Team Mike’s Gym triumph at the OCR World Championships!
A last min camp booking at Mike’s Gym meant that unfortunately Mike and Gazza couldn’t make the World Finals this year, (someone has to run the gym whilst we are away racing!) So, it was Garth and Sorrel representing Team Mike’s Gym out there in Canada this time. But I am proud to report that TEAM MIKE’S GYM TOOK 13TH PLACE MIXED PRO DIVISION AT THE OCR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS!
The team relay at the event is made up of three expertise; Strength, speed and technical. The obvious choices for these legs were a given, Gazza on speed, Garth on strength and Soz on technical, so with Gazza out of the equation we all got our heads together to make the sub for the speed leg. The decision on this was unanimous and made very quickly – our Franky boy!
Frank has been on two Mike’s Gym Camps to date, and aside from the fact he is a brilliant runner, his work ethic was noted during both camps – He never stops putting it in, even on his downtime, he is stretching, hanging and practising mobility… his second-place position at Mike Summer slaughter competition was earned and well deserved.
So, the decision was made – and luckily, he said yes!
We met with Frank on the Thursday and picked up our team pack. Frank arrived with his parents, who have been at his every race to support him. There we gave him his new team strip and a special present from Mike, as a thank you for stepping in. A new team OCR Mikes Gym Jacket, and judging by the fact he hasn’t taken it off since, were pretty that he likes it!!
The Weekend was split up into 3 different events over 3 days. The 3k on day one, the 15k on day two and the team relay on the Sunday. Frank took part in all three, Sorrel in the 15k and team relay and Garth in the team relay only.
It was a tactical decision (made by Garth!) for Sorrel not to compete in the 3k…. much to her disgust. ‘It’s ONLY 3k!’ she protested! That much is true, but when its only 3k you push hard all the way (lactic acid!) and all of the technical rigs were still in the race, meaning that by Sunday – Her forearms would be shot for the all-important team event. This proved to be the right decision in the end…and even Sorrel admitted that…eventually.
The course was 8k in total, laid out in 6 legs as follows:
1. Speed/Frank – Run, Hills, walls, crawls, monkey bars, mud hero ramp
2. Strength/Garth – Farmers carry up and down black ski slope
3. Technical/Soz – La Gaffe Northman race
4. Strength/Garth – Wreck bag carry up and down slope face
5. Technical/Sorrel – Platinum rig, Bull Frog rig, Skull Valley rig, forces Skyline, suspended Walls
6. Team Garth/Sorrel/Frank – Final 15-foot wall to finish line
Team Mike’s Gym were in the 3rd wave to be set off. The pro men being first, the pro women second then the pro mixed team. We were all pretty nervous, Sorrel, especially, as we had done a rekkie of the rigs, and they had changed them up, making them much more difficult than the previous races. She felt a lot of pressure being the technical leg, as she wrongly assumed that she was the only one who could lose the band for the team and get us DQ’ed. In fairness, this would be the obvious assumption, but on the day this was far from the reality!
The changeover point for the first strength leg was directly after the Mud hero wall. Sorrel was here watching and Garth was ready in place for the farmers carry. It became obvious quite quickly that the wall was proving very difficult for a lot of runners. The 2 previous races had torn up the slopes in a big way and the previous night downfall had exasperated the situation. Everything was slick and people were sliding everywhere. Here came Frank., in 5th position looking strong. Sorrel warned him about the wall on entering the obstacle and told him to take his time.
5 attempts later and Garth came down from his position to support him. His arms were shot from the 2 days races and he couldn’t pull himself up. Natasha from Mudstacle, who had visited us a few weeks before on one of our training camps, had been there 15 minutes more since the Female pro wave and finally got up using a foot lock rope climb technique. The cheers was amazing. Pure determination. That gave us the technique we were looking for…another try, same technique and he was up! Yes Frank!!! …and thanks, so much Natasha for the inspo!
This set us back a good 10 mins but Frank had gained a lot of time on the run and many were struggling on the wall too…we still had a shot a decent position.
Garth smashed out the farmers carry in no time and made his way to the transition zone to handover to Soz. Then, another disaster. No timing chip! During the struggle on the wall Frank lost the timing chip. We had no tracker! Sorrel went on to do the Northman race obstacle and then handed back over to garth for the wreck bag carry. We told the official and he took photo of out bibs and told us we had to show our bibs to officials at each checkpoint. What a relief! The officials and staff were amazing the whole weekend…and we were back in the race!
Back over to Soz for the rigs – She needn’t of worried and flew across them all first time, then it was time for the team finish -The final wall. The wall was slippery and to make things harder, they’d taken away the middle and bottom ropes so you had no choice but to work together to get up. We’d already discussed how we were going to do this. Sorrel up first with help from both boys, then garth up over frank, Garth would hold on to the top and frank would climb up over him. The human ladder technique worked a treat, and we got straight up there. What a moment! – Teamwork makes the dream work!!
Team Mike’s Gym crossed the line in 13th position. Not bad. Next year we’ll have that top 5!