Murray family ready to contest the GODZone adventure race
Four months after announcing their intention to contest the GODZone adventure race, the Murray family have put in the training hours necessary to complete the multi-day challenge at the end of February.
The four members Keith (53), Andrea (50) and their two sons Charlie (18) and Craig (16) have hit the trails, lakes and mountains around their home town, of Wanaka, where the gruelling, non-stop race will take place from February 27 until March 7.
Racing under the Breen Homes team name, their preparation to mountaineer, trek, canoe, kayak and, mountain bike their way through the as-yet unknown course has gone to plan (the course remains secret until the final few hours before the event starts) despite the logistical difficulties of co-ordinating their work, university and school schedules.
The Murray family (from left) Charlie, Andrea, Keith and Craig, at the top of Mount Gold on a training hike for the GODZone adventure race in Wanaka, held from February 27. Photo is free to use for editorial purposes.
The Murrays combined as a team to celebrate Christmas Day by climbing up Mount Liverpool in the Mount Aspiring National Park and hiking the 2400metres up through the Cascade Saddle to test their crampon and ice axe skills and truly earn their festive dinner.
With the boys busy working or socialising during their holidays, Keith and Andrea have enjoyed training together - paddling their double kayak around Lake Wanaka. They put their arm muscles to the test in the 48km Clutha Classic kayak race in December and after a handicapped start were first across the line, in front of Keith’s old multisport rival Steve Gurney.
Andrea is a keen yoga devotee and has been counter-balancing the zen with strenuous hikes up, and runs down, the nearby 1500m Roys Peak Track. She has also had Keith mountain biking up the Treble Cone ski field, a 1200m slog, of which he is not so fond.
“It’s a real leg burner, but still, it has been nice to spend some time with Andrea in the outdoors,” he said.
During the summer break from his studies at the University of Otago, Charlie has been leading guided runs through the Coast to Coast’s Goat Pass, so no doubt he will be fleet of foot come GODZone.
Mount Aspiring College pupil Craig has also been putting in a few miles, while away.
“He disappeared up north with his girlfriend and took his running shoes and came back lean and fit,” Keith says.
As their timetables allow, the four Murrays have been heading off into the hills in various combinations of twos and threes to train their leg muscles to do the hard yards.
A GP with an interest in occupational and sports medicine, Keith’s main concern is getting his wife and sons through the race with their feet intact, as blisters can be the undoing of many a team. He will also be mindful of sleep deprivation.
“We have some quite young people and some quite old people in our team,” he says, laughing.
In all seriousness however, the Murray’s over-riding goal is to finish the race in good spirits, to have fun and to “not put the kids off” Keith says.
“If everything went really well it would be great to get a top 10 result. Mostly though we just want to finish in good form and do our sponsors proud, because Breen Homes have been a big help getting us to the start line,” he added.
* The Murrays have been interviewed by TV1 about their GODZone adventure as a family, so tune in during the week before the race to catch the story on the television.
To learn more about the GODZone visit www.godzoneadventure.com