Pair up to speed

Central Leader - - FRONT PAGE - By JESS LEE

IT ISN’T Mur­ray Gold­ing keep­ing his son on course when they hit the BMX track. In­stead it’s 13-yearold Thomas who can of­ten be found giv­ing his dad tips to get him up to speed.

Both Mt Eden rid­ers are pre­par­ing to com­pete dur­ing the BMX World Cham­pi­onships in Auck­land from July 24 to 28.

Thomas started at the age of 7 when his dad de­cided to see how his skills on a bike would trans­late on a BMX track.

The keen foot­baller loved it from his first jump and went on to place ninth at his first national com­pe­ti­tion at the age of 9.

Mur­ray sup­ported his son from the side­lines in 2008 but some­how found him­self on the track at the age of 34.

‘‘I was sort of dragged into it by the other dads. It was some­thing I wanted to do as a kid but I never got taken to a track.’’

The 39-year-old will now com­pete in the 35-39 age group at the in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tion.

The event will be held at Vec­tor Arena with 2000 rid­ers from 30 coun­tries com­pet­ing in front of 28,000 spec­ta­tors.

It’s all about be­ing hun­gry for the win, Mur­ray says.

‘‘You can have the best bike in the coun­try but it’s usu­ally about the rider and if they’re hun­gry and they want it you can see that some­thing is there.’’

Thomas says he is in it more for the adren­a­line rush.

‘‘I just want to stay on my bike – I do it for fun re­ally.’’

But the tough sport doesn’t come with­out its risks.

Thomas has racked up three bro­ken arms while rac­ing and says it can be a chal­lenge to over­come the fear of get­ting back out on the track.

‘‘The first time you’re back on your bike it’s pretty scary. You’re think­ing you don’t want to jump but you kind of force your­self,’’ he says.

The sup­port of the other rid­ers at the East City BMX club where they both train helps to amp them up, Mur­ray says.

He is cur­rently in­jured with a bro­ken col­lar­bone af­ter a bad jump dur­ing prac­tice that has seen him put the brakes on train­ing.

‘‘It’s not the best prepa­ra­tion for the worlds. I used to play rugby and league up un­til I was 30 but stopped be­cause I was break­ing stuff.

‘‘Then I de­cided to come and break stuff do­ing this in­stead.’’

His chances of mak­ing it to the track were 50/50 be­cause of the in­jury but he’s thrilled to have been given the green light to com­pete, he says.

Pho­tos: JA­SON OXENHAM

In the fam­ily: Fa­ther and son BMX rid­ers Mur­ray and Thomas Gold­ing are both com­pet­ing at BMX World ham­pi­onships.

Air­borne: BMX rider Thomas Gold­ing is hop­ing to leave his com­peti­tors at the BMX World Cham­pi­onships in his dust.

Go to cen­tral­leader.co.nz and click on Lat­est Edi­tion to watch high­lights of the BMX World Cham­pi­onships.

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