Adventure race GODZone comes to Rotorua in exactly a year, with two-time Olympic canoe slalom champion Mike Dawson set to take on the race.

The nine-day event sold out in just one day in September and ninety teams were lucky enough to gain an official Chapter 9 racing spot, eleven hailing from Rotorua and the surrounding district.

GODZone event director Warren Bates said they were delighted at the continued growth of GODZone, and it was a testament to the popularity of the event being hosted for the first time in the North Island.

"Rotorua has rapidly become one of the coolest and most sought after mountain biking destinations the world over, and we are excited to be showcasing the adventurous terrain."

Tauranga's two-time Olympic canoe slalom champion Mike Dawson. Photo / Supplied
Tauranga's two-time Olympic canoe slalom champion Mike Dawson. Photo / Supplied

One of the more high profile Rotorua GODZone competitors is two-time Olympic canoe slalom champion Mike Dawson, who is entering into the adventure racing scene for the first time in 2020.

The sportsman recently stepped away from a 15-year canoe slalom career that saw him attend 11 world championships, multiple World Cups and two Olympic games.

He follows in the footsteps of other sporting greats such as Richie McCaw and Stefan Terblanche who took on GODZone as they finished their rugby careers.

Richie McCaw (left) and Stefan Terblanche both took on GODZone as they finished their rugby careers. Photo / Supplied
Richie McCaw (left) and Stefan Terblanche both took on GODZone as they finished their rugby careers. Photo / Supplied

Dawson said having the toughest adventure race in his local region was the motivation to enter a team.

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"I didn't know much about GODZone, but with Rotorua announced as the location, I wanted to do it. It's a massive learning curve as we start training, and one of our team members has done it a couple of times before, so that's super helpful."

The GODZone course will be kept under wraps by the organisers until the event gets under way next November.

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