Steve Gurney

Sportsman Extreme - Extreme Sports and Coast to Coast Legend

Steve is a NZ international adventure racer and well known as that “Crazy Coast to Coast Guy” and has the nick name GOONey – Goons for short. He has raced the Coast to Coast 15 times and has won it a record 9 times (a record 6 consecutively).

In 2009 he completed a massive 2160 km outrageous kite buggy adventure - the first time the Sahara has been crossed by Wind Power and also the longest kite buggy journey ever accomplished.  He’s paddled the Cook Strait 5 times - a notorious stretch of water.  He's invented a bike with wings. He was poisoned by bat dung while racing in the Borneo jungles and nearly died - then fought back to win the Coast to Coast seven times more, in a row!

Steve has competed both domestically and internationally and has featured in television competitions Dancing with the Stars, Clash of the Codes and Blood Sweat & Fears. He also competed in endurance adventure races overseas traversing jungles, swamps, rivers, seas, deserts, mountains and streams. Athletes navigate their way through the course by foot, horse, raft, kayak, bike and sometimes camel. For 8-10 continuous days they sleep only when they dare and as you might expect Steve has some rather interesting tales to tell that will make you cringe, cry and laugh!
It was one of these adventure races that toppled Steve from his reign as NZ's "winningest" multi-sport athlete. Infected by bat dung as they raced through the Mulu caves, Steve suffered circulatory collapse, pulmonary oedema followed by renal failure. This saw him dragged through intensive care wards in Malaysia and Singapore, coming very close to death.
It's Steve's fight back to winning form in just 2 years in the face of scepticism, doubt and uncertainty of health that has spawned many requests for speaking engagements. He also speaks on teamwork - understanding fully what makes a successful team as in many race situations it can mean the difference between life and death.
Steve has an engineering background having worked as a professional engineer for 4 years before pursuing his sport as a professional athlete. He graduated from Canterbury University in 1986 with a mechanical engineering degree and runs an engineering design company in conjunction with his sporting pursuits - he is no stranger to the challenges of the business world.
Steve was awarded the NZ Order of Merit in the 2004 New Year’s Honours "for services to Endurance sport". Steve has authored 3 books: "Lucky Legs" and “Eating Dirt” are autobiographical. “The Beginner’s Guide to Adventure Sport” is an instruction book. 


Steve speaks on Sport, Overcoming Adversity and NLP.

Sport Topics:

  • How to train for adventure racing
  • Incorporating exercise into daily life
  • 15 weeks from nothing to running
  • Developing a winning attitude
  • Death by Cotton Wool
  • How to train for the Queenstown Marathon

Overcoming Adversity Topics:

  • Getting out of the comfort zone, and into the growth zone by embracing risk & failure as part of the adventure
  • Hey! I'm not dead yet!
  • How to stage a come-back.
  • Success is a skill
  • Turning stumbling blocks into stepping stones
  • Resilience Seminars

NLP Topics:

  • Goal setting that works
  • Adapting with change
  • Introduction to NLP