Exploring the wilderness – at pace


A new Queenstown-based team competing in this week’s GODZone adventure race in Canterbury is confident of giving it a good crack.

As Highland Events, locals Brandon Purdue, Eryn Cutler and Patrick Garceau, joined by Tauranga’s Ali Wilson, set off from Akaroa last Sunday on the prologue to the non-stop, five-to-seven-day race.

It features running, mountain biking, trekking, packrafting, kayaking and coasteering, with a good dose of navigation skills also being required.

Sixty-three four-person teams have entered, with Highland Events tackling the unsupported, full-length `Pure’ event over about 600 kilometres.

Purdue, who raced in the past three GODZones, says he and his local teammates have competed in different teams.

”I guess we’ve always found as individuals we felt we could race a lot faster than we what we had achieved previously.”

He says the team’s had a good build-up, placing in five adventure races over last year and this year.

These include events organised by their Central Otago-based sponsor, Highland Events.

”When you’re surrounded by mountains, lakes and rivers in Central Otago, there’s always a new adventure to go on.”

Asked to explain GODZone’s attraction, Purdue says: “We just love the adventure.

”It’s pretty cool coming together as a team and going out there and just exploring the wilderness of New Zealand.”

As of Tuesday afternoon, Perpetual Guardians, led by Queenstown Chris Forne, were leading GODZone and Highland Events were seventh.