GodZone adventure racers drained, relieved

BROOKE GARDINER IN QUEENSTOWN
Last updated 05:00 14/03/2013
GODZone winners
BROOKE GARDINER/Fairfax NZ

EXHAUSTIVE EFFORT: Victorious team Seagate (from left) Nathan Fa’avae, Sophie Hart, Chris Forne and Trevor Voyce cross the finish line.

GODZone winners
BROOKE GARDINER/Fairfax NZ
EXHAUSTIVE EFFORT: Victorious team Seagate (from left) Nathan Fa’avae, Sophie Hart, Chris Forne and Trevor Voyce cross the finish line.

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A shower, lots of food and a good night's sleep were top of the wishlist for the winning team leader after his team crossed the finish line of the epic GODZone adventure race yesterday.

Seagate won the gruelling 514km race for the second consecutive year, crossing the finish line at 9.35am yesterday.

Thirty-five teams started the race, which saw finishers traverse the rugged South Island from Mt Cook to Queenstown.

Welcomed home by an enthusiastic crowd of family members and supporters after 75 hours and 35 minutes' racing, Team Seagate's Nathan Fa'avae, Sophie Hart, Chris Forne and Trevor Voyce were all smiles and even managed to lift their bikes in celebration.

Leader Fa'avae said that although they had been confidentof winning in the last 12 to 24 hours, crossing first was a big relief.

"We felt like we were just sort of clawing on to win it, really, and there was great pressure from the teams behind to keep us honest out there."

The course provided a good mix of stunning scenery and challenges, especially the lack of shade in the unrelenting sun.

Fa'avae was happy to hold a glass of bubbles for photos at the finish line but quickly swapped it for apple juice as his thoughts turned to sleep, "getting a bit of fat back on his bones" and cleaning his gear.

"We're pretty tired at the moment because I think we've only had a couple of hours' sleep since the start line but we're looking forward to enjoying the next few days and looking back on what the journey has been."

The race was the first of the year for Team Seagate and once they've had time to recover and reflect, their focus will be on upcoming races in China and Brazil ahead of the all-important adventure racing world championships in Costa Rica in December.

The Harraways Oats-sponsored team of Jess Simson, Aaron Prince, Stu Lynch and Dougal Allan were second in 78 hours and 28 minutes.

THE COURSE

- Climb to the Annette Plateau on Mt Cook before traversing glaciers on way to Lake Tasman

- Paddle across the moraine lake, through white water on the Tasman River to Lake Pukaki

- Bike and trek the way to and over the Dingle Burn mountain range to Passburn on the south side of the Lindis Pass

- Cycle over Mt Grand to Albert Town

- Kayak along the Clutha River and Lake Dunstan to Lowburn

- Climb over the Pisa mountain range to Snow Park Lodge

- Cycle to Queenstown via Arrowtown and the Shotover Canyon Swing

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