The 2023 Race Across The World teams - ranked!

The 2023 Race Across The World teams - ranked!

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Thursday, 16th March 2023
The Teams (credit: BBC/Studio Lambert)

The new series of Race Across The World is upon us and it's the most extreme to date, according to the BBC.

The five teams will have to traverse Canada from the very edge of the Pacific Ocean in Vancouver to North America's most easterly city, St John's Newfoundland, all at ground level. And as always, the contestants will have to leave the modern world and all its comforts behind. There will be no air travel, no phones, no internet and no credit cards; just the cash equivalent of the same journey by plane.

But anyone who has watched the series will tell you that however "extreme" the journey may be, the biggest obstacle is always the team dynamic. The stress of the race strains even the strongest of bonds.

I've therefore scoured the biographies of this year's contestants for any clues as to their strengths and weaknesses, including any potential fault lines in their relationships, to make a series of wildly uninformed predictions about their performances. Read on for my ranking, from last to first place.

Marc and Michael

Marc and Michael (credit: BBC/Studio Lambert)

Apparently brothers Marc (36) and Michael (34) literally live five minutes from each other and yet, says Marc, "I think we've got a lot we need to sort out to be honest. We don't know a lot about each other." If that doesn't spell a bitter sibling rivalry, I don't know what does.

Michael's a runner, which will serve them well if the race comes to another dash to the finish line like the last series, and the more resourceful Marc has apparently packed well, but I can still picture a big falling out and Marc muttering "I am vengeance" as he dons his lucky Batman socks...

Mobeen and Zainib

Zainib and Mobeen (credit: BBC/Studio Lambert)

Orthopedic Surgeon Mobeen (31) and his psychiatrist wife Zainib (32) form a health and wellbeing super squad. Mobeen should know all the preventative measures to take in order to avoid any physical injuries—as the load of anti-chafing compression boxers he's packed attests to. Meanwhile, Zainib can stop them from losing their rag when they miss a train or something.

But when Zainib admirably declares her intention to "not make it too much about competing", else "it detracts from the nature of the experience," it implies they lack the necessary killer instinct. Not that Race Across The World is Squid Game, but I don't see them, say, sabotaging their opponents' bargaining efforts like Jinda and Bindu did back in series one.

Claudia and Kevin

Claudia and Kevin (credit: BBC/Studio Lambert)

Claudia (27) and her dad Kevin (53) are hoping that the race will bring them closer together, but have they seen what family feuds it is capable of fomenting? Claudia even admits that her dad already "drives [her] crazy."

Although, when Claudia's asked for their strategy and she says they are just "winging it," I don't believe it. Kevin is packing a compass and, as far as I'm concerned, anyone who knows how to use a compass in the age of smartphones and Google Maps is a modern-day Marco Polo and shouldn't be written off.

Cathie and Tricia

Cathie and Tricia (credit: BBC/Studio Lambert)

Not only will Cathie (49) be seizing her newfound freedom from her children, who have now both flown the nest, but she also has her best friend/bad influence Tricia (48) to bring out her "cheeky" side. And cheekiness is an underrated personality trait in a game as dependent on the kindness of strangers as this. How else do you haggle for a free ticket or night's stay?

Also, when Tricia says of Cathie "she's the tonic to my gin," you just know that, regardless of the result, the vibes should be immaculate with these two.

Ladi and Monique

Monique and Ladi (credit: BBC/Studio Lambert)

Ladi (52) and Monique (25) are another dad and daughter duo, but based on the frankly astounding level of agreement in their bios—especially Monique's description of her father as "older, wiser and knows more about the world than I do"—there seems to be a harmony that might just withstand the ruckus of the road.

The only drawback I see is Monique's admission that she's never travelled, owned a backpack or "done the whole camping thing." But that shouldn't matter when she has her old (and wise) man to guide her.

The new series of Race Across the World is coming soon to BBC One and BBC iPlayer.


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The new series of Race Across The World is upon us and it's the most extreme to date, according to the BBC.