GO-4-12 Youth Adventure Race

The 14th Annual GO-4-12 Youth Adventure Race is set to be raced in the Tutira District of Hawke’s Bay in April 2019. The race is coordinated on behalf of the New Zealand Secondary Schools Sports Council and Multisport NZ by David Tait who created the event in 2006.  Record numbers are expected to take part in event that will challenge and grow the participants as they make their way around the mystery course.

The GO-4-12 Youth Adventure Race is structured to allow for the widest range of youth to participate with the 3 Hour designed to be completed by any youth of any fitness from Year 7 to Year 10, The 6 Hour event is open to youth from Year 9 and is more of a challenge, but it is still very achievable by most due to the points-based design. The 12 Hour event is structured so the top teams are pushed to their limit and novice teams are able to complete the course within the limitations of their experience. The activities that competitors will face include mountain biking, kayaking, river crossing, running, abseiling, orienteering and other mystery activities (these activities in the past have included archery, plate decorating, sheep drafting, high ropes, egg carrying, cairn building, candle lantern construction and many more). In the 6-hour and 12-Hour sections Teams of four compete in the following categories: Boys / Girls / Mixed, in the 3 Explorer event teams will be made up of two youth aged from year 7 to Year 10 and it is a great taster event.

The event is so much more than just a race and has had 9-time Coast to Coast champion Steve Gurney as a guest speaker at Prize Giving and he was involved during the event with the activities the competitors had to complete. The event has also had Cory Hutchings who is a former world surf lifesaving Ironman and held the New Zealand Ironman title for more than a decade speak at the at the prize giving and was an inspiration to all. It is planned that this year’s speaker will be Brando Yelavichwho who will tell tales of life his wild adventures and challenging expeditions.

The 2019 12-Hour event will also be live on the internet via the TrackMe tracking software, enabling New Zealand and the World to follow teams as they make their way through the Course Map. The event’s slogan is ‘Explore, Grow, Challenge’ and there are many stories over the years about the positive effect of the race.

We caught up with Nicole Symons who competed in the first race and through to 2009 when she left school. This is what Nicole wrote about the event:

“I am so pleased to see that the GO-4-12 Event is still running in 2018, Dave and Tanya do a fantastic job of it every time. I raced this event from 2006-2009 during high school and it positively impacted me in ways that I am only now starting to realize as an adult and a secondary school teacher. GO-4-12 taught me about my strengths and weakness as an individual and it began the journey of developing my communication, leadership, teamwork and decision-making skills. I highly recommend that any adventurous kids give this event a go as the skills learnt from not only the event itself but from the training and planning leading up to the event are invaluable. It has provided me with lifelong friends and perseverance, the knowledge that things that are hard and not only ok, but they are usually worth doing. For me it has not just about the race, GO-4-12 has been the catalysts for all of this and ultimately a lifelong love affair with the outdoors. After having a number of years off from racing, last year the opportunity to race GODZone presented itself to me and it was too tempting to pass up. From GO-4-12 to GODZone, the journey is only just beginning.” – Nicole Symons


The 2019 race will be held on the weekend of 12th April in Hawkes Bay from Guthrie Smith Education Centre where the 12 Hour competitors will stay overnight on Friday night and start racing at 6 am on Saturday morning.  The 3-Hour and 6-Hour Events will start at 9 am on Saturday.

With 40 teams expected to be participating in the 12 Hour Event and similar numbers in the two other events, it is expected to be the largest event of its kind in New Zealand if not the world. There is already unprecedented interest in the 14th edition of the event from teams from around New Zealand and even teams from Australia.  For more details visit

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