you recognise the hazards and dangers associated with the types of water mentioned above. Portage options always exist in the case of white water but teams need to use their skills and brains when faced with obstacles and not rely on the organisers to tell them when to get in and when to get out. Use your common sense and turn up to the event well prepared. We highly recommend all overseas teams and first time GODZone attendees to pay considerable attention to controlling inflatable canoes with single blades – control and skill is generally more important than speed and strength.

ben-lomondWithout giving too much away (keeping things secret is always a challenge) we urge all teams to consider their bike training in the build up to the event. The course contains a lot of climbing and descending on bikes, sometimes over very technical terrain. Indeed the biking stages could be the most challenging we have ever done at GODZone. Anyone who does not have good bike skills and confidence will take a long time to complete some sections and could hold up their team considerably. Very little of the course, hardly any in fact, is on tarmac with lots of backcountry riding on remote tracks. Be prepared for gruelling climbs, some bike carrying/hiking and nerve twanging descents. With this in mind, pick your bike/tires/brakes/gearing carefully and make sure you have the tools, parts and skills to make on course repairs.

Registration & Race HQ Skyline

We are excited to announce that award winning Skyline Queenstown is on board as our official welcome venue for GODZone Chapter 6.

Skyline Queenstown (right hand map below) will be the location for all Registration, Pre Event administration, Gear Check, and Official Welcome and Race Briefings for both the GZ Pure and GZ Pursuit teams, on Friday 24th of February. It is mandatory that all team members are present for Registration and Race Briefings.

Located just five minute walk from central Queenstown, Skyline Queenstown offers awe-inspiring views over the resort and spectacular Queenstown Bay. It is the gateway to Ben Lomond and multiple mountain biking and walking trails and is a ‘must do’ activity and adventure hub.

Taking the journey on the iconic Gondola up Bob’s Peak you will enjoy thrilling views over the whole area (maybe even spot some of whats to come on the GZ course) as we welcome you to GODZone 2017.

Skyline Queenstown is home to New Zealand’s first-ever Gondola assisted bike lift, providing direct access to Queenstown Bike Park. Here you can ride more with 27 world class mountain biking trails with varying terrain for all abilities. In amongst the pine trees of the Ben Lomond Reserve, Queenstown Bike Park boasts over 30km of tracks and a longest run of 6km. A 450 metre vertical rise via the Skyline Gondola gives riders easy access to one of New Zealand’s best mountain bike parks.

Race HQ, the Event Hub and post race celebrations will be located at Sherwood Community Hotel (left hand map below), situated only a couple of minutes drive from central Queenstown and just 10 minutes from Queenstown Airport. Sherwood is also our preferred accommodation provider. Please refer to Newsletter 1 for all details.

Mandatory Gear

Unlike most other events, we do not have an extensive gear check pre event as we strongly believe that teams should take full responsibility for their equipment and making sure that items are suitable for conditions that may be experienced on the course. However, it is a pre-requisite that you carry the correct Mandatory Gear with you on the course at all times and we may carry out random searches at any time. You are reminded that most ‘retirements’ from expedition races are simply down to fatigue, cold or heat. All of these are easily preventable if you prepare correctly and have the right gear with you. There are no additions or amendments to the Mandatory Gear List from that provided with Newsletter 1.

Mandatory Gear Check

Teams will be asked to bring a few key survival items to Gear Check to make sure they meet the minimum standard required. Only the following items need to be brought to Gear Check – tent, sleeping bags, wetsuits, 360 degree white lights, rope activity equipment – specific details will be listed in Newsletter 3. These will be signed off and the spec/type will be noted down by officials so that teams do not go back to their accommodation and switch items around because they are lighter. We urge all those taking part to make sure that all their equipment is up to scratch. A last minute shopping trip around Queenstown will be good for local retailers but might interrupt your careful preparation.

Bike Boxes

Competitors are reminded that they must bring bike boxes that meet the specifications set out in Newsletter 1. Several good versions are available online, or you can construct your own relatively easily (if you are that way inclined – alternatively, ask someone who is nicely).

Gear Boxes

Each team must provide 4 (yes, four) specific gear boxes for the event. More details about the specific type of boxes are available in Newsletter 1. Details on how these boxes must be used for each discipline and marked up with team information and names will be released in Newsletter 3. Organisers can obtain these on behalf of teams if you choose and have them waiting at Race HQ or Registration at a cost of $65NZD per box. You will need to confirm your order by Thursday 1st December by updating your Team Information which is accessible through the Enter Now page. Payment details will be sent to you upon confirmation of order. Please refer to information in Newsletter 1 about how to update your team details.

Water Bag

As noted in Newsletter 1, the event organisers will provide every GZ Pure team a new and improved version, 200 litre (approx) mesh ‘Water Bag’ in lieu of the 5th gear box requirement(on a loan basis only). This will effectively add 2 gear boxes worth of storage capacity to each team for use on water sections. The mesh bag will be used to store specified paddle gear; wetsuits, pfd’s, throwbags, spray jackets, etc. The Mesh Bags should not be used to transport or store your double bladed kayaking paddles (these should have their own dedicated bag or be tied together in a safe manner – see Mandatory Gear List for more information). The Water Bags will need to be returned to us upon completion of the race and will require a small refundable bond to be lodged at Registration on collection, which will be detailed in Newsletter 3. This gives all teams a considerable increase in their storage capacity for race equipment during GODZone. Teams are permitted to put food in their mesh bags/PFD’s in bags but we recommend that they only use robust or non-perishable items. No fluids, filled bottle, filled bladders, etc are permitted – there is abundant water available at all TA’s for fill ups. Teams will be expected to carry the mesh bag on some or all water stages where it is available so keep this in mind if you want to load it up with food – you will have to carry what you bring.

Bike and Gear Box Weights

All teams will need to deliver their boxes to our logistics crews before the race starts on Saturday (specific details to be provided at a later date). When your team delivers its boxes our logistics crews will, at their own discretion, weigh one of your bike boxes and one of your gear boxes or water bag. If you exceed the stated weight limits below then you will serve a time penalty at some point on the course. There will be no margins of error or tolerances. Weighing scales will be available for testing at the gear drop off area.

Remember, the gear and box bike weight limits are:

  • Bike Box – 25kg (yes, twenty five)
  • Gear Box – 25kg (yes, twenty five)
  • Water Bag – 15kg (yes, fifteen)
Paddles and Paddle Bags

Teams will need to provide their own twin bladed paddles for any kayak stages of the event. These will be transported by the organisers separately from your gear and bike boxes. You can elect to put your cherished paddles in a large bag or simply elect to tie them together. Either way they will need to be marked clearly with your team name and team number. The organisers will take no responsibility for any damage caused in transit so please take this into consideration. All single bladed paddles will be provided by the organisers and teams are not permitted to bring their own.

Spray Decks

The AR Duo’s do NOT have a standard multisport size cockpit – they are larger to allow quick and easy access – and, therefore, you need to check that your existing deck will fit correctly. Teams need to provide 4 spray decks that fit a cockpit sized 84cm x 40cm. As an alternative teams may hire a deck from Event HQ at a cost of $35NZD. To confirm your hire you will need to confirm your order by Friday 27th January 2017 which can be done by updating your Team Information page (see above). Payment details will be sent to you upon confirmation of order.

Inflatable Pumps (GZ Pure teams only)

These will be used by the GZ Pure teams only to inflate the canoes and in case they deflate on your travels. You are required to bring one but two is recommended (they are fragile wee things and tend to disappear off down rapids with wanton abandon when you least want it to happen). We personally prefer the double action hand pump style. Most of these come with a selection of nozzles. The best way to ensure a good fit for the GODZone inflatables is to have a nozzle with a diameter of 15mm (to outside edges) and then build it up with insulation/electrical tape to 17mm. During Race Registration you can then tweak slightly to ensure a snug fit.  The pump model in the picture is a good nozzle design (bottom right of the 4) with a tapered profile that will ensure a good marry up between pump and canoe.

Inflatable Pumps (GZ Pursuit teams)

The organisation will provide all pumps as required so there is no need for GZ Pursuit teams to purchase, borrow or hire these items.

General Housekeeping

Team Details

Once again we’d like to take this opportunity to encourage you to visit your team page on the website to fill in your biographical and team information. You can find instructions of how to access your details in Newsletter 1. We still have a number of teams with undecided names. Get these updated as soon as you can (even if they are subject to change in the lead up to the event) so that we can publish the team list for you and the watching World. Everyone is itching to see who will be gracing the start line and taking on the Adventure Like No Other.


To reiterate Newsletter 1, we strongly urge teams to get your accommodation booked due to the busy time of year.

We advise teams to book pre-race accommodation for the following nights as a basic minimum. This will allow you enough time to complete Registration, Gear Check, etc, before the event starts:

GZ Pure & GZ Pursuit Teams – Thursday 23rd February and Friday 24th February

Teams will have to arrange their accommodation requirements post the event on the basis of how long they think they will take. Note, post event celebrations will take place at our Race HQ and Event Hub Sherwood Community Hotel on Saturday the 4th of March so keep that in mind. Remember that Queenstown and the wider area is one of the most stunning places in the world and a perfect place to rest up and recover after GODZone.

Race Apparel

To ensure you get the correct sized race top please update your Team Information no later than Friday 18th November, yep this Friday (extended deadline) where you can select your size.

Medical Forms

We require all competitors to submit an online medical form. You can access and complete the online form by clicking here. All medical form submissions are required by Friday 27th January 2017.

International Competitors

In follow up to Newsletter 1 , we have not had any expressions of interest for a chartered Queenstown Airport scheduled transfer service to and from your accommodation. As anticipated, it is likely most teams will arrive at varying times and due the close proximity of the airport to our host location would prefer to self manage and get settled in as soon as possible.

However, to assist you with your planning we have spoken with a number of operators at Queenstown Airport who would be able to accommodate a team and all gear.

Super Shuttle and Buckey Track Transport are able to offer exclusive transfers with a luggage trailer to move your bike boxes and gear.

Both operators have advised that a general charge for an exclusive one way transfer (a team of 4) from Queenstown Airport to central Queenstown including all team gear would be approximately $90 (approx $22 -$23 p/person). Cost may vary pending your final destination.

We advise you to pre-book your transfer requirements, specifically asking for an exclusive transfer with bike boxes.The operator will be able to advise you of exact cost and you will need to secure payment directly with them.

For all Queenstown Airport Rental Car and Shuttle Transfer options go to:

Maps and Route Book

Teams will be presented with one set of Route Maps and one Team Route Book. Maps will be pre-printed with control point, transition area and out of bounds information. We highly recommend that teams employ some form of waterproof map covering (such as Fablon/Coverseal) or use map cases. Teams have the option to buy a second set of pre-marked course maps at a cost of $70NZD and a second Team Route Book at cost of $10NZD. If you want to order an extra set of either you will need to update your Team Information no later than Friday 27th January 2017. Payment details will be sent to you upon confirmation of order after deadline. Nearly every team takes up this option as it covers for all manner of hiccups, losses, water damage and of course lets teams put two heads on the maps during the tricky bits.


merrell_orangewhite_stackedMerrell empowers people to challenge themselves in the great outside. Achieve. Never Settle. Hit the Trail. OUTPERFORM. GODZone is delighted to welcome Merrell back in 2017 as official GODZone Apparel & Footwear sponsor. The brand is synonymous with high quality outdoor apparel. In New Zealand there are five concept stores in Christchurch, Queenstown, Takapuna and Howick  (Auckland) combining two of the world leading outdoor lifestyle brands Merrell and Patagonia in one store.

946406_607093149329620_144868299_n1GODZone welcomes Altitude Brewing as the official event beer partner. Conceived over many years by a love of crafting fine ales, Altitude Brewing is led by Queenstown-bred local, Eliott Menzies and Eddie Gapper. The company will be creating a unique ‘GODZone beer’ specifically for the event (watch this space to ‘name the beer and win’) and they are known for crafting honest, flavourful, real beer that’s to be shared and appreciated. Perfect for GODZone.

altitude-beer-imageQueenstown creative agency Swordfox provide impressive tailor-made branding, creative graphic design and online web services, for new and already established reputable businesses. We are delighted to have Georgina, Graham and the Swordfox team on board providing GODZone with creative direction and overview. Watch this space for some exciting creative campaigns to come.

RebelFood are the creators of healthy, rebelraw snacks including the revolutionary Nutribomb product and are the Nutrition sponsors of GODZone. High profile Queenstown adventure racers Lisa Bates, Mark Williams, Baz Smith and Haydn Key raced as the RebelFood team in 2016 and GODZoner’s declared their love of the ‘bombs’ in Tasman. Get ready for more of these delicious snacks at GZ 2017.

rbd-training-camp-em-1Adventure Camp

There are still a few spots left in Braden Currie and Bob McLachlan’s three-day Adventure Training Camp in Wanaka on December 2 to 4. There are full-accommodation and also non-accommodation packages but if you only require help with a single discipline, there is the option to attend just the mountain running or mountain biking or kayaking day sessions only.

Find all the information and book here:

Final Thoughts

Past experience has shown us that it is about this time that one or two teams will have the odd ‘wobble’. The captain will circulate Newsletter 2 and ask how the team’s training and preparation is going. Most will be going great but there will be the person who will admit that training is not quite going as expected or that work/family commitments are looking quite onerous going forward. The fact is most people find it difficult to fit in full time jobs, family, training and at the same time remain vaguely sociable. You are not alone. It is often the case that the best and/or most prolific adventure racers are the ones with the most jam-packed lives and the barriers to taking part are often based on perception rather than reality.

Team captains are advised to keep in touch with team members and ensure that they are motivated and reassured. If a team mate is worried about their ability to compete then perhaps it’s best not to open up the dialogue with a blow by blow account of how the other 3 team members just spent the last week paddling around Stewart Island, doing shuttle runs on the knee deep sand dunes in the evenings just to use up some surplus energy. Do your best to reassure those with doubts and remember that this is a team event. People who begin expedition events at less than 100% fitness often start slowly and finish strongly – that’s the perfect way to conquer GODZone. As an alternative, if you are a GZ Pure team who is unsure about the magnitude of what lies ahead, why not consider moving to the GZ Pursuit course? This will be just as epic, provide an incredible adventure, is a race in it’s own right but will be slightly shorter with the benefits of a support crew.

We often receive calls from individuals (who range from beginner to highly experienced) that are sitting on the sidelines waiting for a spot to appear in a team. If your team suddenly finds itself a person down then do not stress. A willing body will be there ready to take their place if you advertise the fact via our usual social media channels.

It is worth noting that there is nothing wrong with being daunted about what lies ahead. GODZone is the most challenging (but ultimately the most rewarding) endurance event in New Zealand and those who enter with delusions about how tough it is are in for a rude awakening. That said, it is this challenge that elevates you above the norm and your friends, fans and family will rightly elevate you to hero-status for simply having the courage to stand on the start line. You can do it.

Enjoy your training, prepare well as a team and if there is anything we can help you with in the interim, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Oh and remember to get on that bike and ‘skill up’…it could turn terror into euphoria.