It was a game of Four Nations and some Masters. Five teams battling it out for the rights to say they are the best in the UK and Ireland.
On paper the team from England were favourites, with all of their men qualifying in the top five and and their women only broken up by the slight but mighty Emma Lewis from Wales. But as many competitors had said before the event it was all about the wods on the day, team work and pure guts!
Teams were handed the list of wods as they registered and had 30 minutes to select their team members for each event, bearing in mind that in some cases this is the first time team members had met each other, this could prove to be a tricky selection process.
Wod one was the CrossFit classic Diane but with the twist that the team members not deadlifting at the time had to hold their handstand, whilst conversely when the hspu’s were being done the deadlifters had to hold the bar .. confused? So were most of the participants! However, with first wod nerves out of the way and team spirit growing stronger with every wod, the question remained could any team beat England?
The ensuing wods contained just about every single CrossFit exercise you could think of with all five teams battling it out over rowing, burpees, thrusters, toes to bar, box jumps, double unders, chest to bar pull ups, overhead squats, muscle ups, cleans, snatches, jerks, with an appearance from the old favourite Cindy along with a human relay, handstand walk race and a crowd pleasing sled pull.
England did as predicted and took victory in 5 of the 10 events and the overall crown, with the real battle being over second place between Wales and Scotland, which was only settled in the final event when Wales finished the sled pull centimetres ahead of their Celtic rivals – the teams coming third and fourth with the Masters team celebrating their only victory in the competition, guaranteeing them fourth place overall, with the gallant Team Ireland in fifth.
The teams were:
Sam Briggs, Nikki Simpson, Lucy Rae, Gina Yates, Jodie Unwin, Sam Henderson, Adam Shackell, Stuart Trees, Joe Blaycock, Chris Templeman
Emma Lewis, Caryl James, Emma John, Sarah Morgan, Carley Evans, Stephen Parkin, Mike Catris, Jonny Landels, Danny Watson, Alex Evans
Steph Dekker, Cazza Jaszewski, Chloe Barrett, Jo Wood, Yvonne Portman, Steph Campbell, Andrew Carigiet, John Fitzpatrick, Craig Punton, Iain Holland
Amanda Dawson, Jane Holgate, Mellissa, Gee, Lisa Schofield, Mary Ballantyne, Michael Johnson, Alex Cecilio, Paul Atkinson, Mike Mason, Ian Kerr
Rosie Plowman, Sarah Cahill, Martina Galgey, Lynda Piper-Roche, Jannine Hussey, Barry O’Neill, Graeme Acheson, Matt Hussey, Eoghan McGregor, John Belton
In the week prior to the event we interviewed some of the players and after giving them a few days to reflect we asked them how they thought it went..
Jodie Unwin – England
I really enjoyed the it, initially I was really nervous to see what the wods would bring and also to be competing against and with such awesome athletes I just didn’t want to let my team down. I liked the way the wods were made up and my favourite ones were the human relay, the sled pull and the Dirty Thirty, where they involved everyone and you could really feel the team spirit. The way the day was set up and ran was excellent, there wasn’t too much waiting around which is usually an issue at competitions, the guys who set up all the wods did an awesome job, the judges were brilliant and the organisation was spot on.
Danny Watson – Wales
The WODs were very well planned and the execution of the entire competition was very professional from start to finish. The team spirit and camaraderie was amazing amongst the Welsh team and everyone pulled together to achieve a great result. I thoroughly enjoyed being part of that team and getting to know some more friends. Credit has to go to all the volunteers and judges on the day because we would have competitions if it wasn’t for the selfless commitment. Thank you so much to you all.
Steph Campbell – Scotland
The competition was very well organised from the outset and it all seem to run pretty much on time. Considering the team was put together from athletes who mostly didn’t know each other, we did very well throughout the day. It was a close run race between us and Wales for second place, unfortunately we lost it and ended the day in 3rd place. I would definitely liked to be involved next year, as the format is a pleasant change to the usual individual competition.
Mandy Dawson – Masters
I really enjoyed myself and participating has spurred me on to perfect the skills I need to add to my armoury. I particularly enjoyed the WODs that required everyone to work together and as the day went on and we got to know each other better the support was immense. I am looking forward to competing again soon and my husband is keen to do so too. If fact he was practicing his double-unders secretly in the garage last night.
Martina Galgey – Ireland
I had a fantastic day with a wonderful community of people. The competition was run very well, everything went to plan and the people who came to show their support were fantastic. Being on a team was a bit strange for me only because I normally do individual competitions, but could not have asked for a better bunch of people to be with we worked well together considering we had only meet half of our team that day. But that’s what it’s all about everyone throwing what they can give as a team and using it to the best of their ability. Would I do it again at the drop of a hat.
Check out our Four Nations photos from the event.