John Gbenda-Charles and Murray Roeske are a team of Best Mates on The Amazing Race: Australia v New Zealand.
They won 3 of the first 5 legs, and only their forgetting to pay their tuk tuk driver in Cambodia, and Carla & Hereni's Express Pass usage on leg 4, kept them from winning all five of those legs. However, they did tend to make a number of mistakes, most of them due to their lack of lack of genre savviness. Though they were able to power through those mistakes thanks to a little luck in the first five legs, those mistakes piled up and cost them dearly in Kostroma, Russia.
These fun-loving athletes are no strangers to winning; how will they play this competition?
John (35) and Murray (35) – or Raspberry and Coke, as they call themselves – met in their final year of boarding school, while John was on a soccer scholarship and Murray on a rugby scholarship.
The retired professional footballers shared a stint in Hong Kong together, but have spent most of their careers living and working in separate cities around the world. They're relishing this opportunity to focus on their friendship and hopefully nab a victory in the process. "We believe we've got enough skills, fitness and ability to win this, so we have to focus on that. This is our team and our journey," says John.
Murray currently works in the civil infrastructure rebuild of Christchurch – or as John puts it, "he's doing God's work in this world". John manages professional athletes – or as Murray puts it, "he's the black Jerry Maguire".
By their own admission they're different characters, and they don't compete with each other. "We don't like the same kind of girls, we don't dress the same – our differences are our strength," John says.
John, who is Murray's best-mate, was born in West Africa and moved to Wellington with his mum and sister when he was nine. Murray, who is John's, 'second-best-mate', grew up on a farm in Nelson until he was 15.
The two have made a living from being fierce competitors on the sporting field, although it remains to be seen just how seriously the fun-loving larrikins will engage in competition on the Race.
Game face aside, Murray says, "I‟m sure we'll make some friends, I've been making friends since 1978."
The Amazing Race: Australia v New Zealand
|John & Murray's Race History|
|1||1||Australia → New Zealand||No Detour||Murray||1 of 10|
|2||2||New Zealand → Cambodia||Shrimp / Shoot||Used Express Pass||2 of 9ϵ|||
|3||3||Cambodia → Thailand||Climb Up / Drill Down||Murray||1 of 8⊂|
|4||4||Thailand → Namibia||Pipe / Poo||John||2 of 7|
|5||5||Namibia → Russia||Cossack / Coat Rack||Murray||1 of 6|
|6||6||Russia||Boil / Build||John||6 of 6|||
- Highest average placement for a team that finished 6th, at 2.17.
- Most legs won by a team of racers from New Zealand, with 3.
- Highest racing average of a team who competed on the Seven Network incarnation of The Amazing Race Australia, at 2.17.
- Ben Waterworth & Noah Graves at Survivor Oz (10/23/2014): "The Amazing Race Oz - John Gbenda-Charles & Murray Roeske Interview"
|The Amazing Race: Australia v New Zealand Teams|