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Event review  | World adventure racing champs 2022
By Christo Peters - Wed 2 Nov 2022 11:58pm

We had a quick catch-up with Nathan Fa’avae after the NZ team’s epic winning race in the world adventure racing champs in Paraguay. It was a hard win but Chris Forne’s night navigation was the clincher and pulled them into front position.  

Overall the biggest highlight from the ARWC race was ? When I look back on the race one of things that stands out for me is how our team overcame adversities, we had a few curve balls that could have rattled us but we were able to neutralise their impacts by positive mindsets and an unwillingness to give up. Chris’s navigation was incredible, especially at night. His ability to interpret the maps, which were mainly aerial images overlaid with contour lines, was artistry. No other navigators in the race could move with the speed he could.  

You were pretty pleased with a win on the world adventure racing stage at the age of 50. What is next, do you think you will do another? Or will you choose something less challenging ? Our team is at somewhat of a nexus. I’m 50, while Chris, Stu and Sophie all have young families. Finding the time to train, travel, and stay healthy is more difficult for them. We’re also mindful of the impacts that long haul flights have on the environment, so we’re more careful about how much we travel. I think it’s fair to say we are looking ahead just one race at a time. We’re likely to line up for GODZone in February. We’ll see how we scrub up after that and if we wish to do anymore expedition length races in 2023. I’ve said it before, but I really am getting towards the end of my time in the sport, racing at that level. There’s many things I really enjoy about it, but I can’t keep competing at that level for much longer. There’s lots of adventures – non racing – that I’m keen to do, with family, friends or solo trips. I want to spend more time in Fiordland, tramping, pack rafting, and sea kayaking. I chase the snow in the winter also, skiing and touring, so I have no problem filling my spare time with activity. 

What is your next big personal ambition? Right now, my main focus is our freeze dried food company, Real Meals, that’s a project that we’re building, we have a strong team and it’s lots of fun. 

Is your newest event True West modelled or influenced by another event you have seen? I have always felt New Zealand needed a 48-hour race, there has been a big gap between day races and GODZone, so I wanted to offer something in between, or at least another step up. I’ve always believed the West Coast is under utilised for adventure racing as the terrain there is world class, so it’s exciting to have that event happening. Whenever I design a course, my goal is always to create a route and challenge that I would be happy to race. True West achieves this, if I turned up as participant for the event, I’d be thrilled with the course. 

If you could leave a legacy for others who want to follow into adventure sports – what would it be ? For me it’s all about the lifestyle. Adventure racing, mountain biking, orienteering, rogaining, paddling, tramping, whatever adventure sports people do, the commonality is that there is a connection with nature. People spend time outside, doing healthy activity and movement. The communities are also like-minded people which is important too. But I think the value of spending time in the outdoors and in nature is really important, the world we live in is in a period of unprecedented change and pace, time in the wilderness I believe is a valuable reset button and can keep life in perspective.  

📷: Official WARC: Fabrique Blanco Read Nathan’s full race report from the ARWC in Paraguay on Sportzhub:

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