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GODZone 2022
By Christo Peters - Thu 31 Mar 2022 10:27pm
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GODZone 2022

A few insights from many of our orienteers who were participating on what is considered one of the toughest GODZone events.

Craig PelvinGodwits: 
1. How do you prepare for GODZone? Training. As a team all with jobs and families this required a lot of juggling and full team ended up only being a couple of weekends because of everyone’s commitments. The other 3 team members had been together for Godzone in 2021 which was helpful as they had already tested their limits and I had been in a team with Pieter in 2019. Team training is most helpful and it is definitely worth getting in some long days being pushed hard to see how everyone is when they are tired.
Individual general fitness on foot running/hiking and paddling – regular longer and building up towards the event. In reality you fit in what you can, when you can and that has to be enough.
You can’t train for sleep deprivation and you probably won’t sleep well the night before the race so make sure you get some good sleep before that.
Tried and tested gear is best (but not too worn out.) Lightweight vrs durable – I think leg 3 this year tested a few peoples gear to the limit. You have to look after your feet.
Have your food sorted out well – what is light to carry but gives you what you need and you will be able to stomach it after pushing yourself for days on end.

2. What was GODZzone like this year, especially compared to previous years if you have done it before? This year was long and hard. Leg 3 was the make or break leg for many. Long and physically hard with some bush navigation challenges that were particularly hard at night. The consensus of our team and others we talked to was this was the hardest GODZone yet.

3. What would your key advice be for someone wanting to do this event? Be realistic about the time commitment. Even getting to the start line is a major challenge. Especially this year with COVID surging in the community in the weeks before the start.
Find a good team (create one.) A mix of skills and most importantly you can get on with each other when the going gets rough and you are all feeling stretched.

4. What skills and experiences are a must before lining-up for an event like this? This is not a running event (for most people.) Moving on untracked rough terrain carrying a load – at times quite heavy with pack-raft gear. Kayaking/Packrafting skills especially for white water to the grade required – usually at least grade 2. Mountain biking get in some long rides through some rough tracks

5. The contrast between navigation on expedition and adventure races and orienteering is big, but how does your orienteering experience help? I think orienteering gives you a good framework for how to navigate and stick to a bearing. Generally it is best to have lots of different types of navigation experience. It is much more like tramping navigation or rogaining. Quite a lot of the navigation can be at night which is much trickier and I would certainly recommend practicing this. 

6. What do you think is the biggest challenge for these kinds of adventure sports today?  The team aspect is key. If one of your team is struggling then you are all affected. You have to look after the team and the interpersonal dynamics are crucial. A good functioning team is far better than a group of high performing individuals. How do they behave under stress, when sleep deprived and when things go wrong?

7. If you have some comments for future adventure racers, what would help them get underway –  what advice would you give to beginners? Be realistic. But that said if you are willing to put in the training you can definitely do it (though that may not mean long-course and be realistic about that being OK.) Do some smaller events; 24 hour rogaines, some hard multi-day tramping and park-raft tramps. Be sure that you do really like putting yourself through the wringer.

8. What is the next event you are planning / training for? Kaikōura  adventure race – ANZAC weekend, then Queen’s birthday weekend (Controller long)  3 Peaks plus one Ultra – done!

9. Team Godwits members (and their Orienteering club)Godwits
Dave Dixon, Shonagh North, Pieter Brits and me – Craig Pelvin (Dunedin)-. I was chief Navigator with Dave as backup and bike nav.

Carey LintottDuck Duck Gooseberries: 
1. How do you prepare for GODZone?  Our team is from all over the place – Tokoroa, Rotorua, Auckland and myself in Christchurch. Lockdowns really limited our chances for team missions until December, but from then we fitted in a good weekend mission linking up some Rotorua lakes with packrafting, the 24hr Marokopa Munter event (highly recommend), and 2x 5 day adventures – rafting the Clarence, and tramping Dragon’s Teeth in Kahurangi National Park. While not testing us in a “race” situation, these long missions together were excellent for team dynamics and getting to know each other’s strengths, weaknesses and ways of doing things.
This year, Laura and I did quite structured training for Longest Day Coast to Coast, and kind of ran from that straight into GODZone. Very different types of training/conditioning required though – short, fast, light vs. long days, heavy packs, rough travel. The focus on Coast did compromise some aspects of ideal GODZone-type training but got general fitness in a good direction. 
More immediate preparation was trying to be as organised as possible before landing in Wanaka, gear packed, well-slept etc, then a day or so there with the team before rego kicks off. The gear etc feels more self explanatory having done the event a couple of times though, you know what you like to use/don’t, and there’s a lot more flexibility to adjust things as you go with support crew being a key part of the event now. 

2. What was GODZone like this year, especially compared to previous years if you have done it before ? A bit of a game of two halves for us – we were a short coursed team (came out of stage 3 too late). So for us the race had a first part mainly focused around the mammoth stage 3, 4 days for us trekking and paddling from Cascade River through to Glenorchy, that felt like a big remote adventure, then a second half that was relatively speaking short and snappy – more like 6 to 15 hour stages one after the other, in much faster-travel terrain. I did the Fiordland event a few years ago and there were some similar tones to the long, bush stages from that event.

3. What would your key advice be for someone wanting to do this event? Go into it with the mindset that you’re about to have an amazing week of adventure, in some cool parts of the country, with a group of friends you’d love to share that week

4. What skills and experiences are a must before lining-up for an event like this? It’s pretty key to have a reasonable navigator on the team – you’re going so far that you really want to make sure its the right way… and smart route choice is important too. 
Aside from that, long, off track trekking with big packs is something you spend a major portion of the race doing – by time if not by distance, so being comfortable in any terrain and well conditioned for long days on feet goes a very long way to having a successful race. 
Mountain biking and kayaking are the other key disciplines, so knowing your way around these is important too.

5. The contrast between navigation on expedition and adventure races and orienteering is big, but how does your orienteering experience help? I first tried orienteering in my 20s, so definitely haven’t grown up doing it and found it a big learning curve. I’m definitely still learning on the navigation front (both orienteering and topo-map level stuff) but the orienteering events, rogaines etc offered by local clubs are such great learning and practice opportunities and there’s always people around to compare notes with and learn how you could have done something better. Different scales for GODZone for sure but similar strategies still apply

6. What do you think is the biggest challenge for these kinds of adventure sports today? I heard several times that it was great to see so many young kiwis entered in the race this year – there seems to be lots of good momentum and interest in the sport at the moment which is awesome. The momentum relies so much on having cool events to partake in, and there’s been lots of great new events cropping up, but keeping those events going, especially with all the challenges covid has presented lately, is really important. 

7. If you have some comments for future adventure racers, what would help them get underway –  what advice would you give to beginners? Make the most of the opportunities around you to give orienteering and rogaines a go – you learn so much from these types of events. And aside from that just get out with some friends on adventures – get out tramping, mountain biking, kayaking and building confidence in your skills, ability, and judgement.

8. What is the next event you are planning / training for? GODZone was the end of my horizon for now after a very busy summer. A few months of free time now, then there’s a Spring Challenge later in the year, and the team is keen to continue momentum into some of  the 12-24hr events later in the year e.g. Marokopa Munter, Rangitikei, and maybe the new True West 48hr event.  

9. Duck Duck Gooseberrie members (and their Orienteering club):
Carey Lintott (PAPO),  Justus Katzur, Laura Andrews and Emily Hunter (we were a “colts” team – all under 30, and also a bit different as a 3 girl, 1 boy team – a fun dynamic). Navigation was kind of a shared thing, we all know enough to be dangerous but no one was solely in charge – pros and cons…

GODZone 2022
Martin PeatTeam Gearshop: 
1. How do you prepare for GODZone? I had a mixed preparation this year, combining some team weekends in late 2021 with training for and competing in Coast to Coast Longest Day in February. As it turns out, all that cycling was essential for both events. A broken rib and sore knee both settled just in time.
Most of the gear and preparation was done the week before the race. Our team finds that having a day together prior to registration works well for sorting everything out.  

2. What was GODZzone like this year, especially compared to previous years if you have done it before ? Chapter 10 was both epic and brutal. Stage 3 had a huge route choice coupled with full-body bush bashing. The course never let up, each kilometre was hard earned and each stage had new challenges. Yet day after day the body keeps going and settles into a routine. The scenery was fantastic, wild and varied as we traversed across the country. 

We talked through team expectations and were on the same page: stayed friends, finished, full course, raced hard. The “race” part was saved until the last morning paddling to Taieri Mouth and running up the beach. The rest of the event was our team vs the course, survival. GODZone this year was a battle of attrition, looking after your feet and maintaining momentum. It was front loaded with a ton of trekking and most of the mountain biking saved for the second half.

3. What would your key advice be for someone wanting to do this event? Try your hand at some of the 12 and 24hr rogaines and adventure races. They’re a solid introduction but don’t worry the pace is slower in longer events. Our biggest learning over the past few years has been the importance of moving efficiently and purposefully on foot and minimising stopping time.
Look after your feet – gurney goo and foot powder are must haves – if you can’t walk then the race is over.
Invest in a compass that accounts for magnetic declination (and learn what this means) – that’s one less thing to remember while travelling in the dark at 3am. (try the Silva Expedition compass from Gearshop)

4. What skills and experiences are a must before lining-up for an event like this? Check what disciplines are included in the event as this will help guide where to focus your effort. You need to be confident and competent in the outdoors and able to survive in remote places. First and foremost is the adventure aspect.

5. The contrast between navigation on expedition and adventure races and orienteering is big, but how does your orienteering experience help? The navigation tool box is pretty similar – aiming off, attack points, stepping stones, estimating distances, compass bearings. 
One extra tool that adventure racers have is elevation from an altimeter. This lets tells us how high we are and corresponds to the contours on the map. The combination of a compass bearing and elevation is pretty powerful in working out where you are.
I find the biggest challenge is simplifying the terrain enough to match what is shown on a 1:50,000 map. The little squiggles can be quite significant.

6. What do you think is the biggest challenge for these kinds of adventure sports today?  Land access is a continual challenge that we need to keep working on. Both adventure racing and orienteering seek new and exciting terrain. One advantage with orienteering is that we reuse maps and can establish lasting relationships with landowners.

7. If you have some comments for future adventure racers, what would help them get underway –  what advice would you give to beginners? Develop a broad skill set so that you can go into races confident of your technical ability in the various disciplines. Kayaking can be one of the trickier parts but there’s some great whitewater clubs around who run trips and instruction courses. Head out tramping and find some off-track routes to practice.

8. What is the next event you are planning / training for? True West is a new 48 hour event in December that will be epic

9. Team Gearshop members (and their Orienteering club)Dean Velenski, Jamie Russ, Rachel Baker, Martin Peat – navigator (PAPO).

David CowiePulp Friction: 
1. How do you prepare for GODZone?  I prepare by doing a lot base training over months leading up to the event then start ramping it up a couple of months out with some speed work . But generally trying to get out in the hills and do a bit of everything with the odd full day mission every now and then .
I have a XPED 60 ltr pack which is great as I fit everything in it including the pack raft. Training is more specific then over stretching yourself and doing crazy 36 hr no sleep missions . All that does is burn you out for recovery the next few weeks.
Team dynamics are very important -you have to race with people that you like to spend time with and if they’re friend then even better . They know how to read you and can talk frankly to you without being offended. Racing with strangers is fraught with danger and usually ends in tears. We try and sleep 2-3 hrs a night and give our feet the opportunity to dry out during this time .

2. What was GODZone like this year, especially compared to previous years if you have done it before ? This year was really no different to other years I’ve done , it was just a bit longer. It still had crap bush and long MTB rides. There weren’t as many CPs and the nav was fairly straight forward, nothing too technical.

3. What would your key advice be for someone wanting to do this event? I have dozens of tips and advice for people doing this race. Firstly get a good group of team mates around you . All decide what you want to achieve from the race and how you’re going to do it . Then be prepared to work as a team on training efforts getting out as much as you can as a team. Even if it’s only a 2 hr MTB, try and do it as a team. This time together is invaluable.

4. What skills and experiences are a must before lining-up for an event like this? You must be comfortable walking with a pack, so that means training with a loaded pack. You must be able to handle a MTB skill fully down hill.Be steady on your feet going down hill and river beds and be able to keep a constant pace. Be comfortable in white water a grade 2 cert is a must. Be able to self monitor their nutrition and hydration without constant reminding.

5. The contrast between navigation on expedition and adventure races and orienteering is big, but how does your orienteering experience help? Yep obviously the difference in scale from point to point is the biggest thing . But being able to read a map and position yourself  in that map is a big thing. Orienteering has helped looking at hand rails and attack points etc…. when planning routes . what the quickest and easiest(least taxing ) way from A to B….

6. What do you think is the biggest challenge for these kinds of adventure sports today? I think the organisers have a difficult job planning a course that’s challenging enough for the top teams but no going to be unachievable for the lower teams. Keeping things interesting with varied terrain and CPs is one of the best times I’ve had in GZ . Not trying to wrap everyone in cotton wool in a day and age where health and safety is a growing beast must be tough on organisers.

7. If you have some comments for future adventure racers, what would help them get underway –  what advice would you give to beginners? Pretty much as above: Get a team of people whose company you enjoy. Always buy shoes half a size bigger. And your training missions should only be 10- 12 hrs at a time so they don’t wreck you for the next week recovering.

8. What is the next event you are planning / training for? I’m just doing the odd Rogaine and orienteering locally . There’s some MTB racing on the horizon and of course the upcoming ski season is big for me,  so enough to keep me going thru winter

9. #54 Team Pulp Friction members (and their Orienteering club):
I was lead navigator (Southland) , Simon Saunders – Motivator, Cath Watson – was back-up Nav, and Flynn Goodger was our Pack horse.

Tane Cambridge leads his team at GODZone 2022

Tane CambridgeSneaky Weasel Gang: 
1. How do you prepare for GODZone? Ideally you sort out your team first then, do some team training, figure out how everyone operates when tired and stressed and make sure you can work together without hating each other. Time on feet is something that cannot be underestimated, your feet need to be used to carrying weight, while being wet for hours on end. Make sure you have all the gear sorted, purchase anything like new shoes at least 4 weeks before. Start packing and sorting about a week or so before. Get some good nights sleep the couple of weeks beforehand, not necessarily “banking” sleep, just making sure it’s good, solid sleep. Prepare the feet by rubbing in antifungal cream or stuff like Gurney Goo about a week beforehand. One thing you can do is waste a lot of time packing gear, then repacking, then repacking again, so it’s best not to overdo it, and stress too much.

2. What was GODZone like this year, especially compared to previous years if you have done it before ? It was the hardest I have ever done. There was lots of off track travel, which was hard physically and mentally just bashing through the thick bush, then navigating on top of that, it wasn’t too tricky, it just took a long time to get anywhere. So early on in the race there was nothing for free, it wasnt until getting into some of the biking stages you felt like you were making progress across the country.

3. What would your key advice be for someone wanting to do this event? Do shorter race first, 12 or 24hr.  Pick your team wisely, you are going to spend 24/7with them in very close proximity,

4. What skills and experiences are a must before lining-up for an event like this? There are plenty of shorter 6,12,24hr races around you want to do as a warm up, I don’t think its wise to jump straight into a multi-day expedition race with no adventure racing experience at all! And of course you need to be competent and confident with mountain biking, tramping and paddling/packrafting through white water. Also need to be able to cope with being uncomfortable for long periods of time

5. The contrast between navigation on expedition and adventure races and orienteering is big, but how does your orienteering experience help? Your orienteering “toolbox” is key, contains all the tools you need to navigate on topomaps. Also just being aware of your surroundings, and being observant of where you are and what you have pasted are skills that you almost don’t know you are doing that non navigating racers don’t necessarily do.

6. What do you think is the biggest challenge for these kinds of adventure sports today?  The time that it takes up to do it puts people off, they always want to use up all of their holidays to race, which makes it hard to find consistent team mates, also the physical toll long races take and the recovery. Costs is another one, there is not a lot of assistance around, and the costs can be high, the gear, travel, food, accomodation and then the entry fees.

7. If you have some comments for future adventure racers, what would help them get underway –  what advice would you give to beginners? For younger people don’t just rush in, you get better at these races the older you get, so keep the speed while you are young, build up the skills slowly.
For less young people, it’s a project, build up the skills slowly, there are a lot involved and it takes a while to become competent in all of them

8. What is the next event you are planning / training for? Planning out the Kaikoura Adventure Race – it’s going to be good, so get your entry in now.

9. Sneaky Weasel Gangs members (and their Orienteering club):
Tane Cambridge – Navigator (PAPO ), Jason Brown – Backup Navigator (PAPO ), Oliver Thompson and Deb Lynch

Team Avaya - Winners of GODZone 2022
Nathan Fa’avaeTeam Avaya:
1. How do you prepare for GODZone?
I’m active all year around doing various things, over summer I tend to focus on running for orienteering, kayaking and pack rafting, and ocean surfski paddling. In Winter I ski and ski tour, and enjoy a few of the long distance rogaines. Add some mountain biking, kite boarding and tramping trips and my year typically lends itself well to expedition adventure racing. About 6-weeks out from a major event I try and thin down other commitments, and increase my training, and recovery time. I’m tend to do about 20-hours a week, some weeks are less, and some are more. I find multiday tramps the best conditioning, walking for 12-hours a day with wet feet and a heavy pack.

2. What was GODZone like this year, especially compared to previous years if you have done it before ? 2022 was my 7th GODZone. I did the first 4 and then decided to have a break. I did the Fiordland race with my wife Jodie as she was keen to tick it off, and 2021 and 2022 I joined the Avaya team, which is what I consider to be our core team, of Chris Forne, Stu Lynch and Sophie Hart. We have an unbeaten race record which we work hard to maintain.

3. What would your key advice be for someone wanting to do this event? It’s an adventure against the clock and the course, it is not a race. Tramping and nights in the wilderness are the best bang for buck in terms of preparing yourself.

4. What skills and experiences are a must before lining-up for an event like this? Navigation is a large component in GODZone, so at least one person in the team must have map and compass skills. Mountain biking and kayaking skills are needed too. Over and above that, having a functioning team with clear goals is vital. Most teams don’t finish GODZone, and often it’s because the team is dysfunctional. I believe a large reason why our team succeeds is we are all friends, we respect and trust each other, and we don’t want to let each other down.

5. The contrast between navigation on expedition and adventure races and orienteering is big, but how does your orienteering experience help? I think orienteering offers a type of navigation that is unique. Non orienteers tend to use compass bearings and rely on altitude to keep contact with the map, which has many limitations. Orienteers tend to keep much tighter map contact by simply travelling on an orientated map all the time. The ultimate adventure racing navigator can mix large scale topographic map navigation, with finer orienteering techniques, and rogaine skills as well.

6. What do you think is the biggest challenge for these kinds of adventure sports today?  I think one of the barriers for people is the time it takes for these style of events, the travelling, and sometimes the length of the events, either multiday orienteering events, or multiday adventure racing events. But I don’t think the events should change, I think more people need to change, make more effort to work less and enjoy adventures more, it’s a healthier model.  

7. If you have some comments for future adventure racers, what would help them get underway –  what advice would you give to beginners? Build up the skills first. Learn to comfortable in the wilderness, and how to live in the outdoors in all weather, by doing adventure trips. Learn to navigate.

8. What is the next event you are planning / training for? Kaikoura adventure race – ANZAC weekend, then Queen’s Birthday Weekend (Controller long).  
I’m the Event Director for Orienteering Nationals in Easter, then our family is going to Stewart Island for an ambitious 12-day traverse of the Island, from South Cape to Oban, hiking and sea kayaking.

9. Team Avaya members (and their Orienteering club) :
Our team is very lucky to have ‘the navigator’, Chris Forne (PAPO) . Stu Lynch (NWOC) and I are both lead navigators, we have navigated teams to World Championship victories, but Chris is the best, it’s that simple. Sophie Hart (NOC) is loving orienteering too.  Nathan is a member of NOC.

Brendan HickmanTeam Victory Vets: 
1. How do you prepare for GODZone?  Our team has done a few now so we’re all pretty good for the gear side of things, other than the odd WhatsApp chat about some new bit of kit someone has got.
Training as a team is our biggest challenge, as 2 of the team are based in Taihape and 2 in Nelson. We try to do a few races during the year which doubles as a chance to catch up. It also helps lock in training as we’re all super busy with work/kids etc… 
Fear Society put on a great race called WTF (Wilderness Traverse Fiordland) which we try to do each year, as it’s generally quite a tough event so is a good lead up.

2. What was GODZone like this year, especially compared to previous years if you have done it before ? It was brutal due to being long, having to carry heavy packs over challenging terrain for a super long stage 3, and then having time cut offs that meant there wasn’t much space to have things go wrong. Unfortunately for us, one of the team had an ankle swell up badly on stage 7 which resulted in us having to pull out, the first time we haven’t completed full course. A bit frustrating, but that’s racing as a team. On the plus side we had a great time, our team had performed well up until that point, feet were good and we were happy we would’ve easily finished full course without the injury.

3. What would your key advice be for someone wanting to do this event? Don’t stress about being super fit. It’s way more important to get your body used to biking/hiking/paddling for hours on end with the kit you’ll be using in the race.

4. What skills and experiences are a must before lining-up for an event like this? Have team dynamics sorted out so everyone knows how decision making will be done. Then get out as a team and do an overnight training mission with no sleep. There are always teams which have a falling out during a race, so it pays to not be in that boat.
Skills wise, navigation at night is super important. The other point if you’re used to orienteering, is to make sure you get used to the NZ Topo 1:50,000 maps. Navigating on that scale is quite different.
Transitions is a key area where lots of time can be lost – so practice those.

5. The contrast between navigation on expedition and adventure races and orienteering is big, but how does your orienteering experience help? Orienteering helps with being used to looking at a map regularly and always knowing exactly where you are. It also helps to make sure you focus on yourself and ignore other teams.
Anthony and I share the navigation quite well. We take turns on easier sections so the other person gets a break, and both do it on anything more challenging. We have a good relationship and are quite happy to question anything if something doesn’t feel right. It certainly helps when tiredness kicks in. I remember in one race I pulled Anthony up as I’d quickly checked the bearing and was convinced we were heading exactly the wrong way. A 10 second chat later and it was clear I’d made a simple error with the compass and was out by 180 degrees, easy enough to do at 4am! Main thing is we have no ego’s and I hadn’t even hesitated to question something.

6. What do you think is the biggest challenge for these kinds of adventure sports today?  Access to land for organisers is something that worries me. Thankfully it’s great currently, but we all need to be very respectful and thankful to land owners/DOC.

7. If you have some comments for future adventure racers, what would help them get underway –  what advice would you give to beginners? Start with shorter races such as 6-12 hours, and build up to 24 hour races before taking on GodZone. That could easily happen over the course of the year leading up.

8. What is the next event you are planning / training for?
Kaikoura adventure race
Rangitikei adventure race
WTF Nelson edition – Labour weekend

9. Team Victory Vets members (and their Orienteering club):
Brendan Hickman – lead navigator (NOC)
Anthony Oswald – back-up navigator
Adam Stanyer
Tina Moore

Tom ReynoldsAtaraxia X Macpac: 
1. How do you prepare for GODZone?  Tick away at a regular training schedule, something pretty much everyday be it on bike, on foot or in the kayak. I tend to ride much more than the other disciplines. Very unstructured though. It tends to be other races (orienteering, cycling, running) that introduce temporary structure. Closer to an expedition race make sure to get in some long days on foot (tramping is ideal) as well as some bikepacking decent distances and a few longer paddles. This gives a chance to get the body and mind ready for the longer stuff and also to sort out the little stuff like where stuff is on your pack and on bike.

2. What was GODZone like this year, especially compared to previous years if you have done it before ? Definitely the toughest GODZone i’ve done from a duration and physicality perspective. Big stages, some with big packs. We were lucky that the weather generally was pretty benign otherwise it would have been even harder.

3. What would your key advice be for someone wanting to do this event? I think getting out into the hills is the best place to start. It is better to develop some experience outside the context of racing. Try some novel link-up routes in the bush, go exploring on your mountain bike, get packrafting in new places. I’d also get a team together first, the team element of the race is key, you need to have a bunch that you can trust and that are all on the same page about objectives and racing. 

4. What skills and experiences are a must before lining-up for an event like this? Off track navigation on topo maps is key. You should also be comfortable on foot or on your bike for decent non-stop periods of time. I think spending time out in the bush or on your bike at night is really important too.

5. The contrast between navigation on expedition and adventure races and orienteering is big, but how does your orienteering experience help? I think it gives a good foundation for route choice and a navigation overview. There are some limitations though. Some orienteering styles are less favoured to AR navigation. I have found my orienteering technique is largely based on reading map detail with a lesser focus on compass. This style needs some modification to be really useful in adventure racing. Being a really strong, confident compass user is important for AR. 

6. What do you think is the biggest challenge for these kinds of adventure sports today?  AR is about having the full package of skills from technical sport based skills, to endurance/strength/speed and teamwork. It makes is a broad challenge. Orienteering is a little different as it really hones in on a few areas of specialist skill and tests them in a much more focussed way. Navigation sports in general all bring the challenge of combining physical exertion with mental skills.

7. If you have some comments for future adventure racers, what would help them get underway –  what advice would you give to beginners? You don’t have to do GODZone or an expedition! Some of the most fun races around are the shorter 6 and 12 hour races. The Kawerau 6 hour for example is always an epic event. Combine some of these shorter events with some fun missions in the hills with friends, find out who works well together and who is on the same page, get a team rolling and go from there.

8. What is the next event you are planning / training for? The Rangitikei adventure race looks like it is on the cards. Sadly, the orienteering nationals can’t fit into my work schedule, but definitely have an eye for more orienteering later in the year.

9. Team Ataraxia X Macpac members (and Orienteering club)Shaun Palmer – navigator, Tom Reynolds – backup navigator (BOP), Matt Jeans – backup navigator, Hannah Lowe – packhorse. 

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