Marlborough to host next chapter of the iconic One NZ GODZONE

Thursday 1 June 2023, 11:11AM

By 100% PURE Racing


Team Rab Wahine at GZ Chapter 11
Team Rab Wahine at GZ Chapter 11 Credit: 100% PURE Racing


Marlborough’s richly distinctive landscapes and adventurous locations will form the backdrop for the world’s largest expedition race as the host location for One NZ GODZONE Chapter 12.

One NZ GODZONE announced today that Marlborough District Council has successfully bid for the rights to host New Zealand's most iconic adventure race next year, with race dates set for 29th February – 8th March 2024.

Marlborough Mayor Nadine Taylor says hosting the prestigious outdoor event that brings plenty of regional economic and promotional benefits is an honour.

“We’re excited and really looking forward to hosting competitors and supporters to the One NZ GODZONE next year.”

“GODZONE competitors will have a once-in-a-lifetime experience amongst our amazing mountains, rivers, lakes and coastline. The people of Marlborough are great hosts and the GODZONE competitors and visitors will be well looked after. I am sure they will also enjoy some well-deserved post-race relaxation here in Marlborough as New Zealand’s premier wine region too.”

One NZ GODZONE consistently attracts the world's best adventure racers to compete alongside a large contingent of Kiwi and Aussie competitors. Event director Warren Bates says Marlborough is a thrilling new South Island location for competitors.

“Marlborough offers more than just incredible sunshine hours with all the ingredients for a visually stunning GODZONE chapter. We are eager to visit this region of New Zealand for the first time and expect teams to be similarly pumped.”

“There are big mountains, wild rivers, endless forests and a stunning coastline that could take a lifetime to explore. Marlborough’s dynamic terrain offers a breathtakingly beautiful adventure experience while delivering the ultimate team challenge.”

The gruelling non-stop multiday One NZ GODZONE pitches teams of four against each other as they navigate their own route across an unrelenting course that includes disciplines such as mountain biking, trekking, packrafting, ropes and coasteering.

“We won’t leave any adventure options unexplored as Marlborough is a gilt-edged opportunity to experience big country and get lost in remote locations,” says Bates. “The course will be large with supersized mountain biking and paddling sections compared to the last chapter held in Fiordland. The course distance will be north of 600km, and we anticipate the fastest team will take 4 - 5 days, with all competitors given eight and a half days to complete the full course.”

“While we can't give too much away, we can say that the paddling is more technical than Chapter 11, there will be some interesting strategic decisions to make (packrafting around the Sounds will provide limitless choices in places), and the start and finish lines are two different locations creating a proper linear journey.”

Bates says there is a significant rise in younger adventure racers stepping up to One NZ GODZONE, with the return of internationals and a record number of Pursuit (shorter course) teams.

“A new generation of adventure racers is upon us, which is heartening. They’ve watched, they've cut their teeth on races around the country, and now decided to step up and give GODZONE a crack. Marlborough will be an exciting proposition for new and experienced teams alike.”

Marlborough District Council regional events advisor Samantha Young says it’s exciting for the region to welcome the unique event next year with plenty on offer for all those involved.

“Adventurers young and old are spoilt for choice here in Marlborough with stunning landscapes, beautiful vistas and spectacular natural backgrounds with a great choice of outdoor activities including hiking, sea kayaking, sailing, mountain biking, rafting, scenic flights, fishing, diving and so much more.”

“Marlborough is famous for its unique proposition of offering something for everyone, and we hope competitors, support crews, staff, volunteers and media alike will have the chance to immerse themselves in the vast array of attractions and activities the region offers. That includes enjoying a taste of what it's like to 'live' Marlborough - from the wonderful arts, heritage and culture, stunning Marlborough Sounds to the delicious gourmet cuisine and award-winning cellar doors.”


Quick Facts

What: One NZ GODZONE Chapter 12

When: 29th February – 8th March 2024

Entries: open 1st July 2023

Where: Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand  / Welcome & Registration Host

Course: The course route remains a secret until the event starts