Race to the finish
Monday, 6 March 2017
Three days, 13 hours and 20 minutes of adventure racing on roughly five hours sleep secured the win for veterinarians Anthony Oswald, Brendan Hickman, Adam Stanyer and their team mate Tina Moore (team Virbac Animal Health) at the recent GODZone Pursuit adventure race in Queenstown.
It ended up a tight finish between them and local team Best Foot Forward but they claimed the win with huge smiles, meaning back-to-back first places in the Pursuit category for two of the team members, Anthony Oswald and Brendan Hickman. Team Silky, containing NZVA’s Head of Veterinary Services Callum Irvine, came in third after finishing in second place last year. It’s a huge testament to the nature of veterinarians and their tenacity with four of the 12 people (in three teams) on the podium being veterinarians!
The race is a multi-day, expedition-style adventure race traversing a distance of approximately 400km. Teams navigate, trek, mountain bike, kayak and canoe over a vast array of landscapes. It’s designed to be both technically and physically demanding, and known as one of the most technically demanding adventure races in the world.
Teams are provided with marked maps and handbooks a few hours before the start of the race that provide insight into the challenges ahead. They change from one mode of transportation to another at designated transition areas.
The race was not without its dramas for the winning team with Adam blowing the IT band in his knee during the Stage 9 trek, leaving them feeling less than confident about the final Stage 10 kayak. The team considered calling the rescue helicopter but Adam decided to continue “I had to go to some pretty dark places in my head. But my stubborn determination got me through,” he said.
The team used the race to raise money for Starship Hospital, so far making over $3,500 for the children’s hospital. Find the fundraising page here.