Taranaki team take up GODzone Challenge

Published August 19, 2013

Local adventure racer Craig Cook will embark on his biggest challenge  when he and his team mates (Team 221) take on the GODzone Adventure Race in March next year.

The GODzone Adventure Race will be held in the South Island starting in Kaikoura and travelling over 500 kilometres of mountains, rivers and valleys.  Four person teams have to complete the race within four to seven days with everyone crossing the finish line.  One team member has to be a female. Team 221 (221 represents the combined age of the team members) comprises Craig, John Wilmshurst, John Reumers and Alison Russell. Craig is the youngest member at 50 years of age.

Craig thinks they will be the oldest team competing and possibly the only team competing from Taranaki so they want to fly the regions’ flag proudly and also show that middle age is no barrier to fitness.

Team 221 needs your help!  The event is mentally and physically exhausting and so are the expenses. If any local businesses see this as an opportunity to promote their business and the region through sponsorship, Craig would love your help.  Naming rights for the team is up for grabs and sponsorship of equipment and clothing is all possible.

GODzone Adventure Race is a worldwide phenomenon with millions of people following the event online. Only 35 teams compete. The South Island scenery makes for spectacular video coverage. 2014 will be the third year the event has been held in New Zealand and is the first leg of the Adventure Racing World Series.

The GODzone Adventure Race is a natural progression for Craig and his team mates – they have been entering events collectively for years so now it’s time for the big one! They really enjoy the team aspect of the race and over the four or five days that the race will take, they will all go through huge highs and lows and it’s during the lows that the team spirit kicks in and they all help each other through those tough times. Craig says they think they have the right mix of team attributes and believe their unit is tight and will work well together. Alison is the driving force and motivator, John Reumers is the pack horse and will just go and go while John Wilmshurst and Craig will plan and navigate.

The course is not known before the race with only minimal information given out for competitors to pack the right gear and food. They are given the course at the start line so no home town advantage. Course disciplines include planning, navigation, kayaking, canoeing, trekking and mountain biking.  The teams usually average about two hours sleep a night so endurance and mental toughness are key.

Craig is keen to promote the ideal of keeping fit and can be enjoyable at any age or stage of life and he goes on to say that while most people won’t aspire to adventure racing, anything is possible if you put your mind to it.

Go the oldies!

If you can help Craig and his team out please contact him at 752 1230 – 027 164 7779 or email joandcookie@xtra.co.nz.

TOM will keep regular updates posted online and in the magazine.


Rafting the Rangitikei during the East – West crossing of the North Island. Craig and John Reumers are in the front while Ali is in the back. John Wilmshurst was in another raft.