Meet Race Across The World contestants Alfie and Owen

Owen & Alfie
Owen & Alfie. Credit: BBC/Studio Lambert Ltd

Alfie (20, Football Referee) and Owen (20, Trainee Pilot) from Hertfordshire are best friends from school with a determination and maturity rarely seen. While one wants to experience everything the race throws at them, the other only has eyes for the finish line.


Why did you want to take part in the series?

Alfie: I think we wanted to take part in the series mainly because we’re both lovers of travelling and have done a little bit of travelling before but never done the whole backpacking, country-hopping situation. It was something that we wanted to try further down the line anyway and we thought it would be such a great experience that it would be impossible to say no to.

Owen: We wanted to do this because, as Alfie said, we wanted to go travelling and we’ve never done this sort of thing together. Also, we wanted to put our friendship to the test, see what we can achieve with it. And personally, ourselves we wanted to see how we’d deal in this sort of situation and how well we can do, see if we can make it to the end and maybe even win.

Have you got a strategy going into the race?

Alfie: We have discussed a strategy. The strategy is, in very loose terms, earn first and race later. So, particularly in the first leg just try and not eat into our spending too much. We think that everybody in the first leg is going to be quite ‘Gung Ho’ and perhaps aren’t going to have that much headspace, they’re going to be a little bit erratic, so we’re going to try and take advantage of that. But I think as soon as that klaxon goes that might all go out the window!

Owen: We also thought that strategy would be a good idea so we have a bit of extra cash if we need it to fall back on. If we do find ourselves coming last on one of the legs or at a checkpoint we will then have a bit of cash so we can leapfrog if we need it.

Have you picked up any tips from previous series?

Alfie: I think from watching the previous series it gives a bit of a sugar-coated view, I don’t think I’m quite ready for how difficult it’s going to be and how gruelling it’s going to be. But certainly, the importance of budgeting money, trying to be on the move if possible, sleeping on the move will be important.

Owen: I think relying on other people as well, we need to try and take as much advantage of that as possible.


How have you prepared for the trip?

Alfie: We thought we’d prepared for the trip until we realised yesterday neither of us have a watch, so we have no way of telling the time – I wasn’t impressed when I found that out. I have got a digital watch, but I can’t figure out how to change the time on it. I thought everything was going to be fine as I assumed Owen was going to bring an analogue but then I realised he didn’t have anything!

Owen: We’ve both got our iPods though, which both tell the time. Well, mine does. I’m relying on that.

Alfie: I’m not relying on that. But other than that, I think we’re prepared for what’s about to happen.

Owen: As prepared as we can be.

What made you travel with the person that you’re travelling with?

Owen: When we were both in sixth form, we both discovered that we really liked travelling, so then we started going on trips together, the cheapest flights we could get whenever and wherever and then I guess it’s kind of spiralled from going to Europe for a weekend to this.

How competitive are you both? Are you in it to win it?

Owen: We are competitive. We’ve always played sports throughout our whole lives, and we still do as well. So, I think we will carry that competitiveness over from that and bring it into this. We want to win.


Alfie: Yes, we’re very, very competitive.

Race Across The World airs Wednesday nights on BBC One and iPlayer.