The team challenge was something that was introduced a little bit later into the UK OCR Championship and its not a separate race like it is at the World Championships. Instead each racer can enter a team name when they register their individual place and the fastest members of each team have their times combined to give a score for the team.
There are two separate competitions for men and for women, with men’s teams needing 5 racers and women’s teams needing 3.
The slightly scarier part of this is that only racers who have completed the course with both wristbands intact can count towards a team’s score.
If we look at the stats from previous UK, European and World Championships it is clear to see that wristband retention is definitely the key to winning this category. I think any team that has three ladies that can keep both bands stands a good chance of hitting the podium.
Ones To Watch
BA OCR – The British Army Team have a field of 6 women, three of whom (Andie Reilly, Charlotte Cronin and Becky Frostick) are very strong contenders in their respective categories. Can the British Army physical training pay off for these super tough chicks to win them the team competition?
Team Pro-Fit – The Brighton crew have expanded recently and taken some other top racers into their bosom including Northern Ireland’s leading lady Gail Ryan. They’ve got five women in total, with Yasmin Poole and Kerry Langley as two that have been tipped as ones to watch in their categories plus the strong backup of Melissa Birch and Donna Jenner-Hall.
Team Kitbrix – A very strong team. With Andrea Berquez, Zoe Pereira, Faye Showell and Renate Muhina these are four very speedy women. If three of them can finish with wristbands I think they could be the fastest team.
Team RAW – One of the biggest ladies teams with 7 competitive racers, including Josie Nye, Karen Ticehurst, Loo Blackman and Katy Shoesmith.
Mudstacle – Our team has just five ladies but they are all badasses, with Ninja Warrior Lilly Hunt leading the charge backed up ably by Fran Waterman, Dominique Searle, Jo Shelmerdine and Helen Trollope.
Rumble Racing OCR – Another small one with four ladies. But Kerry Gowen and Linda Johnson are both powerhouses so they could do very well as a team.
Team JD – Have a strong team of Toni Cupit, Hatti Robinson and Ashleigh Cooper, but with only three ladies its going to be a tough task to keep all of the wristbands.
Muddy Race – Also a small team with just 4 ladies, but they do include the superfast Laura Heywood in their ranks.
This is really difficult category to call because on the day it will all come down to which teams have three ladies that keep both bands. Anybody could be a really strong racer most of the year but have one slip on an obstacle and get a mental block that they can’t get round.
If wristbands were not required and it was down to speed I think it would be between Mudstacle and Team Kitbrix, but as that’s not the case I think the teams with the best chance of getting the three necessary scores are Team Pro-Fit and BA OCR.
My prediction is the Team Pro-Fit ladies for the win.
This will be a fast competition as most of the top men shouldn’t have problems with keeping their bands.
Ones To Watch
Mudstacle Aces – there weren’t enough of the Mudstacle Machines race team to make up a separate team in this competition, so we’ve spliced them with some of the fastest runners from the Mudstacle Team to make up a hybrid team. So we have Ross Brackley, Dave Rogers, Jason Brunnock and Scott Seefeldt ably reinforced by Jason Burgess, Matt Adamson and Jamie Burke.
Team Phoenix – The bird that rose out of the ashes of the former Wild Forest Gym team has some very strong wings! They have 11 men in total and I think between Sam Farrington, Andrew French, Mark Haygarth, Dasos Gonnella, Robin French and Richard Waters we can expect a pretty high score.
BA OCR – With 18 men racing the Army team is one of the biggest fields and we mustn’t forget that doing obstacle courses is how they earn their livings!!
EDIT - Tristan Steed has just announced that he will be racing for BA OCR on Saturday so that definitely gives them a boost with one of the country's top racers representing them.
Team Kitbrix – They’ve got 10 men in their team and three of them made the ones to watch list yesterday. As a team they stand a good chance of doing really well.
Muddy Race – They’ll be sorely missing their showcase performer Conor, but even without the world number three they still have a very strong team. Jesse Betts, Declan Traynor, Nick Taylor-Komar, Keith Fairburn, Mark Turner, Ace Fletcher and Paul Richards can all be expected to clock good times.
Team Pro-Fit – They’ve got 8 guys racing in competitive waves and they’re all bloody good! I expect their top five to be James Burton, David Haw, Sam Tucknott, Rob Derrick and Phil Bearman
Team RAW – Rick Burgess’ motley crew from Hastings have some strong runners and should score well between them.
Mudstacle Team – Even without the superfast seven guys that are running for the Mudstacle Aces, the band of yellow brothers still pack some strong punches. With the likes of Stuart Amory, Lee Fuller, Adrian Payne, Jason Pittaway, Scott Smith and Jaime Hall leading the ‘B’ Team.
It’s a shame but there are two teams who have some very strong racers but sadly don’t have enough people racing on Saturday to be in with a chance in the team competition. Both RPCC and Team JD have had good seasons in the Mudstacle Team League, with RPCC in fourth and JD in ninth at the moment, but both of them only have four racing members so are one person short each.
I think its likely that the Mudstacle Aces will take the win and I’m not just saying that out of bias! They’ve got three guys who are tipped to be in the top five in wave one plus at least one expected age category podiumer.
Difficult to pick who else will make up the team podium but my prediction is that it’ll be Team Phoenix and Team Pro-Fit in second and third, with Muddy Race in fourth (had Conor been racing I’d have said Muddy Race on the podium).
GOOD LUCK TO EVERYBODY RACING ON SATURDAY