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MATES in Construction are proud to be a part of the Good Mates Adventure Racing Team, who will take their first strides towards completing GodZone | Chapter 11, a gruelling 578km course today!

While the team of four – consisting of Tessa Aukje Dekker, Ian Walsh, Josh Gordon and Luke Carroll – are firmly focused on the challenges that lie ahead, Good Mates Adventure Racing are delighted to help promote better mental health and suicide awareness.

“While we’re outdoor lovers, builders, bankers and crusty multisporters, we all have a conviction to better mental health and suicide awareness, having been touched by this personally.

“MATES do amazing mahi in an industry that sadly has the highest rates of suicide in New Zealand.”

The Godzone Adventure Race is an endurance event with up to 7 days and nights of trekking, navigating, packrafting and mountain-biking. The team are set to be tested on several fronts, combining the disciplines of packrafting, mountain-biking, kayaking and trekking.

There are 12 stages and 11 transitions. While the expected winning times are 4-5 days, the teams have 8 days to complete the event if they are to go home with a Full Course sticker.

“Good Mates Adventure Racing are all about making hard things in life a little easier. Yes, we know, kind of ironic for a team taking on GodZone.”

Another challenge the team faces is the unknown, with the handing out of maps coming just hours before the event gets underway.

Ian Walsh, who has five GodZones under his belt and is the fearless leader of Good Mates Adventure Racing, knows what it means to rely on your Mates while competing.

“In a team of four we keep each other going with minimal sleep and a reasonable degree of discomfort. It is an environment where everyone suffers at some stage but then there are also amazing ‘highs’ as we see mountain tops at sunrise and sunset, amazing river gorges and placid lakes seldom visited by others.

“It seems to mirror a year of normal living but packed into a seven-day period. Needless to say, you get to know your teammates very well.”

Set to make his first GodZone appearance, Luke Carroll is excited to do his part to break the stigma around mental health and suicide.

“All I want is to see the conversation be a normal one when it comes to mental health and suicide. No holding the cards close, a conversation where we are all happy or yarn about our troubles and challenges openly so we can better help each other.”


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