Red Bull Defiance is a unique race format in the Wanaka region of New Zealand that combines off-road running, kayaking and mountain biking, all as disciplines of endurance. In addition to this, stages are spiced up with creative extras in undisclosed special stages, such as climbing and abseiling. The event is the brainchild of Braden Currie, a native Kiwi and one the country’s most recgonized adventurers and multisport racers. The race is over two days of competition, with a course designed to test different skills.
Two-person teams are split into three different categories (mens, womens & mixed) and each day is split into a series of disciplines with a well-marked course and designated transition areas. Simone Maier, one of 2017’s competitors describes the race with nothing but adoration: “Personally I think this is one of the most beautiful race courses I have done since I stared racing. It feels kind of unreal, at time [sic] during the race I feel like I’m a bubble, I love the mountains, the scenery and the challenge that come with it from the weather. It is so unpredictable.”
Held across the 21st and 22nd of January, the race offered, as ever, a unique and original challenge to those competing. Wanaka is a popular ski and summer resort town in the Otago region of the New Zealand’s South Island, and as a result the terrain includes huge lakes, glorious mountain ranges and a glacial valley – all of which must be conquered by the teams competing. And while so many endurance races allow athletes to get lost in their own thoughts and focus, the two-team aspect of the event ensures that cooperation and communication are essential if a team is to succeed.