Gerald Holden's team second in GODZone adventure pursuit

SIX days, four hours and 21 minutes after starting the GODZone adventure race through Fiordland, Gisborne man Gerald Holden’s Lincoln Reunion team crossed the finish line in second place yesterday.

They surpassed all their expectations for the Pursuit race of GODZone, which requires teams of four to kayak, mountainbike, trek, raft and climb their way through hundreds of kilometres of unforgiving terrain to the finish at Te Anau.

Captain Holden’s team goals had been to finish the race within seven days and to place in the top five.

They achieved both, having earlier led the race, to place second behind Team Turiwhate, who completed the race in five days, 16 hours and 40 minutes.

The third-placed team were two hours behind 41-year-old Holden’s crew.

Holden has a background in the sport that includes major multisport races the Coast to Coast, the Lake to Lighthouse and the Length of New Zealand race.

Three other athletes with connections to this region competed on the longer 600km Godzone Pure course, considered the world’s most technically-challenging expedition race.

These teams are generally more experienced at expedition racing and have to operate without support crews as opposed to the Pursuit teams.

Wairoa's Sam Manson was in the fifth placed team Torpedo 7

Wairoa’s Sam Manson, now of Christchurch, has an accomplished record as a multisport athlete. He is a member of Torpedo 7, who finished fifth in the Pure race, completing the journey in six days, eight hours, three minutes.

Anthony Oswald, a multisport athlete when he worked in Gisborne as a vet in the early 2000s, is a member of Virbac Animal Health, a team holding 15th position as of this morning.

Former Gisborne doctor and multisporter Jeremy Webber is a member of the all-medical team Pat Farry Trust. They continued to race after their female team member had to pull out injured.

They are among a group of similarly unranked teams completing the course but not qualifying for a placing.

SIX days, four hours and 21 minutes after starting the GODZone adventure race through Fiordland, Gisborne man Gerald Holden’s Lincoln Reunion team crossed the finish line in second place yesterday.

They surpassed all their expectations for the Pursuit race of GODZone, which requires teams of four to kayak, mountainbike, trek, raft and climb their way through hundreds of kilometres of unforgiving terrain to the finish at Te Anau.

Captain Holden’s team goals had been to finish the race within seven days and to place in the top five.

They achieved both, having earlier led the race, to place second behind Team Turiwhate, who completed the race in five days, 16 hours and 40 minutes.

The third-placed team were two hours behind 41-year-old Holden’s crew.

Holden has a background in the sport that includes major multisport races the Coast to Coast, the Lake to Lighthouse and the Length of New Zealand race.

Three other athletes with connections to this region competed on the longer 600km Godzone Pure course, considered the world’s most technically-challenging expedition race.

These teams are generally more experienced at expedition racing and have to operate without support crews as opposed to the Pursuit teams.

Wairoa's Sam Manson was in the fifth placed team Torpedo 7

Wairoa’s Sam Manson, now of Christchurch, has an accomplished record as a multisport athlete. He is a member of Torpedo 7, who finished fifth in the Pure race, completing the journey in six days, eight hours, three minutes.

Anthony Oswald, a multisport athlete when he worked in Gisborne as a vet in the early 2000s, is a member of Virbac Animal Health, a team holding 15th position as of this morning.

Former Gisborne doctor and multisporter Jeremy Webber is a member of the all-medical team Pat Farry Trust. They continued to race after their female team member had to pull out injured.

They are among a group of similarly unranked teams completing the course but not qualifying for a placing.

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