Wednesday, August 3, 2011

CrossFit Games Recap: Part 3

[Previous recaps: Part 1 / Part 2]

Day 1 - Afternoon:

Before heading back to the stadium for the team and individual competitions, we spotted Chad Wittman, Reebok’s Director of Sports Marketing - Fitness & Training. I trotted over to him and stuck out my hand to introduce myself and ask him when the Reebok CrossFit shoes would be made available to the paying public.

"They won't be ready until January," he said. Chad explained that the production chain (in China, where the shoes are made) requires a long lead time. "But after fitting the athletes, we had extra shoes and we're selling them in the Reebok tent."

My eyes bugged out of their sockets.

"If you hurry, you might still be able to get a pair." Chad had barely gotten the words out of his mouth before I started speed-walking over to the Reebok tent. 

I scoured the shelves looking for a pair that fit me, but no luck: Only the larger sizes were left. Tim, however, was lucky enough to grab a pair -- and one for our friend OldSkoolBoarder, too.

Dejected, I headed to the stadium to watch the team competition. As the seats gradually filled, I scanned the crowd with my camera, looking for people I knew. I spotted Ronnie Teasdale through my zoom lens; I yelled across two sections of seats to get his attention, but the cheering spectators drowned me out. (Either that, or he was purposely ignoring the spazzy Asian guy with the camera.)

Meanwhile, down on the floor, the six-person affiliate teams were battling it out. Each team had to complete as many 15-foot rope climbs as possible in two minutes, and then immediately transition to another two-minute period in which they had to establish a one-rep max clean.

This looked insanely difficult. After a bunch of rope climbs, I'm sure the athletes' grip strength was shot and their arms were jelly. Still, Danny Nichols of TJ's Gym absolutely killed the event with a 365-pound clean, and Easton Evans of CrossFit Waco came close with a 335-pound clean.

I didn't stick around to watch all the heats compete, though. A little after 5 p.m., it was time for the "official unofficial" Games tweetup. A bunch of us social media geeks congregated in front of the SICFIT tent, including:

LeRoy Gardner of CrossFit Elevate...

...Web, Tim and Russ (a.k.a. @crossfitgames on Twitter)...

And even John Durant, whose profile in the New York Times (and appearance on the Colbert Report) first introduced me to the concept of Paleo eating. As Joe snapped our photo, I turned to John and told him that -- in the parlance of vampire movies -- he had sired both me and M. He looked a little unnerved and probably thought I was super-creepy.

Back at the stadium, the teams had finished up, and it was time for the  individual athletes to compete in Event 3:

For time:

  • 5 rope climbs (15')
  • 5 clean and jerks (145lbs / 115lbs)
  • 4 rope climbs (15')
  • 4 clean and jerks (165lbs / 125lbs)
  • 3 rope climbs (15')
  • 3 clean and jerks (185lbs / 135lbs)
  • 2 rope climbs (15')
  • 2 clean and jerks (205lbs / 145lbs)
  • 1 rope climb (15')
  • 1 clean and jerk (225lbs / 155lbs)
The women were up first.

Suffice it to say, the workout didn't look easy.

In the final heat, Annie Thorisdottir rocketed ahead quickly, climbing the rope and cleaning-and-jerking the barbell with a big smile on her face. She won the event with a time of 6:54. Kristan Clever and Julie Foucher, who came in second and third respectively, were almost a half-minute behind Annie.

It was awesome to watch the athletes push their way through this event -- and it made me want to put a rope up in my garage and learn to shimmy up and down the thing.

The men's competition was fun to watch, too. Chase Daniels won the third heat with a time of 5:03, beating Tommy Hackenbruck by almost a full minute.

Chase Daniels also beat the winner of the fourth heat, Patrick Barber, who finished in 5:26.

The final heat was a scorcher, with Josh Bridges getting ahead early, but eventually getting passed by a number of athletes, including Graham Holmberg, Ben Smith, Blair Morrison, Chris Spealler and Rich Froning. Froning has clearly been practicing with a rope since last year's CrossFit Games, when he lost the championship in the final event because he couldn't climb a rope. This time around, Froning was lightning fast, and finished with a sub-5:00 time.

Ben Smith killed this event, too, with a time of 5:00 flat.

As for Spealler, he finished third in the heat, with a time of 5:24.

Not bad for a little guy, right?

And with that, my recap of Day 1 is finally done! At this rate, I'll finish recapping the 2011 Games right around the time the 2012 Games kick off.