Caribbean Mixx at the Rover Daily Telegraph DREAM TEAM Challenge
Weininger Irwin entered friends and colleagues for an experience that they would never forget. An opportunity to compete at the highest level against Olympic athletes.
No wonder they were called `The Dream Team'. With a line-up of four Olympic gold medallists in Audley Harrison, James Cracknell, Jason Queally and Jonathan Edwards - plus Dean Macey and Darren Campbell - it was not implausible to think they could beat the fittest endurance teams in Britain in the Rover Dream Team Challenge final.
However, it was no contest. For the superstars, that is. The men's invitational Dream Team finished last of 13 in the national finals at the David Lloyd Centre in West Barr, Birmingham.
This was Gladiators without the combat, and the opportunity for the average man and woman to test their fitness against Britain's top sports stars.
The event, run in association with The Daily Telegraph, comprised seven hours of disciplines, including a gym test, a two-mile run, a swimming relay, more fitness tests (bench press/bleep test/rowing) and an exhausting sprint-shuttle relay, and demonstrated fitness is sport-specific.
Harrison, the Olympic super-heavyweight boxing champion, did a passable impression of a whale on his 75 metre leg of the swimming relay, the only resemblance to a swimming contender being his cap, borrowed from Karen Pickering , Britain's 2001 World Championship gold medallist. Moreover, Cracknell proved in the shuttle sprints that he can row fast, but he turns like the QE2.
Decathlete Macey said his day was over after the first event, having drawn the short straw to compete in the Versa Climber gym test. "I didn't know what I was letting myself in for. I've never been in such pain," Macey admitted.
Harrison said: "I am an athlete, I can compete, but not at the level that these guys are doing it. Boxing is about aerobic endurance and explosive power. This is about endurance."
However, Cracknell's rowing stint over 2,000 metres on the ergo, with Macey beside him, was one of the biggest draws of the day for spectators.
"I wouldn't mind a body like that," said one of the female competitors as the world and Olympic champion rower eased his machine over the distance in 5min 54sec.
The men's event was won, for the third year running, by Get Fit NetFit, five of the Weybridge-based team having been ranked in the top seven fittest men in the UK. Caribbean Mixx placed fourth barely missing out on a 3rd place finish. The women's event was won by Body Works, a team which included Guin Batten, the Olympic silver medallist in the women's coxless four, and Great Britain junior triathlete Henrietta Freeman.
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