Active Tonic Ltd, a subsidiary of 100% Pure Racing – organizers of the GODZone adventure race – bought the five-stage event from founder Geoff Hunt, who had run it since 1994, in 2019.
However, the last two attempts to make it work have been sabotaged by Covid.
Near-perfect conditions greeted the nearly 500 competitors in Queenstown on Saturday, many of whom had trained over the past two years with the intention of competing in the event.
Starting at The Remarkables ski area, teams and individuals first rode a 2km course on skis or snowboard through Curvey Basin, ending at the base building, before a 17km mountain bike leg from The Remarkables to Frankton Beach.
From there, kayakers faced a 7km paddle – facing headwinds – to Queenstown Bay, after which there was a 9km run from central Queenstown to Arthurs Point.
The last leg was a challenging 9km bike ride from Arthurs Point to Coronet Peak Base Building.
The first at home in the men’s open category was Rainer Pye with a time of 2h 24min 3sec, followed by Jake Jackson-Grammer (2:27:11) and Samuel Newlands (2:31:41).
Rebecca Kingsford won the women’s open category (2:40:41), with Katherine Reardon in second (2:47:30) and Emily Wilson in third (2:49:18).
In the team event, Eat a Pie, Become a Better Person won the open men’s section in 2:11:08, Alpine Health and Fitness won the open women’s category in 2:30:39 and Tahuna A won the mixed business teams (2:08:25).
Warwick Tuffnell and Nigel Robertson won the men’s tandem team (2:51:59), and Zara and Siena Mackley won the women’s tandem team (3:19:13).
The ironically named Never Come First duo of Hazel Bowering-Scott and Matt Cowen ended up coming first in the mixed tandem team in 3:16:04.