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All in Family

Saturday 9th March 2019

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This year three members of the Jones family from New Plymouth will compete at GODZone Chapter 8.

Roger Jones (Dad) is a first time racer with Pursuit team Stuck in the Mud, his son Will Jones will compete with Pure team Further Faster Fledging’s (3rd place Colts at Chapter 7) and daughter Charlotte Jones will race also for the first time with Pure team Naki Adventure Racing.

“ It’s quite unique for us all to be racing together and the nerves are building at the moment in our family,” says Roger.

Stepping up to his first full length adventure race is quite a change for Roger who five years ago found himself, as a director of a successful joinery and engineering business, not completely satisfied with his life.

“ I actually found myself both physically and mentally in quite a bad space and then my son said ‘let’s go for a run in the park’ and it all started from there,” says Roger. “ I was blown away by running and that really got me going. Then a niece suggested doing a marathon and the next thing our entire family was doing the Christchurch Airport Marathon together.”

That was back in 2014 and since then the Jones family have competed in many events both on and off road with Roger transitioning to mountain running with glee.

“ I just loved the whole scene and it was a very positive step. Our daughter did the Hilary Challenge and then our son was in a GODZone team last year in Fiordland.”

“My wife Catherine, who is a very keen tramper, and I went down to Fiordland to follow the race. At one stage we saw both Richie McCaw’s team and my son’s teams coming through looking like they had really been doing it tough and in a split second I made the decision to do GODZone this year. It was instantaneous, I didn’t even analyse it but just got on with gaining a team spot when entries opened and here we are – how we will go is anyone’s guess.”

Roger is racing alongside Nick Collins, Don Paterson and Melanie Hanson all from Taranaki.

“We are an older team with a 67, 65 and 60 year old and then Melanie is our young gun. We have been training since July and it’s been great going. Going back five or six years I never would have thought this would be happening. The biggest thing about events like GODZone is they have allowed me to connect with my family and strengthen our relationships which is fantastic.”

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