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CRAIG MURRAY

I am a young professional skier and outdoor athlete from New Zealand's South Island. I typically spend six months of the year overseas skiing and competing in the Freeride World Tour and the other six back here in New Zealand

I grew up racing bikes with my brother Charlie, we built tracks and rode our faithful minibikes anywhere they would take us. After becoming more involved in skiing, with most months of the year being winter based, time was a little limited on the peddles. However, as biking was still such a huge passion I still kept riding and began competing in more multisport and adventure racing, such as Godzone. Recently my brother has picked the bike back up full time and now competes on the EWS, which has inspired me to spend more time on two wheels. 

In December last year I managed to compete in my first serious bike event, the 3 Peaks Enduro in Dunedin, just before heading overseas to winter.

I was quite bikeless, so I talked to Ed Masters and he let me borrow his swanky mcpimpface Firebird29 for a month, then I took it down to race. Not really knowing what to expect or how to do anything, I surprised myself with 3rd place, sharing the podium with Charlie (1st) and Dunedin based Josh McCombie in 2nd. 

It is a familiar feeling for me, flying down hills, however, it's also foreign and strange racing a bike down a timed run, between tape.

Despite being two high intensity sports, the difference of having one opportunity to get down a face at your highest level, in comparison to racing against the clock, with opportunities to regain from crashes and progress during one race calls for a different mindset.

It was a rewarding experience being pushed to a level that challenged my capability of riding, especially never having competed in Enduro before. 

After realising how smooth and stable Ed's Firebird raced, I have recently acquired a Switchblade to help keep me on the trails.

Photos: @finwoods