Although relatively new to the scene the GODZone has already built up a fierce reputation for itself. Here’s the lowdown on it

GODZone is a seven-day, non-stop, adventure race, held annually between February and April in New Zealand. It’s the biggest event of its kind in the world.

“After only five editions, it’s a relatively new player to the AR scene,” says 50 Races To Do Before You Die author Tobias Mews, who’s completed the race. “But as it’s located in the home of adventure racing, New Zealand, it’s possibly the best race out there. Although I was no stranger to multi-day endurance events, this was my first expedition-length adventure race and it blew everything out of the water. Imagine doing the Norseman, followed by the UTMB, followed by the Cape Epic, the Devizes to Westminster and then the Lavaredo Ultra Trail – all in the same week? That’s pretty much how it felt. Brutal. But although I found it bloody tough, it’s definitely one of the most rewarding race experiences I’ve ever had.”

What makes GODZone such a tough race? “The back-country terrain, the length of the race and the wild challenges,” says Warren Bates, adventure racer and GODZone race director. “However, teams make it tough for themselves! The leaders want to succeed, go very hard and don’t sleep, often for days on end. The mid-pack teams go slower and have more rest, meaning they are out in the wilds for up to seven days and they get worn down, mentally and physically. It’s debilitating. Teams at the back meanwhile usually know after a couple of days that they aren’t going to make it to the finish in time and have to mentally carry that knowledge with them over every mountain.”

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“You may be wondering if you have it in you to complete something as demanding as GODZone,” says Warren. “We don’t know if you do. But we do know that spending years wondering about it will prove nothing – and you’ll miss out on a truly unique experience. We can’t claim you’ll sprint through the finish tape carrying your three wrecked teammates, kiss your biceps and salute the cheering crowd who are spellbound by your awesomeness. But if you do take the plunge, we have no doubt you’ll become utterly immersed in adventure racing. You’ll seek out new pastures, you’ll develop friendships, connect with the great outdoors and learn and polish the skills required to spend time in the wild.”

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