Adventure racer's new meal ticket
Fa'avae teams up with Nelson food firmJAMES GREENLAND
World champion adventure racer Nathan Fa'avae has joined Nelson start-up Absolute Wilderness and plans to promote the company's freeze-dried meals at a new event in Murchison.
The inaugural Absolute Wilderness Adventure Race will be contested between April 25 and 27 on the "Four Rivers Plain" at the confluence of the Buller River and the Matakitaki River, where "the wilderness is quickly accessible and very authentic", Fa'avae said.
"It's easy to get off the beaten track. Participants can expect a very scenic and challenging course that will reward their efforts. Parts of the course are remote and wild; an authentic adventure is guaranteed.
"The South Island is the mecca for adventure racing. No matter where you go, you can design an incredible course through the landscape."
Fa'avae, who with his team Seagate last year won the Eco Motion world adventure race title in Brazil and has competed in more than 70 adventure races in more than 20-different countries, said the entry-level event would cater for anyone with a base of fitness and the desire for challenge.
With the excellent Rollos Adventure Race no longer being run, Nelson was lacking a decent outdoor multi-sport event, Fa'avae said.
"New Zealand is the global leader in the sport but this will only continue with quality events for people to take part in," he said. He hoped this year's race would be the first of many.
Naming sponsor Absolute Wilderness is a Nelson business created by father and son Grant and Andrew MacDonald, which produces freeze-dried adventure meals for easy - just add water - eating in the outdoors.
Fa'avae's first involvement with the company was as a customer, who, along with his race team, has relied solely on Absolute Wilderness meals during several adventures in New Zealand and abroad.
"It just made sense" to buy a one third stake in the business, he said.
"Being a start-up company has appeal, too. I like the energy and dynamic challenge of starting something new. It's probably a reason why I do so many different adventure sports - I like challenge and the journey of improvement.
"It's an exciting space, a product that will enhance people's outdoor experiences. People like good food and there's no reason that can't happen in the wilderness."
Dr Grant MacDonald said the company had received other investment offers, but Fa'avae, with his outdoor credentials, was a perfect fit. "He is the best in the world at what he does, adventure racing through the wilderness," Andrew MacDonald said.
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