Redeeming a Bad Run

July 16, 2009 4:30 PM

Posted in Competitors »
11 Comments » on this entry

Games09KhalipaBackHillRunSuffer.jpgRead about Jason Khalipa's run and redemption in a free four-page article in the CrossFit Journal.

Jason Khalipa finished 72nd in the first workout at the CrossFit Games. Over the next seven WODs, he clawed his way back into contention and earned the respect of the CrossFit community. Mike Warkentin talks to Khalipa about his struggle back to the top.

Last year Jason Khalipa was the CrossFit Games champion.

One workout into the 2009 Games, he was in 72nd place--third to last.

At one point, he was in danger of not finishing the first WOD: a brutal 7.1 kilometer trail run up and down the viciously steep hills of Aromas, California.

"Jason was sort of stumbling, and it took me a second to realize that he was disoriented," Tony Budding of CrossFit HQ recalled. "He basically ran right into me.... He kept going, and then I heard people yelling for a medic about maybe 20 or 30 seconds later. I turned around and there was a guy down, and I thought, 'That can't be Jason.'"

It was. Khalipa was collapsed on the ground just outside the Stadium.

After the Games concluded, Khalipa explained what had happened.

"There were cramps," Khalipa said. "My calves cramped up really bad and I was dry-heaving in my mouth. It was just a bad situation all around.

When the medical team got to him, he had a decision to make.

"They were asking me, 'What's going on?' I was like, 'I think I'm going to die. I feel like my calves are really bad.' They just asked me, 'Hey, do you want to keep going?' I thought about it and I was like, 'Fuck, yeah--I'm going to keep going."

With the pressure off and the focus on subsequent overall leaders such as Chris Spealler, J.C. Nessa, Moe Kelsey and Tommy Hackenbruck, Khalipa did what he did last year: he quietly crushed workouts and clawed his way back into contention.

Read the full 4-page article for free in the CrossFit Journal...

11 comments on this entry.

1. Kim Malz~FitMom wrote...

July 16, 2009 6:06 PM

Jason was a WARRIOR- I passed him on the road (ah, I barely passed him as I shuffled along) and thought he is the core of "give it everything you own!"

Absolutely superb performance during the remainder of the weekend..and I believe this upcoming weekend is another memory maker as well if I heard his Mom correctly before the awards presentation on Sunday!

2. Kamel wrote...

July 16, 2009 7:24 PM

Wow... considering Khalipa's perfomance this year and last, gotta wonder just how exciting the final WOD might have been if the scoring system had actually allowed him a chance at the title.

3. Gautham wrote...

July 16, 2009 8:02 PM

WOW! Jason is a true inspiration!!! That is one crazy story. And yes, this weekend is another memory maker for him. Wish him all the best.

July 16, 2009 8:02 PM

there is this year's champion and then there are Champions.

Jason, you were last year's champion but what you proved over last weekend is that you are 100% a Champion.

You deserve a huge amount of respect for your physical accomplishments but what I and many people especially admire about you is the character you displayed to come back from adversity and the humility that is at the core of all of your behaviour.

Truly a Champion. Congratulations Jason

5. Herm wrote...

July 16, 2009 9:08 PM

Jason, you're the best. What a great group of people you attract as well. Austin was there for you every step of the way. What an incredible team, what a great comeback!

My money's on you in 2010. I'll see you at CFSC soon.

6. trident wrote...

July 16, 2009 9:48 PM

To Kamel...the scoring system was as simplistic and straight forward as the crossfit philosophy is designed to be...darwinism as its finest. Survival of the fittest.

7. James wrote...

July 16, 2009 11:58 PM

Jason deserves everything he gets. I have new respect for him. He is the real deal and a humble person. He is up there with Spiel and Everett

8. Kamel replied to comment from trident...

July 17, 2009 12:03 AM

darwinism at it's finest? hmmm, i'm thinking crossfit, the games & the scoring system continue to evolve. but hey, i agree that the scoring system used was what what was used & i'm not complaining in any manner about the result.

just commenting on the awesomeness of khalipa & wondering about what he might have found in the tank - if mathematically, he knew he had a chance...

9. Kris Kepler wrote...

July 17, 2009 6:23 AM

I have a feeling their will be a little more coverage of Jason leading up to next years games..... well deserved attention!

10. Playoff Beard wrote...

July 17, 2009 9:31 AM

Jason, you have the heart of a lion. I was there cheering for you at the games, but did not realize the extent of what you had gone through on the run until I read this last night with the hairs on my neck standing up. To come back from that initial setback and finish as strong as you did is difficult to comprehend.

On top of being at the Games to defend your title, tired, hurt and under intense never hesitated to encourage other athletes and were always available to talk and take pictures with your fans between workouts. Your spirit embodies what Crossfit is all about and the award you received was well deserved. You are a champion and always will be.

Congratulations on your upcoming wedding and have a great time on your honeymoon. You've certainly earned the rest.

Your friend,


11. jake wrote...

July 17, 2009 11:36 AM

there were those that doubted if khalipa was legit, but he definitely solidified himself as one of the top crossfitters on the planet. i dont know him personally but he seems like a class act. he lets his performance speak for himself. this guy is all heart. congrats jason, you are a beast.