Godzone starts on Sunday morning, and while I, Chelsey am not racing, I am excited (and lets be honest -slightly jealous) to follow the teams dot this time around!
Last year Godzone stated that it was going to be the hardest, longest most wild race in it's history thus far. And while I haven't done all of the Godzones, it sure did feel very long and wild. This year, they are saying it may be the fastest and most furious race of all the Godzones as there are loads of amazing teams and because of how they designed the course.
We don't know all of the details yet, but in true Godzone fashion, a few days ago they released the logistic planner that shows how long each stage is projected to take, how many kms as well as the elevation drop and gain.
by the looks of it, it is a race is that is in our teams favor. There are 5 paddling legs, with 4 of them being packrafting. Our team is known for our packrafting skills, so that is a major bonus for us. It also has a ton of biking in it, which is also a strong suit for us. But again, anything can happen, which is what is so fun about this sport.
Between chasing our curious and crazy 2 year old around and making sure I stay sane by going on adventures myself, I had a quick minute to catch up with Jason. Below is a little q and a.
C: What you are guys most excited about?
J: Packrafting! There is alot of packrafting stages, 4 which is awesome for us as that is where we make up the most time and have the most fun.
We are also, just in general stoked about the how much paddling there is in this race: 5 distinct paddling legs. Paddling historically speaking has been a discipline that has been overlooked in AR, I am excited to see it coming back, as it is something our team has been putting a lot of focus on for the past many years.
C: Mari had a shoulder injury last year in Godzone that inhibited her paddling- how is she feeling about all the paddling this year?
J: Oh she is stoked, her shoulder is feeling really strong, and she is looking fierce. I am honestly a little nervous to race with her...
( "Oh stop it" - I can hear Mari saying in the background)
C: Yeah, I would be too! Any team injuries this year?
J: Yes, Bend had a massive snow storm last week, and Stephen threw out his back shoveling multiple feet of snow. It happened a few days ago though, and he says he is feeling better and better. He's also still young, so I doubt he will even notice it.
As for me, I always have something going on. Last week Dan and I decided to go out on a big training mission down in Fjordland. Coming off of that, I noticed a big hematoma on my knee. It has also been getting better and better with each day- thanks to the Marc Pro, PT and loads of water!
C: Are you at all nervous about it?
J: Nah, I have been through much worse, and I have three amazing team mates who I know will help me out if I need it. Besides, I am the navigator, so they can't go to far.
But really, I think we are going to be fine. This is going to be a very fast race. It will be over before we all know it.
C: What is your race strategy?
J: Well, we don't really have one yet, as we are still waiting for more information. There is a weird sounding start where we race 8-12 hours and then sleep? I don't know if that will even matter or factor in to anything, so we will just have to wait and see what we find out.
All in all though, we have the same race goal as always: Race strong, smart and have as much fun as possible.
C: What are you excited about gear and food wise?
J: We are all very excited about the peanut butter (cookers) jars that we discovered in Patagonia thanks to Lars!
We are also extremely excited about our new race boats- The Alpacka Gnu Race boat- as we played a big role in helping to design them. The big guys are stoked about not having to kneel any more.
Hyperlite Jackets and Packs- These things have been with us through so many races, and are the lightest things ever.
The Good to Go meals- they will be really good at the dark zone!
Leki Poles: Always excited about having the lightest, fastest and easiest poles to use out there, especially in these NZ technical mountains!
Outbound Lighting: Dan can't stop talking about these new bike lights of his, so I am curious to see how they perform.
Panda Gear Bike bags: These things saved my butt literally in Patagonia- So I am really looking forward to not having everything on my back.
Switchback Pads from Nemo: These things were again another Patagonia Race saver- they are extremely light comfy and fit great in our hyperlite and Z packs.
C: Alright babe- Max is up, got to run!!!