Red Bull Defiance: A New Breed of Adventure Race is Born

Red Bull Defiance: A New Breed of Adventure Race is Born
Team Swordfox (Rikki Griffin & Rob Rush) transitioning at the Red Bull Defiance Adventure Race in Wanaka, NZ

Ever wanted to give Adventure Racing a try? Whilst the inaugural Red Bull Defiance two day stage race may not be for the beginner, it could be a nice little goal to set for the future; and there are plenty of stepping stones to get you there. Trizone will be bringing you more news, advice and tips to help those who want to add a little adventure into their training and racing. We hope you enjoy this little sneak peak of the best adventure racers in the world tackling two days of adventure in Wanaka, New Zealand over the weekend.

Competitors perform during the run stage during the Red Bull Defiance in Wanaka
Competitors perform during the run stage during the Red Bull Defiance in Wanaka

After two brutal days, racing 153km over some of most gruelling terrain Wanaka has to offer, it was the local pairing of Braden Currie and Dougal Allan that took the open elite honours and $10,000 at Red Bull Defiance today. They blitzed second place getters Team Peak Adventure (AUS) by 34 minutes, with a final time of 12:58:24. The many triumphs and successes of all those who competed made the event special for everyone.
“It’s always pretty cool to win in front of my home crowd, Wanaka is an amazing place. We have all of this on our doorstep and to be able to get out and race Red Bull Defiance in this town is so good,“ says Currie.

Day two of Defiance saw the 80 strong field starting in pristine conditions, with blue sky and light winds on the early morning sprint into Wanaka for the first transition into kayak. There were three teams that broke free of the field in the paddle down the Clutha River, but it was Currie and Allan that took the lead into the Peugeot clay bird shooting stage. They continued to lead the pack on the 28km mountain bike up the Pisa Range, and never looked back as they conquered the 25km run into home over Mount Alpha and Roys Peak.

“It was an awesome day for it, great weather and the views were incredible. Wanaka just looked spectacular from above. I have many highlights, I’ll remember this race forever,“ says Dougal Allan.

The hotly contested open mixed category win went to Marcel Hagner and Simone Maier from Team, with a final finishing time of 13 hours and 52 minutes. Trailing by only six minutes was adventure race legend Richard Ussher and his wife Elina Ussher.

“It feels good! It was a tough course with good competition. I’ll definitely sign up for next year,” says Maier.

The new format and course design saw competitors traverse eight high country stations combining the core elements of running, mountain biking and kayaking, mixing in special stages of target shooting and abseiling. This new race format provides an ever changing playing field for the teams and challenges them to the utmost limits of physical and mental endurance.

“We pushed it a bit on the bike and had a gap on third place. We tried to be consitent on the run. It was just absolutely beautiful. Mentally it pushes you but the scenery was fantastic. Alex returned the favour from yesterday and helped me get up the hill. We raced much better and it was just such a stunning part of the world to do an event in,“ says Jarad Kohlar from Australia’s Team Peak Adventure.

From the smiles that almost every competitor had when crossing the finish line of Red Bull Defiance today, it is obvious that challenging your body to its physical and mental limits is a strangely rewarding experience. That’s adventure racing.


Elite open
Team NZ: Braden Currie and Dougal Allan. 12:58:24.
Team Peak Adventure: Jarad Kohlar and Alex Hunt. 13:33:00.
Team Hillary Foods: Hamish Fleeming and Pete Smallfield. 13:43:02.
Team Breen Homes: Bob Mclaughlan and Keith Murray. 13:55:14.
Team St Martins New World: Flavio Vianna and JJ Wilson. 14:32:16.

Elite Mixed
Team Tinele: Marcel Hagener and Simone Maier. 13:52:57.
Team Subway: Richard Usher and Elina Ussher 13:59:13.
Team Red Bull France: Jackie Boissett and Mimi Boisett. 15:02:26.
Team China: Han Meng and Dong Li. 16:00:43.
Team Animal Instinct: Graeme Ewensen and Anyika Thomsen. 16:03:26.