Wanaka’s toughest take on GODZone

Photo: Breast cancer survivor Frankie, pictured, joins fellow cancer survivors Deanne Blegg, Shanel Murray and Lesa Muir to tackle the world’s largest expedition race. Supplied

Some of Wanaka’s toughest are taking part in GODZone Chapter 7, which kicked off in Fiordland on Thursday, March 1.

The town’s teams, which include Lake Hawea lady Frankie Sanders’ NZHL Women Beyond Cancer and regular returners Kai Whakapai Wanaka/Altitude Brewing, will begin the extended ten-day adventure race alongside 390 fellow competitors this morning.

Breast cancer survivor Frankie, pictured, joins fellow cancer survivors Deanne Blegg, Shanel Murray and Lesa Muir to tackle the world’s largest expedition race with the goal of inspiring others.

“We will enter into a journey across Fiordland National Park together, not just for ourselves, but to inspire others to get back out there, to move forward and to go beyond cancer,” Frankie said.

“Our actual GODZone team consists of our friends and family and our fellow cancer survivors, all of whom we will be feeling the power from in our race, all of whom to some extent will be out there with us.”

Shonagh North, Mark Cockroft and Julian Holmes of Team Kai Whakapai/Altitude Brewing will return for another year with new team member Franck Bocamy of Racer’s Edge.

Shonagh said that after training and preparing for the race the team was looking forward to getting started.

“We just want to get out there now. The goal is to do the best we can, we reckon we’re very capable. We just need to look after each other out there and stay well and healthy. We’re just seeing it as a big holiday,” Shonagh said.

“It’s too epic an opportunity to miss. There’ll be tough times but we’ll find some golden moments in there that will make it all worthwhile.”

Joining them for the ten-day stint of pack-rafting, orienteering, mountain biking, kayaking, trekking and canoeing across Fiordland will be fellow Wanaka teams Torpedo 7, Bivouac Inov 8, Nothing Ventured and Out There Doing It.

Cover photo:  Photo: Breast cancer survivor Frankie, pictured, joins fellow cancer survivors Deanne Blegg, Shanel Murray and Lesa Muir to tackle the world’s largest expedition race. Supplied

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