2016 Absolute Wilderness Adventure Race

Being held in the Hanmer Region in North Canterbury, on March 4th-6th.
We hope you’ve had a wicked time preparing for the event, some fun adventures out and about, doing things you would only do when you’ve committed to an event like this!
We’ve had a fun task and an adventure designing the race, with the main course designers Mark Rayward and Dan Moore scouting and probing into landscapes and areas events have not previously used. They’ve been extremely happy with the routes, the navigation surprises and the places teams will journey to and explore.


As most of you all probably know North Canterbury is experiencing drought conditions and if the event is lucky, or unlucky – depending on what you like, it could be intensely hot, there is little shaded areas where the event will take place, so lots of sun protection and fluid hydration will be essential.

The event itself will be staged no further than 30-minutes from Hanmer Springs, we are suggesting teams stay in Hanmer itself, but be prepared to drive to the start and finish areas from the town. It is an easy event logistically for support crews to cover, but make sure your support crew is briefed on having sun protection, shade and plenty of water.
Early March in the mountains can also produce bitterly cold southerlies and snow, so prepare for everything and hope for the best, usual story.

The event is sponsored by Absolute Wilderness Freeze Dry meals and torpedo7.
If you haven’t already tried the latest meal on the market, the mocha rice pudding is jam packed with AR essentials, carbs, protein, sugar and coffee!

We’d be happy too if you got your bike a race tune before the event, drop it into a T7 store and let them polish it up ready for action.

When we set out to design the 2016 event the goal was to create the best one-day adventure race course there has been. Some people commented that the 2015 was exactly that so the challenge has been to improve on that.
If it’s not … we’ll eat our hats!
Dan, Mark & Nathan


The event registration will be at Lochiel Station Woolshed.
Driving from CHCH – it is 600m past the Hanmer Springs turnoff on your left.
Driving from Nelson / West Coast regions, it is 600m before the Hanmer Springs turn off on your right.
USE Extreme Caution entering and exiting the Station as it is State Highway and 100km/ph zone.

The race has the 3, 6 and 12-hour options for 3-person teams, standard for the event.
Special for this year is the 4-person GODZone team category doing a variation of the 12-hour event, these teams are in a separate category as they do a different course that involves canoeing, where GODZone are supplying the canoes in an effort to provide the opportunity for teams to practice their canoeing skills.

    junior men and junior mixed (Under 55 total team age)
    open men and open mixed category (56-119 total team age)
    veteran men and veteran mixed category (120+ total team age)
    4-person Godzone team

GODZone Teams
It is optional what you wear for the canoeing but if it’s a cold day it’d be wise to wear a wetsuit.
You will need to provide your own PFD and whitewater helmet for the canoe stage.
(The rafting Life Jackets are provided and bike helmets are acceptable for the rafting stage).
Canoes paddles will be provided.
We recommend teams carry repair patches (Tear-Aid) and a pump.
The Canoes can be inflated by your support crew, pumps will be provided for this.

Maps / Course Notes
You will receive this information an hour before briefing if you wish. Maps will be waterproof.

Tee shirts
Everyone who entered in 2015 will receive an event tee shirt. We have a good range of sizes but it is limited, so allocation will be on a first in best dressed system. 

There will be a good hearty breakfast served on Sunday morning before the awards, it’ll be awesome so try and arrive hungry! Any teams wishing for their support crew to join them for breakfast you can book and pay for extra tickets at registration, $25.00.

Support Crews
Each team needs a support crew to move their gear around and re-supply. The logistics and driving is minimal so the crews have no stress being on time. We suggest support cars have a full tank of fuel all the same, and be self sufficient for the day, water, food, shelter, coffee etc. There are not any stores close to the event routes. We ask support crews to be mindful of their movements during the day and keeping themselves and others safe. In the past, we’ve witnessed some dangerous driving and parking with crews trying to photograph and watch teams.

The region has a few spiky prickly nasty things. We suggest some form of gaitors for hiking stages and tubeless tyres for mountain biking with a fresh glug of stans glue.

Friday 4th:
3:00 – 5:00pm

    Collect Event Pack / Try on a Tee
    Event Booklet
    Race Bibs
    Final check of your team details
    Sign Waiver

5:00 – 6:00pm
Maps & Course Details
Collect maps and race notes before the Event Briefings. This is so you can read the notes and look at your maps prior to briefing which allows more time to digest the information.
6:00pm – 7:00pm
Event Briefing
One member of your team must come to the briefing but we strongly suggest the whole team, we can explain further details if needed and answer any questions. It’s a good idea to have one support crew member attend also.

Saturday 5th
The start line is 30-minutes drive from Hanmer Township.
6:15am – Start 1: 12-hour & GODZone (could be delayed a short time until enough daylight) – you’ll need a torch pre race but won’t require them for the rafting)
9:15am – Start 2: 3 & 6-hour
Note: (subject to change depending on how many teams in each category)

Sunday 6th:
9:00am – 10:00am Breakfast (at the finish line)
10:00am – 11:00am Awards

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