After yesterday’s roundup of notable male contenders for the UK champs podiums, here come the girls…

We're delighted to welcome Jojo Brown from the UK Mudd Queens as co-author on this article. To find out more about the Mudd Queens hit up their website or join their facebook group (ladies only!). Note that this article is Ami and Jojo's personal opinions, not those of Mudstacle or the Mudd Queens as a whole.

Interestingly, we are not seeing a return of many notable elite female finishers from last year. But it doesn’t mean that we won’t see worthy competition; this opens up a lot of room for newcomers and previous age category racers. The largest waves are for those in their 30s, whereas some categories currently only have a handful of competitors. This begs the question; are females failing to qualify, or simply opting out of next weekend’s race?

Wave 1

Ones To Watch

This wave is naturally one of the most competitive, and this year is no exception. Gunning for the podium, we have the two Mudstacle Machines, Lilly Hunt and Dominique Searle, both of whom have put in excellent performances, particularly in Toughest and the Survival of the Fittest series respectively. A professional ninja, Lilly will have to get to grips with a much muddier course, but if her technical ability can carry her through, then we expect big things. Dom is an excellent runner, but we have yet to really see how she fares on the significantly less forgiving muddy trail races that the UK is really famed for.

Heather Ratcliffe has really stepped her training up a gear, and it is showing. Fresh from an incredible result at the OCR world champs where she came second British lady, we would be surprised to see this absolute powerhouse lose her band.

A relative newcomer with a lot of potential, Jo Shelmerdine has been impressing with her latest run results – if she tackles the obstacles, she’ll be leaving a lot of the field for dust.

Returning favourite Toni Cupit, of Team JD, has an awful lot of grit and determination, and considerable experience on obstacles. If she can keep her head in the game, we fully expect her to podium. Andrea Berquez gets an honourable mention; currently doing very well in the Mudstacle league after coming a strong second in the most recent Dirty Dozen 18k, she could well get a look in in the top ten, but her technical ability will be tested along the way.

Of course, reigning champion and 5th pro female IN THE WORLD, Freya Martin of BMF is still our firm favourite for the win, with her unparalleled technique and focus.

Jojo and Ami’s predictions

Freya for the win, with Toni and Heather making up the podium.


Freya

Age 18-24

Ones To Watch

Steph Ford - This woman likes to run! Not just your average marathon runner, we would expect her biggest claim for the topspot would be her first place in age cat at the Edinburgh Spartan Beast this year. Not only that, she’s got stamina, having come fourth at Invncbl then winning the Ram Run the next day.

Sophie Clayton – Sophie came first in her age category at Mud Monsters 10km in May and in a respectable time considering how much mud that race has.

Hatti Robinson - Having been away from the UK OCR scene for some time, Hatti’s UK results are incomparable to the field, though she boasts a second place in the Open Sprint at Bone Frog in USA, just 4m 20s off the elite female winner. Hatti’s biggest nemesis is the cold, but if she gets her kit right, she will excel this year.

Andie Reilly – Another largely unknown entity but Andie is a recent entry into the British Army OCR team, and we expect that she will be pushing hard to prove herself.

Jojo and Ami’s predictions:

Steph, joined by Sophie and Hatti.

hattiAge 25-29

This is arguably one of the most difficult categories to call, aside from a couple of clear frontrunners:

Yasmin Poole - She took a first in Winter Nuts three laps, which this year was no mean feat – she’s clearly able to deal with the cold.  Mud doesn’t seem to be an issue for her either, as she came first in age category in 10k Mud monsters.

Emmelia Potts – After a self confessed nightmare at the OCRWC, stranding herself on the Dragon’s Back, Emmelia may have a score to settle next weekend. We don’t doubt her obstacle completion ability – she is more than capable of getting around this course as long as she can fight her fears.

Jojo and Ami’s predictions:

Our money’s on Yasmin for the win.

 

Age 30-34

An increasingly competitive category, these ladies are going from strength to strength. Look out for:

Miranda Angelides – Miranda has very strong running credentials, and is in her second year of OCR. She snapped at Toni Cupit’s heels in the 18k Dirty Dozen race just a few months ago, so will be gunning for the top of this category.

Josie Nye – Josie is killing it this season. She takes a lot of difficult obstacles in her stride, and her results are becoming more and more impressive. We’d be surprised not to see her in the top three in this category.

Kerry Langley – Kerry is a hard worker, and another who came first in age cat in 10k Mud monsters.

Zoe Pereira – Zoe has been performing really well in the Mudstacle league thus far and put in a very strong run at OCRWC, only failing one obstacle. She could be a formidable competitor here.

Jojo and Ami’s predictions:

Miranda is our top pick here.

Miranda AngelidesAge 35-39

Again, another furiously competitive category at the top, make sure you look out for:

Fran Waterman – Fran is an absolute powerhouse. We have seen her go from strength to strength over the past few seasons, and she will be formidable on the field. Her recent outings at Dirty Dozen and OCRWC show she is not messing around.

Ceri Parkes – Ceri runs for Team Nuts, so is quite confident in muddy conditions, as illustrated by her recent first place at Reaper’s night race.

Karen Ticehurst – Karen hasn’t been competing that much this season per se, but we know her to be a super strong obstacle racer, so if she is wearing her gameface, she could well be seeing a podium.

Rebecca Frostick – A member of team ORM and the British Army team, Becky is building up her mileage steadily. If she can keep her band, then we might well see her place very highly in this very strong category.

Jojo and Ami’s predictions:

It’s a tough one, but we’re going for Fran.

Fran WatermanAge 40-44

Another difficult category to crack, here are our top picks:

Melissa Birch – This BMFer looks pretty tough, and we have been impressed by her upper body strength. Already improving on her Mudstacle league points, we would be surprised to see her anywhere else but battling for the podium in this category.

Kerry Gowen – Currently our top scorer for this category in the Mudstacle league, Kerry has obviously been working hard this season. She is very powerful, with excellent technique so if she can keep the pace, then she will be unbeatable over obstacles.

Jojo and Ami’s predictions:

Our money’s on Kerry Gowen.

Age 45-49

Our ones to watch:

Carrie Webb – Another member of Team Nuts, Carrie is outperforming everyone else in this category in the league so far.

Helen Andre – Teammate Helen is strong runner up to Carrie in the league, so the race between these two could be interesting to watch.

Jojo and Ami’s predictions:

Carrie for the win.

Carrie Webb

50+

With only two ladies in this category, we’d probably not like to call it, but the best of luck to both Pauline McGlynn and Nicki Marchant!

 

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