As we write this, members of Merrell’s Alpha Pack are on a plane heading to the Southern Hemisphere to take part in GODZone: a multi-day, multi-discipline non-stop expedition adventure race in New Zealand. We’ll be getting pictures and updates from our Alphas as they make their way across the route which traverses a distance of over 300 miles.
The actual route won’t be revealed until the last few hours before the event starts, but competitors are given advanced warning of the kind of terrain they’ll be facing, so that they can prepare the right gear and food before they set off. Those last few hours can be used for last minute planning of the best route to take, and where and when to eat, rest and sleep.
What we do know is that this year’s event is around Kaikoura, on the east coast of the South Island of New Zealand. The nearby ocean not only offers a stunning backdrop to the feat of endurance, but also really pushes the sense of exploration and adventure. The dry, exposed terrain and limestone leads to steep sided gullies and gorges which makes careful navigation vital to success.
The race is a multi-discipline affair, with athletes expected not just to navigate the map, but to be proficient in trekking, mountain biking, kayaking, canoeing and fixed ropes. Although participants have seven days to complete the course, history tells us that the winners will most likely take between three and four days to make it through.
Look out for a profile of our athletes heading out there for Team Merrell later in the week, and we’ll be posting updates from our Alphas on the trail as they come in! Good luck guys! To give you an idea of the beautiful sights that await them, check out the video below.