Team Merrell Tackles GODZone Adventure Race With Stefan Terblanche

Yentl Barros |


Image By Liza May Images

Former Springbok rugby great Stefan Terblanche is set to tackle the world’s largest expedition adventure event as he races GODZone in New Zealand from 1st March 2018 with Team Merrell, South Africa’s premier Adventure Racing team.

While Merrell is used to racing for the podium, they pulled in the formidable rugby icon, now aged 42, to ‘have a bit of fun’ with the event as, amongst the 100 competing teams is another rugby legend, Kiwi Richie McCaw.

“Life after rugby is a lot longer than life in it” says Stefan who has never let his fitness drop, completing the Absa Cape Epic, Ironman 70,3, Sani2Sea and summiting Mount Kilimanjaro. “I still love pushing my body. Once it’s gone to that tired, dark place once you’re never going to be afraid to go there again.”

GODZone however, takes sport and endurance to a very different level.

“This is a 450km multi-discipline race that will have us racing virtually non-stop, out there for seven days, unsupported, up and over the snow-capped mountains of the Southern Alps in Fiordland, carrying inflatable packrafts so we can paddle across glacier carved lakes and ocean flooded valleys. We’ll be wet and cold; mountain biking, trekking, climbing and kayaking across areas considered inaccessible. It will be spectacularly beautiful but it’s raw, unedited, hardcore adventure.” Says team captain Graham Bird. “Stefan has the right attitude, he knows what it takes to compete at a top level and the hard work it takes to get there and stay there. But this is going to be tough!”

Fellow Merrell teammates Grant Ross and Jane Swarbreck will help guide Stefan through the rigours of relentless racing using their combined extensive experience in similar terrain and events, and he will rely heavily on this and overall, a good sense of humour.

“I have learned in professional sport that one must never be too proud to let your teammates help you; you will be strong and weak at different times and you will need one another to get through it together.”

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