2010 Games Site is Live!

December 10, 2009 @ 7:54 AM

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The 2010 CrossFit Games site is now live. All new information will be posted there from now on.

This 2009 Games site will remain intact. You will need to access it specifically through this link:

We're very close on starting the release of the Complete 2009 CrossFit Games videos in the CrossFit Journal (within a couple days). There will be a unique Complete 2009 Games category for only those videos.

Coming Very Soon - Part 1

December 3, 2009 @ 7:00 PM

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Games09_CharityCrowd.jpgThe 2009 CrossFit Games Complete Story!

The long wait is almost over! Three epic stories will be told with a total of over 10 hours of footage. The entire content will be released in the CrossFit Journal in its own category. There will be 19 total posts, one for each event for the men and women, and three for the Affiliate Cup.

Each part will be available in three versions: True HD (720p), standard Windows Media, and standard QuickTime, which will be iPod/iPhone compatible.

Because they will be in their own category, they can be fed automatically into iTunes. There will be instructions for how to view the videos on your TV if you so choose.

Once we start, we will release one part per day for 19 days. We'll start with all eight Men's episodes, followed by the three Affiliate Cup episodes, and capped off with the eight Women's episodes.

No official date yet, but probably within a week.

Coming Very Soon - Part 2

December 3, 2009 @ 7:00 PM

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Games09_SzoldraStadiumAM2.jpgThe 2010 CrossFit Games Website!

We are going to launch the 2010 Games website in a few days. There will be preliminary information available immediately on the entire season of qualifiers. This year, there will be 13 Regionals around the world that all take place in May. But unlike last year, you now have to qualify for the Regionals (with a few exceptions in continents with sparse populations of CrossFitters).

Feeding these Regionals will be approximately 30 Sectional competitions, which will be open to anyone. The Sectionals will take place from mid-February to late March. There will even be a Sectional held as one of the events at the Arnold Classic in Columbus, Ohio.

Registration for all events worldwide will hopefully launch Monday, December 21st through our dedicated Registration Website. We will do our best to allow everyone in who wants to compete, but at some point we may have to cut it off. Spectator attendance at most Sectionals will be limited, so you'll want to act quickly.

Women's Couplet - Second Heat

December 2, 2009 @ 8:00 PM

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Games09_WomensCoupletHeat2.jpgAfter a brutal day in the Aromas sun, the couplet event was all that stood between a handful of female competitors and a berth in the top 16, and day two. A strong finish here could keep their dreams alive for this years Games.

The heat was stacked with competitors. Rebecca Voigt, of Valley CrossFit, finished in 13:54, a course record at the time. Her time set the bar for the rest of the heats and she maintained fourth place in the event. Glory Dawson,of CrossFit BWI, finished just behind her and recorded the sixth fastest time of the day.

Women's Couplet, Second Heat Video ... [wmv] [mov]

Sledge Event Intro

November 15, 2009 @ 2:00 PM

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Games09_StakesLongShot.jpg"Unknown and Unknowable." A hopper containing any imaginable physical task is one of four theoretical pillars upon which CrossFit's definition of fitness is built. Ditch digging, equipment transportation and buddy carries are all scenarios that an individual may face in their lifetime. As such, they are fair game for a CrossFit challenge.

The sledge hammer/row event came out of the hopper this year, to the dismay of some top athletes. "This event here might just end my day," Josh Everett joked seconds before entering the stadium.

After a 500m row, athletes were tasked with driving a stake (4' long, 1.25" diameter) until no more than six inches remained above the ground. That area of the stadium had been dug out and repacked to a consistent density. The event was completed with another 500 meter row on the Concept 2 rower.

Tommy Hackenbruck of UTE CrossFit demonstrated how a past in carpentry could lend itself to proficiency with a sledge hammer, setting the bar for men with a best time of 4:36, just seconds ahead of Jeff Leonard and Moe Kelsey.

The fastest female was Sarah Dunsmore from CrossFit Durham (5:33), followed closely by Katie Hogan from Valley CrossFit (5:43).

Sledge Event Intro video ... [wmv] [mov]

Is This Too Hard?

November 14, 2009 @ 1:00 PM

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Games09_TooHard.jpg"The men and women competing here today have legitimate claim to the title, "Fittest Men and Women on Earth," by the same rights and logic that the Lakers, the Steelers, the Penguins and the Phillies are the best basketball team, football team, hockey team and baseball team on Earth."

-Greg Glassman, at the Inception of the 2009 CrossFit Games

As a strength and conditioning program, the goal of CrossFit is to consistently exceed the capacities of its athletes, including the world's fittest humans. No matter where you are in life, gains in fitness cannot be achieved without discomfort. Of course, that pain shouldn't be excessive, nor should it be just for its own sake (it's easy to create a painful workout that doesn't lead to much). But, there is certainly a high correlation between competency in life and tolerance of discomfort.

Obviously, any attempt to determine the World's Fittest Humans must be, by definition, extremely arduous. Was this year's Games enough, or did we make it too hard?

Is This Too Hard? video ... [wmv] [mov]

Women's Snatch Event - Heat 1

November 13, 2009 @ 2:00 PM

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Games09_WomensSnatchHeatOne.jpgThe Snatch Event on Day 2 of this year's Games was the first of its kind. Each athlete had ten minutes to work up to a one rep maximum effort in the snatch, loosely defined with a few key requirements. Each athlete and their own bar, and nine others were competing at the same time. Pressing out and knees hitting the deck were permitting, though assisting the bar with any other part of your body was not.

The women in the first heat were impressive. Tamara Holmes was the runaway victor for the event with a 145lb lift. Crystal McReynolds lifted 125lbs. Jenny Olson got 120, while both Jolie Gentry and Laura Demarco snatched 115lbs each.

The second heat put up similarly competitive numbers. Both Lindsey Smith and Kristan Clever snatched 130lbs. Tanya Wagner, the overall champion, finished second with 135lbs.

This video from Carey Peterson shows the last minutes of the first heat. The clock approached the 10min mark, and the women dug in to push their limits. The pressure was on. Only sixteen women remained in the competition. Every point counted, as only 24 points separated first place from fifth place. Most of these competitors had already achieved their best lifts and were trying for one more jump.

Women's First Snatch Heat video ... [wmv] [mov]

CrossFit Games Vs. The Olympics

November 6, 2009 @ 3:00 PM

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Games09_OlyVSGames_KhalipaSpeal.jpgThe CrossFit Games is unique in both it's format and the culture that surrounds it. The marriage of elite fitness and the festival ambiance is unique to Aromas.

Days before the 2009 competition gets underway Tony Budding, Games Co-Director, reflects on what makes the CrossFit Games unique. "The primary difference is that when you compete in the olympics, you know what you're up against. One of the key components, one of the ways that we test for the unknown and the unknowable, the way we require very broad levels of fitness is that the athletes don't know what they're competing in."

The high levels of camaraderie among the athletes is rare in sport. CrossFitters celebrate the successes of other competitors. Many share strategies, and even actively cheer on their rivals.

CrossFit Vs. Olympics ... [wmv] [mov]

Deadlift Event Preview

November 5, 2009 @ 4:00 PM

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Games09JoshWagnerDLAlmost485.jpgAthletes can do amazing things under the pressures of competition, and in front of thousands of screaming fans. In the second event this year, many athletes set lifetime PRs in the deadlift despite having to lift one rep every 30sec, and having run the 7km race about an hour before. Sixteen male athletes and one female athlete lifted all 20 bars.

Josh Wagner of CrossFit Apex set a 10lb PR, and just barely missed a 20lb PR at 485. Wagner's wife Tanya also set a PR, lifting 325lbs. She, of course, ended up World Champion at the end of Sunday.

Rob Orlando came to CrossFit from a strongman background, which shaped his game plan in advance. "There's about a thousand other things I'd rather do than a 7 kilometer run," he joked the night before the competition. The second event gave him more confidence. "We'll see if I did my homework," Rob mused. He did something right. Twenty bars, one every 30 seconds and culminating at 505lbs, failed to raise his heart rate.

Deadlift Event Video 1 ... [wmv] [mov]

Matt Chan from CrossFit Verve was considered a top contender going into the weekend. Last year he finished eighth overall. He won the Rocky Mountain Qualifiers, solidifying his reputation. Matt is also part of the CrossFit Level 1 Certification seminar training staff. He compares the past two years' Games, and sets a lifetime PR in the deadlift.

Deadlift Event Video 2 ... [wmv] [mov]

Nicole Gordon: Finger v. Stake

November 4, 2009 @ 4:00 PM

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Games09NicoleGordonFinger.jpgNicole Gordon of CrossFit Hampton Roads was in the first heat of the sledge event. Entering the event she was hovering just behind the middle of the pack. She hit the ground running and was doing well in the event until a poor strike and unfortunate hand placement caused big problems. Nicole's finger was crushed between the sledge hammer and the stake.

Nicole was undaunted, and finished the event in spite of the pain. You could her scream intermittently throughout the final 500 meter row.

The medical team stood by as she pulled out her last few strokes on the machine and immediately went to work. Nicole was taken to the hospital by ambulance where they assessed the extent of the damage. When it was determined that the finger was not in fact broken, she rushed back to compete in the Couplet. She called frantically from the car to assure us she was coming back for her scheduled heat.

The fastest female in the Sledge event was Sarah Dunsmore of CrossFit Durham, with a time of 5:33.

Nicole Gordon Sledge video ... [wmv] [mov]

The Run

November 3, 2009 @ 4:00 PM

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Games09_RunStart.jpgThe run event challenged both physical and mental conditioning. The 7km course took them up steep terrain, through poison-oak-covered foothills and back down on the road to finish the race.

Some favored athletes in the competition were humbled by the event. Jason Khalipa was thought to be out of the competition when he collapsed to the ground entering the flatland portion that marked the start of the final mile.

Run Start video ... [wmv] [mov]

The most treacherous part of the run was the backside portion. The grade was so significant that the athletes took to crawling on all fours. Many went crashing down the initial slope. For sure, there was not a lot of running happening on the way up.

Backside of the Run video ... [wmv] [mov]

Chris Spealer and Mikko Salo finished the event in first and second position, just seconds apart. Russell Berger came in third with a time of 38:07, slightly under a minute behind the leaders.

Some competitors were impressively proficient on the first two events, which tested a broad spectrum of physical capabilities. JC Nessa and Peter Egyed placed in the top 15 runners out of 74 male competitors, and managed to lift all 20 bars in the deadlift event. Mikko Salo came in second in the run and deadlifted all the way to the final bar. Khalipa rallied to finish the run in time and made up some ground by finishing the deadlift event.

"It's the most primitive mode of fitness," said Jeremy Thiel one day before the event. "Run and pick up heavy stuff. Perfect."

Run Finish video ... [wmv] [mov]

The Couplet Wrecks Shop

October 29, 2009 @ 12:00 PM

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Games09_CoupletWrecksShop.jpgThe Couplet at the end of day one was a pivotal event. After the dust settled, 39 of the 55 athletes who attempted the workout would not be continuing on to the second day.

Two movements, a 75 pound hang squat snatch and a 20 pound wall-ball shot, were all it would take to tax the outer limits of mental and physical stamina of the remaining athletes to the breaking point. Many were already running on fumes. 13 men and 15 women did not complete the effort. In a spine tingling display of heart Kyle Kasperbauer raced the clock to get his last 5 repetitions. He was only a fraction of a rep shy of completing the event when the 20 minute cut-off passed, and was left nearly crippled with fatigue.

Moe Kelsey, who took 3rd place overall and finished 8th in the couplet, reflected on the 2nd place lead he took into day two.

Jason Khalipa, who seemed to get stronger as the day progressed finished on a high note, setting the bar and taking first in the event with a time of 11:18. Mikko Salo was a minute behind and secured the fourth position. Tommy Hackenbruck, Blair Morrison and Peter Egyed took second, third and fifth, respectively, to round out the top five.

The Couplet Wrecks Shop ... [wmv] [mov]

Chatting About The Snatch Event

October 28, 2009 @ 9:00 AM

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Games09_OPT_Snatch.jpgCrossFit is the pursuit of power, plain and simple. In practice we utilize movements that are best suited to that end and focus on the sound mechanics that lead to optimal force production. However, in the competition format it's completion of the designated task that determines the winner, not the technical nuances or stylistic interpretations of them. That's consistent to all of sport and life.

Going into the snatch event, Annie Thorisdotter had very little exposure to the olympic lifts and trained mostly with bodyweight movements. Frustration nearly got the better of her when she temporarily lost her nerve in the warm up area. In the end she managed to pull a weight that was competitive with women who had been practicing the lifts for years.

Coach Mike Burgener of Mike's Gym, praised the event and also noted the drastic improvement in technique from five years ago. "I tell you if we did this event five, even four years ago, it would've been God ugly, but some of these guys... the technique is unbelievable."

Video ... [wmv] [mov]

In particular he hails James "OPT" Fitzgerald of CrossFit Calgary and Spencer Hendel of CrossFit Charlotte. OPT snatched 175 pounds to tie with David Millar, of CrossFit Marina and Iceland Sven from Bootcamp. They each received 13 points for the event. Hendel matched Jason Khalipa and DJ Wickham with a 225 pound pull. Jeff Leonard was in a class of his own with a 240 pound lift.

Event 5 - The Couplet

October 19, 2009 @ 8:00 PM

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BozCastroEvent5Snatch.jpgThe first day of the 09 CrossFit Games tested athletes' physical and mental boundaries to an unprecedented degree. After four events, twenty men and twenty women had already been eliminated.

Now, "in one 20 minute event, 39 people are gonna be eliminated," reiterated Dave Castro, Director of the CrossFit Games.

The final event was a CrossFit couplet. Tough under any circumstances, brutal as the fifth workout of the day, and crucial for staying alive in the competition. Thirteen men and fifteen women would not finish within the allotted time. Carey Kepler had the best time for women at 11:01. Jason Khalipa had the best time for men at 11:18.

Three rounds for time of:
30 Wallball (20lbs/14lbs)
30 Hang squat snatches (75lbs/45lbs)

Castro briefed the event as Adrian Bozeman demonstrated the points of performance. Athletes had to finish the movement with control of the weight overhead. BrOPT (Michael Fitzgerald), who finished 34th in the event with a time of 18:16, was forced to redo his last repetition. His struggle for one final repetition in the midst of extreme muscle cramping is indicative of the mental fortitude these athletes possess. BrOPT finished Day 1 in 16th place, just good enough to make it to Day 2. In the end, he finished 11th overall.

Event 5 announcement ... [wmv] [mov]

BrOPT - One More Rep ... [wmv] [mov]

Coach Burgener on the Snatch Event

October 12, 2009 @ 12:06 PM

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Games09BurgCareySnatch.jpgThe Snatch event on day two of the 09 Games was the first of it's kind. Unlike USAW and IWF competitions, ten athletes took the stadium together, each with their own barbell. They were given ten minutes to reach a one rep maximum, taking weight from the ground to locked out overhead. If they achieved this in two or twenty reps, it made no difference.

Task completion was the focus of the challenge; the method by which they arrived was loosely dictated. It was a snatch, but without some of the specific requirements of traditional Oly-lifting meets.

"Press out, fine... knee touches the ground, fine," Tony Budding explained. Plus, beyond any of their own observations, the athletes were not made aware of the other competitors' attempts.

Coach Mike Burgener is the father and coach of Olympian Casey Burgener and owner of Mike's Gym. He is CrossFit's top Olympic Weightlifting coach, and his expertise is widely respected within the sport of lifting itself. He is a USA Weightlifting Senior International Coach, former junior World team (1996-2004) and senior World team coach (2005).

As both a CrossFit coach and a USAW coach, does he see the event as a bastardization of the snatch or as a legitimate alternative? "I think for what CrossFit stands for and what it's all about, it's great. In the military environment, the firefighting environment, the policing environment, and even the mother at home trying to lift something up, I think it's absolutely right on. I have no problems with it."

He made sure to highlight the need for consistency in judging, however, to differentiate the lifts from the clean. "As long as the judges understand that, it all becomes an issue of being in line with and in sequence with and consistent with (the standards). The judges need to be instructed that if it touches any part of the body, it's not a lift."

The best lifts were 240lbs by Jeff Leonard, and 145lbs by Tamara Holmes.

Snatch Event Trailer... [wmv] [mov]

Coach Burgener On the Snatch... [wmv] [mov]

The Crucible

October 8, 2009 @ 1:00 PM

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Games09Winnas.jpgThe scope of the CrossFit Games extend far beyond crowning the fittest athletes on the planet. In the greater context it is an experiment we are all involved with, the purpose of which is to elicit the best practices for producing measurable, observable and repeatable results in elite human performance. Each athlete at the games contributes in some way to making CrossFit better, and to improving our understanding of fitness and how it can, and should be achieved.

Coach Glassman paraphrases in 'The Crucible,' the latest video produced by Marty Cej and John Buffone of BNN . "You got a better way to train people? A better way to rest? A better way to eat? If it doesn't show in force, distance and time... if it doesn't show up in improved work capacity, then we can dismiss it. And if it is there, we can't ignore it. The method is important; the narrative is a byproduct, but the data is everything. these are proving grounds... this is a place to test your shit."

Hypotheses and narratives about the superiority of training methodologies have no credence without results. The individuals and affiliates that are on or near the podium every year must be doing something right. "Take Calgary, for example. A town of one million people had four individual athletes in the top 16, plus an affiliate team in the top four." This type of data draws attention.

"Number one, it takes dedication," says Michael Fitzgerald of the successes acheived at Optimum Performance Training in Calgary. "You can't just say I'm gonna be an elite CrossFitter. You have to hone your tolerance for this. Anyone can snatch a heavy snatch, anyone can get a really big bench press. But how many people can do a sub 2:30 Fran, a sub 15 Filthy Fifty and a sub 7 minute Helen... with a heavy snatch! Then you're a CrossFitter, and that takes a lot of dedication."

The Crucible... [wmv] [mov]

Sunday Triplet: Women's 2nd Heat

September 16, 2009 @ 12:13 AM

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Games09CharityTripletKBS.jpgCharity Vale (2nd overall, pictured) and Kristan Clever (4th overall) were neck in neck throughout most of the second heat of the triplet. Charity took an early lead, but Kristan didn't ever slow down and finally ended up winning the event with 153 reps (6 rounds plus 5 KB swings). Charity was right behind her in second with 148 reps (6 rounds plus 4 HSPU).

After the first heat, Jolie Gentry had the best score with 103 reps (4 rounds plus 3 KB swings). She finished in third for the event and seventh overall.

The workout was max rounds and reps in 8 minutes of:
4 Handstand pushups
8 KB swings (24kg)
12 GHD situps

The HSPU were the primary dividing line in this workout. Kristan and Charity were able to crank them out unbroken round after round. Jolie and Iceland Annie were consistent but slowed to singles in the later rounds. Most of the rest of the women had to rest consistently between reps to regain their strength. Four women were eliminated from the running for not completing a single HSPU.

Here is a video of the entire heat mixed between the two cameras that were used for the live feed to the Jumbotron screen ... [wmv] [mov]

Sandbag Sprint: Speal v. Khalipa

September 13, 2009 @ 1:06 PM

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Games09KhalipaSpealPhillipsSandbag.jpgIn another epic Sandbag Sprint heat, Brandon Phillips, Chris Spealler, and Jason Khalipa (pictured left to right) raced hard for the top.

Khalipa was amazingly quick out of the gate. He was several meters ahead by the time they left the stadium. Jason Neago was in second, just ahead of Phillips and Speal, but not for long. The two moved fast through the "flats." Brandon was on Khalipa's heels as they hit the final pitch.

Speal kept the most speed through the final stretch, weaving his way between Phillips and Khalipa to win the heat in an impressive 1:08.4. Khalipa showed a final burst at the end to edge out Phillips (1:10.0 and 1:11.6, respectively).

You can see at the end of the video how painful the sprint was. Both Speal and Khalipa were down for a while, something exceedingly rare for either of them ... [wmv] [mov]

Thor's Daughter Crushes the Sandbag Sprint

September 11, 2009 @ 3:00 PM

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Games09IcelandAnnieSandbag.jpgAnnie Thorisdottir was the picture of determination as she joined her countryman, Sveinbjorn Sveinbjornsson in clinching the number one spot in the sandbag sprint event with a time of 1:07.4. The performance was enough to jump Annie's overall standings from fifth to first, edging out Tanya Wagner as they entered the row/sledge WOD. She maintained the top spot until Wagner reclaimed it in the couplet.

Annie chased Wagner from the second position until a lack of muscle-ups cost her a place on the podium. Such astounding performances in the absence of technical programming (neither Annie or Sven had ever completed one rep of either the snatch, GHD sit up or muscle-up before the Games) makes it likely that Iceland will be a force at next years Games.

Iceland Annie crushes the sandbag sprint video ... [wmv] [mov]

Past Champs are Pre-Qualified for Life

September 10, 2009 @ 3:00 PM

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Games09ChampionsQualify4Life.jpgAll past champions from any of the CrossFit Games are automatically qualified for all future Games.

Being named Fittest on the Planet for at least a year earns them the right to compete in any future Games competition if they so choose.

Pictured competing in this year's Games (from the outside in), 2009 champs Mikko Salo and Tanya Wagner, 2008 champs Caity Matter and Jason Khalipa, and 2007 champs James FitzGerald and Jolie Gentry.

We look forward to seeing these amazing athletes in future Games.

Iceland Sven Attacks the Sandbag Sprint

September 9, 2009 @ 3:00 PM

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Games09IcelandSvenSandbag.jpgHeat number 10 of the sandbag sprint provided an epic show for the spectators with the top three times of the day. This catapulted the three of them into the top 8 overall.

Prior to the games, Sveinbjorn Sveinbjornsson had little to no experience with the more technical movements in the CrossFit protocol. However, his performance in the sandbag sprint, which jumped him 14 spots from 20th after the deadlift to the top 6, was a testament to his extremely high level of GPP. "Iceland Sven" set the bar high with the fastest time of the day at (1:01)! Spencer Hendel, who entered the event one spot ahead of Sven, and DJ Wickam offered no breathing room for the Icelander, with both athletes finishing within 3 seconds of him (1:03.4 and 1:04.9 for Hendel and Wickham, respectively). There was a consensus among many of the athletes that this event was far and away the most brutal. But, as they say in Iceland,"gera láta ekki á sér kræla huggast!"

Iceland Sven's top sandbag sprint video ... [wmv] [mov]

Announcing the 2010 CrossFit Games!

September 8, 2009 @ 3:00 PM

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Games09AerialDLSouth.jpgThe 2010 CrossFit Games will take place at The Ranch in Aromas, CA on July 16 - 18, 2010.

Stay tuned for more details. This year, you will have to qualify for the Regionals by being a top performer at one of many smaller Sectional competitions. That is, unless you competed in the 2009 Games, in which case you are automatically qualified for the Regionals.

There are not quite as many regions, and most regions will not be sending quite as many competitors. Only 100 athletes will make it to the Individual competition in Aromas '10, fifty men and fifty women.

The events and scoring system for the 2010 Games will be kept a mystery until right before the competition. Only one thing is known: they will be different from any of the past CrossFit Games.

How do you prepare for a competition of an unknown nature? Easy! Specialize in not specializing. Overcome your weaknesses. Fortify your strengths. Get comfortable being uncomfortable. And, develop tremendous power across broad time and modal domains.

Mikko Salo Sandbag Sprint

September 7, 2009 @ 1:36 PM

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Games09MikkoSandbagSprint.jpgThe Sandbag Sprint was widely described as the most painful of the eight events. This photo and video are from the final men's heat, the top five men after the 7k run and Deadlift events. The time to beat was Iceland Sven's blazing time of 1:01.

The race was epic. The guys had to run about 30' from the starting line to the sandbags, which were laying down side by side on the ground. They had to grab both bags (each weighing 35lbs) and start the sprint up the hill. Any technique was permitted for grabbing and carrying the bags.

The race was 170m uphill. There was about 100' elevation gain between the starting and finishing lines, with most of that coming in the final 40m. Just about that time that your legs were starting to fatigue, the hill got dramatically steeper.

JC Nessa took off to an early lead. Jeremy Thiel was in second by a large margin. Mikko Salo, David Millar and Peter Egyed were together in the back. It looked like JC's race right up until the final pitch.

But he slowed dramatically. Jeremy started to gain, and Mikko held his own. But Jeremy slowed a bit also. Mikko was able to keep pace better than any one. Then JC stumbled, and Mikko darted around him for the lead. He kept pushing, and won the heat handily. His time of 1:08.6 was good enough for 9th in the event, which put him into 1st place overall after three events.

Mikko Salo Sandbag Sprint video ... [wmv] [mov]

Triplet Men's First Heat

September 4, 2009 @ 6:54 PM

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Games09PatrickBurkeTripletGHD.jpgPatrick Burke from MBS CrossFit (pictured with judge Justin Bergh from CrossFit SS) won the Event 7 Triplet with a score of 172, which was 7 rounds plus 4 HSPU.

Jason Khalipa from CrossFit Santa Clara tied Mikko Salo for second with 152 or 6 rounds plus 4 KB swings.

Sevan Matossian made an 11min video of the entire first men's heat for the triplet, including an interview with Pat Burke after he won the event ... [wmv] [mov]

Josh Wagner on Keeping the Games Rugged

August 21, 2009 @ 6:00 PM

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CrossFit in an indoor arena? Josh Wagner of CrossFit Apex doesn't like the idea either.

Wagner, who finished 40th in the Games and is married to women's champ Tanya Wagner, talks about his desire for the CrossFit Games to stay "hardcore" in this video shot shortly before the Games ... [wmv] [mov]

"Just keep throwing the stands in," he said. "Keep making the fences bigger."

No pretty lifting platforms allowed. No air conditioning needed.

Wagner also believes the Games will see different top competitors every year as more and more elite athletes flock to Aromas to prove themselves. Those athletes will find unique challenges in each edition of the Games, so repeat champions are extremely unlikely. A back-to-back winner? Maybe--but Wagner doesn't expect to see a three-peat anytime soon.

And the unknown and the unknowable? Josh loves it because it forces athletes to train to get better at everything. It's what CrossFit is all about.

Tanya's Massage Therapy

August 20, 2009 @ 1:00 PM

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TincherMassage.jpgEd Rockowitz and Joshua Tucker (pictured with Jeff Tincher from CrossFit Fairfax) from Ahhh Massage offered round the clock massage therapy to the athletes (and the occasional volunteer) at the 2009 Games.

They did amazing work, many of the athletes commenting on them being the best body work they'd ever had. Several even credited them with the sole reason they were able to complete all the events.

Joshua talks about CrossFit athletes and their bodies, and the general benefits of massage while working on first place female finisher Tanya Wagner.

Tanya's Massage Video ... [wmv] [mov]

Private Chipper Briefing

August 18, 2009 @ 11:00 PM

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Games09BlairChuckDaveOHLunge.jpgThe final workout of the 09 Games was a long chipper. The workout was:
15 reps 100/155lb BB squat clean
30 Toes to bar
30 Box jumps 20/24" box
10/15 Muscle ups
30 PushPress /PushJerk 25/40lb DBs
30 Double Unders
15 reps 95/135lb Thruster
30 Pullups
30 Burpees
300' OH Walking lunge with 25/45lb plate

In this video from Sevan Matossian, Dave Castro briefs the athletes in the Shop on the event before they go out for the public briefing ... [wmv] [mov]

Behind The Scenes Of the Sledge Event

August 12, 2009 @ 7:00 PM

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SledgeLineup.jpgThe Row/Sledgehammer/Row event at the 2009 CrossFit games was arguably the most varied event of the weekend. It involved all of the 10 general physical skills, with a particular emphasis on accuracy and coordination.

Almost all the competitors were accurate and consistent when they struck the stake softly. Only a few were able to connect with the stake at full force. Most were somewhere in between. The difference is the ability to maintain accuracy at higher levels of intensity.

We will be featuring videos of this event in the near future (both men and women). This video by Sevan Matossian is a series of clips that show what went on behind the scenes of the event.

Sledge Event Behind The Scenes Video ... [wmv] [mov]

The CrossFit Community

August 10, 2009 @ 6:00 PM

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For many, the CrossFit community is the biggest draw. The camaraderie and competition are infrequently shared in many environments, but found in abundance in CrossFit.

John Buffone and Marty Cej of BNN fame were a two man film crew at the 2009 CrossFit Games. They are producing news-styled, behind the scenes videos about the Games unlike anything we've produced before.

In this video they talk about the CrossFit community as a whole, and how the Games are an extension of this community.

The CrossFit Community ... [wmv] [mov]

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Games09WomensChipperHeat1.jpgChristy Phillips (6th overall) from Primal Fitness and Crystal McReynolds (9th overall) from CrossFit Central had an epic battle in the first heat of the Event 8 Chipper.

The workout was:
15 reps 100lb BB squat clean
30 Toes to bar
30 Box jumps 20" box
10 Muscle ups
30 PushPress /PushJerk 25lb DBs
30 Double Unders
15 reps 95lb Thruster
30 Pullups
30 Burpees
300' OH Walking lunge with 25lb plate

This was the eighth and final event in two days. Earlier that day, they had already completed a 1 Rep Max snatch and an 8min triplet of handstand pushups, KB swings, and GHD situps.

This long video (18min) was made from the Jumbotron footage being shown live at the event (you can see the screen in the top corner of the photo). The two women trade the lead several times. Jolie Gentry (7th overall) makes a good run in the middle with the fastest muscle-ups and strong pull-ups (listen for the crowd when she breaks out the butterfly pull-ups!).

The final drill is the "down and back" walking lunges with the bumper plate overhead. It's like a slow motion battle with both athletes fighting the extreme fatigue and incredible burning in their legs. Crystal edges out Christy in the end with a time of 24:24. Charity Vale had the best time in the second heat at 18:24.

Women's Chipper Heat 1 video ... [wmv] [mov]

Mikko And Speal: 7K Friends

August 3, 2009 @ 2:00 PM

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Games09MikkoSpealVideoStill.jpgChris Spealler from CrossFit Park City and Mikko Salo finished 1-2 in the 7km Run. Mikko was ahead going into the back treacherous gully. Chris passed him there, then held the lead until they were back on the road, where they traded the lead a few times. They also shared a few words.

Chris describes the event:
Mikko had been in front of me for most of the race. I really only first began to see him and recognize that it was him as I came up the hill on the last of the 3 loops before hitting the big one on the back side. As we hit the single track before heading down the gully to the "big" hill I caught up with him and ended up passing him while flailing down the steep hay covered slope that led to the bottom of the hill on the back side. I stayed out in front for the remainder of the hill climb, as well as back up and over the final hill. My headphones were on and I was relatively oblivious to anyone around me. As I hit the road and made a left, I noticed Mikko close by. We ran at a steady pace till the cone at the end of the road, when he passed me.

Continue reading ...

Chuck's Take: The North Pad

August 1, 2009 @ 1:00 PM

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NorthPadChaos.jpgChuck Carswell was a judge for the 2009 CrossFit Games, and recently sent us his take on the competition:

Here's my quick recount of the North Pad Wod plus a couple of Nuggets for Happy CF'ing-

Day one: Team Events. Dave Castro puts John Brown and I in charge of the Overhead Squat/Pull Up WOD. He mentions nothing about our Overhead Squatting abilities.

Nugget #1 When it comes to CF: Always - Check your EGO at the door.

No worries, I'll remind Dave later that based on our abilities, he made 2 great choices to run this station. To which he'll reply, "#@%$#^&*.........&^%$#@(!@#>!

Continue reading ...

The Lion's Ovation

July 30, 2009 @ 2:00 PM

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missedlift.jpg"There is no wooden platform. Only rolled rubber, stretched over a concrete pad and coated with the thin, obnoxious dust of the Aromas desert," writes Jon Gilson about the Event 6 Snatch competition on Sunday morning at the Games. He continues:

Luminaries with red and white lights are replaced by blue-clad Judges, some qualified, some not, all with hands held high.

The contenders eschew the singlet fashion of the sport; their wooden-soled shoes the only vestige of traditional Olympic weightlifting garb.

Dead silence is a joke, drowned out by a fierce, screaming crowd and the hate music rocketing from the speakers.

The California sun slow cooks the barbells, each resting against a log marked with a number that has no bearing on the task at hand.

Ten minutes. A stack of plates. Power snatch or squat snatch, split or not. Rip it up smoothly, press it out ugly, it doesn't matter. Just get it over your head. Max load wins.

Continue reading ...

Cowboy Musings from Aromas

July 29, 2009 @ 2:00 PM

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Games09TuckerStyle.jpgI returned from my 1771 mile drive on the back roads of our nation from Aromas, California to Ft. Worth Texas and tried to decompress from the events over 4 days. I tried to get on with business as usual, I tried to rest, I tried to spend time thinking of other things, hell I even went fishing but the events of the 2009 Games would not leave my mind's eye - a sort of melancholy snuck in and I just wanted to do it all over again. I began to miss my new found friends and family, the roar of the crowds, the Affiliate Cup, my drunken debauchery with Freddie Camacho (pictured the night before the Affiliate Cup), and all the wonderful lasting moments of fellowship.

This was my second year to be a part of the Games spectacle and God willing it will not be my last. Last year on a whim I showed up to the games at Greg Glassman's request, I arrived a day early and simply asked Dave Castro if they needed any help - next thing I know I was a judge in the 2008 CrossFit Games. In 2009 I was given the honor of offering my services as head of logistics; which was a sort of glorified gopher for Dave Castro who still owes me for food! But I would not have wanted it any other way. The depth and scale of the Games, and CrossFit itself is not unlike a runaway horse, once you get a hold of it - you better saddle up quick, hunker down, and get ready for a wild ride! I bore witness to the spectacle of athletes pushing limits, of sacrifices made in order to compete, and of demons being conquered. I was humbled by the effortless sportsmanship constantly exhibited within a community of like-minded folks. In the barn I sat down and consoled complete strangers and shared tears with these athletes who rose above the self doubt and physical fatigue to watch them rise again to press on.

I also worked with a group of spirited and enthusiastic volunteer staff, hell with that, this was an ARMY! An ARMY of caring, unselfish, dedicated souls who wanted to offer and give service to the spirit of the CrossFit Games, and I was proud to be a part of helping corral, juggle, sweat, steal, and encourage folks behind the scenes. I watched Jamie Budding burn the candle at both ends, she never tired, she was a soothing force behind the scenes and approached everything with class, as a lady of her stature does (I think I love you Jamie, but don't let Tony know that, he can press more than me). All of you who stepped up to volunteer and offered service were an integral part of the success of our sport, all of you were the foundation of the spectacle, all of you deserve the highest of praise and if I might also offer something more - my humblest thank you. It was an honor and God willing, I will see you all next year.

Much Love,

GSX Athletics

Games 09: The Judges

July 28, 2009 @ 2:00 PM

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Games09BlairChuckCarswellJudge.jpgAt the 2009 CrossFit Games, spectators saw amazing performances from a variety of the top athletes across the world. They also got to see something else: Top-notch judges.

The judges at the Games were extremely professional throughout the weekend. "Just to be clear," Dave Castro told them, "you are not cheerleaders. That's what the crowd is for." In spite of this, they are still CrossFit trainers, and seeing athletes push their limits can excite even the best of them.

Dan Thacker of CrossFit Valley Park, who watched the action from the stands, sent in this picture of Chuck Carswell and Blair Morrison. He wrote, "I was amazed at how well the judges did. I've been a judge for many local competitions and it is such a hard job. They all deserve tremendous recognition. Chuck Carswell showed tremendous enthusiasm with the athletes. You could really see his passion. Anyway, just thought I'd pass this one along. Great job on the event! Can't wait until next year."

HQ trainer Todd Widman judged many of the events throughout the weekend. He had this to say about the competition, and the judging in particular:

"I can sum up my experience at the 2009 Games with one word: Heart.

This was the first CrossFit Games I had the privilege of attending and was humbled to have the opportunity to help out as a judge for the competing athletes. Though not knowing fully what that charge would entail I was certain we would see some extraordinarily talented athletes compete, so in turn I was not shocked at the caliber of athleticism displayed over the three days.

Also, the standards for judging were neither that surprising nor different than any other CrossFit event, a squat is a squat, whether in Aromas or Montana. Once a few specifics were decided upon, i.e. what did and did not equal a repetition for scoring, we were off and running.

What shocked me was the heart each and every athlete displayed, through every workout, all day, every day of the Games. Every one of the athletes endured limitless physical, mental, and emotional hardship all day long, and did so with a positive attitude bordering on selflessness. More emotion was spent by the competitors on cheering for others than themselves. More drive was put forth to better one's times and weights, for that reason alone, than to win when stacked up against another's time or weight.

These were amazing athletes with a ton of heart at the 2009 Games, but are, more notably, remarkable people.

Thank you to the 2009 CrossFit Games competitors for outwardly displaying all that is exceptional about CrossFit."

Although Todd thanks the competitors, and we in turn do the same, we must stop and give thanks to the many volunteers, media personnel, and the outstanding judges that held the high standards that CrossFit demands.

Thank you.

Top LEO/Mil Competitor: Jolie Gentry

July 25, 2009 @ 3:00 PM

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Three-time Games competitor Jolie Gentry won the games in 2007. She placed fifth in 2008.

This year, she earned seventh place. With her finish, she also earned the award of Top Military or Law Enforcement Competitor of either gender, just beating Marine Patrick Burke, who finished eighth.

In this video from CrossFit by Overload, we see a showing of her best moments at the 2009 CrossFit Games and her award ceremony following the events on Sunday. Viking Tactics gave her a pistol of her choice, to which Jolie replies, "You guys are definitely the coolest sponsor we have."

Viking Tactics offers shooting and tactical training to a wide variety of law enforcement officers, military units, and civilians.

Jolie Gentry gets top LEO/Mil award video ... [wmv] [mov]

A Spectator Explains Why He CrossFits

July 24, 2009 @ 3:00 PM

Posted in The Games »
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Games09TommyCongratsMikko.jpgCrossFit brings together competitor and spectator like no other sport.

It's a bit like being the parent of a gymnast at the Olympics. But we're not the parents of these athletes. In many cases, we don't even know them. But we've followed their journey. We cheer their victories. And our heart cries when they falter. We understand. No matter what our Fran times, max deadlifts, or muscle up ability, we understand. We understand because we, too, are CrossFitters.

We see the looks on the athletes' faces as they expand boundaries, pushing the limits of body and mind. We know what they are feeling. We've been there. Most of us will be there again soon. This is what is different about the CrossFit Games. Our physical capacities may be different, but our hearts and soul are the same. Burpees suck for everyone!

Continue reading ...

Josh Everett's Deadlifts

July 23, 2009 @ 4:00 PM

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Games09BADL2.jpgOne of the heavy favorites going into the 2009 CrossFit Games was Josh Everett. Coming out of the brutal 7k hill run ranked 30th, he was ready to tackle the deadlift event. In this video from CrossFit by Overload, we get to see some of the best lifts by numerous competitors, as well as the final lifts Josh makes with ease until finally pulling 505 from the ground.

Josh Everett deadlift video ... [wmv] [mov]

09 Games Overview Video

July 21, 2009 @ 5:00 PM

Posted in The Games »
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CastroRollCall.jpgJohn Buffone and Marty Cej of BNN fame were a two man film crew at the 2009 CrossFit Games. They produced a news-styled, behind the scenes video about the Games that is unlike anything we've produced before.

They talk about the organization of the Games along with the challenges and purposes of the event. Athletes, fans, organizers, and Coach Glassman are briefly interviewed.

2009 CrossFit Games Overview Video ... [wmv] [mov]

The 2009 Overload Highlight Reel

July 20, 2009 @ 7:00 AM

Posted in The Games »
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Games09WomensFinalEvent.jpgCrossFit by Overload was one of five professional film crews covering the Games this year. Jordan and Paula Gravatt, Rory Mckernan, Ange Worthington, and Lamarr Smith have worked around the clock to produce the videos of the competition you've seen so far. We're tremendously grateful for all their work.

The CrossFit by Overload 2009 Games Highlight video ... [wmv] [mov]

We have a lot more content coming for you from Sevan Matossian and Carey Peterson, the Again Faster crew, and Marty Cej and John Buffone of BNN fame in Toronto. The fifth team is a documentary film crew from Iceland commissioned to produce a show on the Games for Iceland National TV.

And, for next year, we're already working on a plan to stream the Jumbotron presentation live to the web!

Spirit of the Games: Jason Khalipa

July 19, 2009 @ 7:45 AM

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Games09KhalipaTripletGHD.jpgJason Khalipa earned the 2009 Spirit of the Games Award!

CrossFit by Overload's video of the award ceremony ... [wmv] [mov]

By now, most people have heard about Jason's amazing recovery from his horrific run.

His ability to recover (both physically and mentally) and deliver world-class performances, combined with his attitude and support of fellow athletes made him the top choice for the award.

But the choice wasn't an easy one.

Games09NicoleGordonSledge.jpgNicole Gordon (left) smashed her finger on the stake during the fourth event. She finished the event in spite of the pain and blood, and was treated by medical. It appeared she had fractured the finger, so she was sent to the ER. X-rays revealed no fracture, so she raced back to compete in the final event of the day.

Games09IcelandAnnieMUP.jpgAnnie Thorisdottir (right) and Sveinbjorn Sveinbjornsson from Iceland have only been doing CrossFit for a few months, but they came to Aromas to win. They are both amazing athletes and their bootcamp program incorporates all but the most technical functional movements. On Day 2, they found themselves having to learn the barbell snatch, parallette handstand push-ups, double-unders, and muscle-ups on the spot. They both got their first muscle-up ever during the final Chipper. They didn't win, but they both gave truly impressive displays of athleticism and competitive spirit. They'll be back next year with skills!

Games09SarahDunsmoreOHLunge.jpgSarah Dunsmore (left) was not able to complete a single non-kipping parallette handstand push-up during the Event 7 Triplet. As per the rules, this disqualified her from competing further for the championship. She opted to do the final Chipper to compete for 13th place (three other women were in the same position). It took her over 15min to complete the 10 muscle-ups, but she kept fighting. She fought all the way to the end, finishing just a minute before the 35min cap to the delight of the cheering crowd.

The Quick and the Deadlifts

July 17, 2009 @ 4:00 PM

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Games09JoshEverettDL505.jpgRead the four-page CrossFit Journal article on the Deadlift Event from Day 1 of the CrossFit Games.

At the CrossFit Games, 16 men completed the entire deadlift ladder, creating a log-jam at the top of the standings. Mike Warkentin interviews Tony Budding of CrossFit HQ to discover the rationale behind the workout.

"Lightweight!" an energized Jeremy Thiel screamed at the end of the deadlift ladder, borrowing one of Big Ronnie Coleman's better catch phrases. The crowd burst into cheers as the Texan bounded out of the Stadium after completing the WOD with a lift of 505 lb.

All told, 16 competitors tied for first and were rewarded with only one point for the workout, giving them a large lead in a scoring system with points assigned by placement. The lowest score at the end of eight WODs decided the CrossFit Games champions. Shortly after the results were posted, the web was filled with people who were curious about how the 16-way tie would influence the overall scoring.

But who would have thought Graham Holmberg would notch a 35 lb. PR shortly after a trail run that all but ruined Jason Khalipa, the defending champion? The feat is even more impressive when you consider Holmberg finished 56th in the run. He didn't have much time to recover between WODs because the athletes at the bottom of the run were fed into the deadlift ladder first via a system that rewarded performance with rest.

"Here was our assumption: there's absolutely no way that you're going to be able to pull a high percentage of your 1RM deadlift in that format to begin with--every 30 seconds--and especially after a seven-K hill run," Tony Budding said. "We just made the assumption that your best lift in that environment is going to be a percentage of your max lift, probably between 70 and 85 percent. What we saw instead was that people were pulling at 90 to 110 percent of their previous PRs."

He added: "What happened from our perspective was these fuckers are so much more competitive and more capable than we possibly imagined."

Read the entire four-page article in the CrossFit Journal.

CrossFit Radio Coverage

July 15, 2009 @ 6:07 PM

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The CrossFit Games may be over, but the coverage continues. All of the CrossFit Radio shows recorded from Aromas are now archived in the CrossFit Journal. These shows include a who's who of competitors, spectators, and CrossFit staff to talk about their experiences and perspective on the weekend.

Guests of the shows include: Paul Zavaglia of CrossFit Northwest, Darrell "Bingo" White, Coach Mike Burgener, Pat Barber, Jon Matzner, Jeremy Thiel, Josh Everett, Mike Warkentin, Russell Berger, Thor Larsen of CrossFit Copenhagen, Lauren Plumey, Christy Phillips, Tommy Hackenbruck, Freddy Camacho, James "OPT" FitzGerald, Mike "brOPT" FitzGerald, Adrian Bozman, Lee Knight, and Kristen Clever.

From the long lineup, you can see that Justin at CrossFit Radio covered many interesting and important topics during the weekend. You can download all of them for free from the CrossFit Journal.

The All Star Wrapup

July 14, 2009 @ 6:00 PM

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_SDY3803 (2).jpgCrossFit Journal staff writer Mike Warkentin wrote an in-depth article about the fierce competition at the 2009 CrossFit Games in Aromas, CA. In the article, Mike runs through the various grueling WODs that the athletes went through. We also learn about the fittest man and woman-Mikko Salo and Tanya Wagner.

You can read the full article in the CrossFit Journal.

UCLA Goes to the Games

July 14, 2009 @ 3:41 PM

Posted in The Games »
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pushpressdb.jpgOne of the most remarkable things about CrossFit is its sense of community. Most CrossFitters tend to feel deeply connected to this community, even though they may have had no firsthand interactions with it. For a long time, I fell into that category. My experiences were limited to what I could see on the screen of my laptop. Everything changed this weekend, when I had the privilege of attending the 2009 CrossFit Games.

I was accompanied by four friends, all of us current or former UCLA students. Vincent and Chris have just completed their first year at UCLA, while recent graduate Louis has remained there to pursue his Master's degree in Mechanical Engineering. Thomas just graduated as well, and is an aspiring Marine. I myself just graduated in June with a degree in Business Economics, and will be moving to China in August to teach English.

We arrived on Friday to find ourselves overwhelmed by the sea of affiliate shirts in every direction. It seemed like everyone but us was associated with an affiliate, and they all had the shirts to prove it. Once the Affiliate Cup competition was underway, it became clear that all these affiliate members hadn't merely matched shirts in order to look cool. It was all about team spirit. I noticed, however, that there was no conflict between rooting for one's own affiliate and rooting for other affiliates. Audience members heartily cheered impressive accomplishments performed by all competitors, regardless of who performed them.

The more I thought about it, the more it made sense. In CrossFit, we are always competing, whether we are working out by ourselves or with others. The competition implicit in the CrossFit method is not a means by which we vanquish other CrossFitters, but rather a means by which we elevate ourselves.

"Our workouts are competitive events. The strength and value of CrossFit lies entirely within our dominance of other athletes. This is a truth divined through competition, not debate." Thus read the banner hanging over the stadium, which also doubled as the wall-ball target. It was a fitting setup, as the meaning of those words was being demonstrated with every medicine ball heaved breathlessly against them. In the indiscriminate enthusiasm of the crowd, as well as the mutual encouragement on the part of the competitors, I realized that more than ever I was now immersed in the true spirit of CrossFit. By the end of Day 1 I was feeling as inspired as ever to hit the gym and start setting PR's.

Continue reading ...

Affiliate Cup Finals

July 14, 2009 @ 12:24 PM

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CrossFitGames09AffiliateCompAerial.jpgThe Affiliate Cup finals happened on Sunday afternoon. Northwest CrossFit had such a commanding lead from Friday's events that they were practically guaranteed the win. As long as they didn't come in last and CrossFit Central came in first, they would take home the Cup.

The four other teams fighting for the final event victory were CrossFit NorCal, CrossFit Calgary, CrossFit Invictus, and Oregon CrossFit.

The workout was:
75 squat cleans (100/155 lb.)
150 toes to bar
150 box jumps (20/24 inches)
75 thrusters (95/135 lb.)
35 muscle-ups
150 burpees
150 double-unders
300' walking lunges with 35 lb. plate overhead

In a 30min workout, Invictus edged out Calgary by a mere 7 seconds, winning in 31:16.

The original competition was designed for five teams in the final event. There was a scoring error (simple mistake in addition on the OHS/Pullup workout) that was discovered after the announcement of the final five teams was made. In the spirit of competition, the decision was made to expand the pool to the sixth team instead of removing Oregon from the competition with the corrected results. With the corrected results, CrossFit SoCal ended up in a tie for sixth place. We had a tiebreak system built into the scoring from the get-go (best overall finish in any single event), so Oregon kept their sixth place finish.

This picture was taken during Friday's second round of events by Dave Re from a small plane chartered to photograph the event from the air. It's larger than our typical picture posted so that you can see the athletes better. Open in a new tab if you can't scroll automatically.

CrossFit by Overload produced a Final Event highlight video ... [wmv] [mov]

More Posts Coming ASAP

July 14, 2009 @ 11:52 AM

Posted in The Games »
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CrossFitGames09_MikkoOHLunge.jpgMikko Salo finishing up Sunday's final event (The Chipper), just a few yards from the finish line. Mikko won the Chipper in a blazing 19:46.

A HUGE congratulations to all the competitors, and a HUGE thank you to all the volunteers, supporters, and sponsors who came out and made this the greatest weekend in CrossFit's history.

Sorry for the lack of posts yesterday. The entire media team was in clean-up, travel, and recovery mode. We have so much information, photos, and videos on their way. Keep checking back!

A Finn at the Finish

July 12, 2009 @ 8:08 PM

Posted in The Games »
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mikkowin.jpgMikko Salo is the World's Fittest Man.

Proof that CrossFit might be one of California's most successful exports, Salo is the first European to win the CrossFit Games. The Finnish firefighter and rescue diver completed eight WODs and emerged victorious from a field of elite international athletes.

Salo served notice to the CrossFit community early on when he nearly beat legend Chris Spealler on the trail run that opened the individual combination. If the Finn was unknown before the event, his duel with Speal immediately raised his profile.

Over the next two days, Salo kept notching consistent performances that earned him the victory.

"I'm happy. I'm really happy now," Salo said after his win. "It has been a very, very hard couple of days now."

The title came down to four athletes in the final heat: Salo, Tommy Hackenbruck, Steve Willis and Moe Kelsey all had a shot at the win. Their final WOD:

15 barbells cleans (155 lb.)
30 toes to bar
30 box jumps (24 inches)
15 muscle-ups
30 push presses (40)
30 double-unders
15 thrusters (135)
30 pull-ups
30 burpees
Overhead walking lunges (45)

Hackenbruck took the early lead. Salo managed a few doubles on the muscle-ups but was passed by Jason Khalipa on the way to the thrusters. The two headed to the pull-ups neck in neck, and Salo pulled away on the burpees, taking a large lead into the lunges.

The large crowd roared as he crossed the line in 19:46 with a bright red bumper held overhead, winning both the WOD and the overall title.

"It was cruel," Salo said of the last workout. "But I kept thinking, 'Next rep. Next rep. Next rep--and the end will be coming.'"

Salo was uncertain about how the WOD would play out given that he had learned how to do double-unders earlier in the afternoon.

After Salo's win, Pat Barber was clear about who did the training: "He's my athlete."

"There are amazing people here," Salo said of the fellow athletes who coached him on the new movement.

The man from Pori, Finland, is proud to be bringing the CrossFit Games title back to Europe.

"I'm very proud," he said. "CrossFit is going to be very important to grow in Europe. It's coming like a storm to Europe now, and I hope this helps it."

Salo's overall performance:

WOD 1: 2nd
WOD 2: 17th
WOD 3: 9th
WOD 4: 32nd
WOD 5: 4th
WOD 6: 11th
WOD 7: 2nd
WOD 8: 1st

Wagner Wins Womens' Crown

July 12, 2009 @ 7:33 PM

Posted in The Games »
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The CrossFit Games have crowned their female champion: Tanya Wagner of Pennsylvania, who finished second in last year's Games.

tanyawin.jpgThe theme of this year's games was "Unknown and Unknowable," and Annie Thorisdottir from Iceland certainly provided the unknown element. After two months of CrossFit training, the 19-year-old emerged as the only competitor with a chance to wrest to overall title away from Wagner in the final WOD:

15 barbells cleans (100 lb.)
30 toes to bar
30 box jumps (20 inches)
10 muscle-ups
30 push presses (25)
30 double-unders
15 thrusters (95)
30 pull-ups
30 burpees
Overhead walking lunges (25)

But could Thorisdottir do muscle-ups?

After the final WOD was announced, CrossFit Director of Training Nicole Carroll was teaching Thorisdottir how to perform the movement in the warm-up area. Thorisdottir is a phenomenal athlete, but no one knew if she could get 10 muscle-ups during the WOD.

It turned out she could get a muscle-up--but only one. The crowd roared as she struggled through it, but the teen could go no further than that.

"It felt great," she said of doing her first muscle-up mere hours after being taught the movement. "I thought I would be able to do nine more."

Mist vowed that she would head back to the gym and learn the movement immediately.

Wagner had difficulty on the muscle-ups but finished nonetheless, completing the rest of the WOD in 29:34.4 and claiming the overall title with a consistent performance across the board. All told, Wagner only finished out of the top 10 in one event, proving she is truly the master of all 10 CrossFit fitness domains.

"This is a dream," Wagner said. "Last year was so awesome, but it was a different feeling than it is this year. This year is just awesome."

She added:
"I hate going into something being first. I hate that. I like to catch up. So it's just fun to know that I was able to hold on to that. You don't even know. From workout two and three today, beforehand I (didn't think) there was any way I was getting through either one of them. I'm just so happy!"

Charity Vale, who finished the WOD in a brilliant 18:24, finished second, and Carey Kepler was third.

Wagner's overall performance:

WOD 1: 11th
WOD 2: 6th
WOD 3: 8th
WOD 4: 9th
WOD 5: 5th
WOD 6: 2nd
WOD 7: 6th
WOD 8: 7th

The Big Show

July 12, 2009 @ 4:49 PM

Posted in The Games »
118 Comments » on this entry

CrossFit Radio will once again be live, for the final time here in Aromas. Justin will recap the latest news and events taking place, and he will have Kristen Clever on to talk about her experiences here at the Games and how she fared against the other competitors.

The show starts at 5 PM (Pacific).

Listen Now (Windows) Listen Now (Mac)

Affiliate Cup: Northwest Takes It

July 12, 2009 @ 2:33 PM

Posted in The Games »
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The final WOD of the Affiliate Cup was a harsh chipper packed with difficult movements.

The workout:

75 squat cleans (100/155 lb.)
150 toes to bar
150 box jumps (20/24 inches)
75 thrusters (95/135 lb.)
35 muscle-ups
150 burpees
150 double-unders
300 walking lunges with 35 lb. plate overhead

CrossFit Calgary was added to the event after a scoring error was discovered, making the final workout a six-horse race.

With the sun blazing down on the Stadium, the six teams tackled the WOD with the knowledge that Northwest CrossFit's strong performance on Friday meant the team only had to finish the WOD to win the title.

No one cared about that from the word "go." Bragging rights were on the line even if the title wasn't.

The final results saw CrossFit Invictus from San Diego winning the event in a time of 31:16.1. CrossFit Calgary finished seven seconds behind, and CrossFit NorCal wrapped up their day just under two minutes later. Northwest CrossFit was fourth.

"It was pretty tough," said Sage Burgener of CrossFit Invictus. "I don't know how we did it. We read each other really well. The boys had to do all the muscle-ups. I got one but I don't really count that... Katie (Mac) and I had to come back on the burpees because they were dying from that."

The overall Affiliate Cup winner wasn't a surprise: Northwest CrossFit. CrossFit Central was second and CrossFit NorCal was third.

At press time, Dave Castro was briefing the individual competitors on the final WOD to decide the CrossFit Games champions.

CrossFit Radio Live From the Games

July 12, 2009 @ 1:47 PM

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CrossFit Radio is coming live once again at 2 PM from the Games in Aromas. Justin will be covering the latest news and results of the day, and talking with OPT and brOPT- James and Michael FitzGerald. We'll also get word with Adrian Bozman, who is the chief judge.

WOD 7: The Field Is Narrowed

July 12, 2009 @ 1:18 PM

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You knew the bottleneck was coming.

The CrossFit Games don't have much to offer the incomplete athlete, and parallette handstand push-ups (head to a stack of bumper plates) removed many athletes from contention for the overall crown.

WOD 3: as many rounds as possible in eight minutes of four handstand push-ups on paralletes, eight kettlebell swings (1.5/2 pood) and 12 GHD sit-ups. Every rep would be counted to determine a final score.

Before the WOD, many female athletes said they could not do strict handstand push-ups, so the scoring system was altered. The women had to complete a minimum of one strict HSPU or they would be marked with a DNF. If they chose to scale the WOD after that by using kipping HSPUs, no additional reps in the WOD counted toward their final score.

When the first women's heat started, it was 2007 Games champ Jolie Gentry who dominated. Gentry is a machine when it comes to body-weight movements and was able to complete the HSPU and notch a score of 103--51 points above Jenny Olson. Laura DeMarco, Tamara Holmes and Lauren Pryor were listed DNF.

Continue reading ...

Day 2: The Games Get Technical

July 12, 2009 @ 11:02 AM

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Day two of the 2009 CrossFit Games started at 9:30 a.m. when eight women locked hook grips onto barbells and started pulling 1RM snatches.

Less than half an hour earlier, the 32 athletes assembled in the warm-up area were struggling to loosen up muscles that needed a week of recovery rather than 12 hours. If the competitors thought they were sore at the end of Day 1, they woke up in agony on Sunday morning, feeling the full effects of Saturday's five brutal WODs. Many hobbled around the room moving like C3P0 from Star Wars.

Eliminated competitor Charlie Dunifer said in the warm-up area that he simply couldn't have competed if he had made the top 16. Jolie Gentry said she was unbelievably sore, but anyone who had watched her compete in the past knew she'd push through it.

Regardless, soreness was washed away by waves of adrenaline when the first heat started at 9:30.

"I'm not too bad," Spencer Hendel said as the first women's heat started. "I actually woke up feeling a lot better than I thought I would. I think I can make it through one more. Once the adrenaline kicks in, it will definitely overtake the soreness."

Continue reading ...

The Games Continue

July 12, 2009 @ 9:31 AM

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On the final day of the 2009 CrossFit Games, there is continued coverage throughout the day here, as well as on CrossFit Radio, and Twitter.

CrossFit Radio's Friday show has now been archived and put online to the CrossFit Journal, as well as a great article of the events of Day One written by Mike Warkentin.

Today on CrossFit Radio, we will once again be broadcasting at 11, 2, and 5 PM (Pacific).

On the show at 11, we'll have the latest updates and news from Aromas, now that only 32 competitors remain. Justin will interview the men's leader, Tommy Hackenbruck, as well as Christy Phillips, who is 10th for the women.

Update: Show's over. Next one at 2.

CrossFit Games Day One Report

July 11, 2009 @ 10:56 PM

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Update: New Video Highlights of Day One events from CrossFit by Overload

Day 1 Highlights... [wmv] [mov]

The contest to decide the Word's Fittest Man and Woman began three seconds after the American national anthem ended.

"Three, two, one... Go!" said Games Director Dave Castro.

Moments earlier, Coach Greg Glassman had opened the Games with a brief speech to a loud and enthusiastic crowd gathered in the sunshine at The Ranch.

The athletes, all carrying computer chips, sprinted over the timing pads and across the Stadium to open the run down the road and up and around The Hill. When asked afterwards if The Hill was as steep as he thought it would be, James (OPT) Fitzgerald--who was covered in dirt and grass--was blunt: "It's worse."

After opening the competition with an endurance event, Games organizers chose a deadlift ladder for WOD 2.

Sixteen men managed to pull their way through a series of bars loaded from 315 to 505, creating a log-jam tie for first, while 21 females broke the 300 lb. mark.

WOD 3 was a sandbag sprint with sandbags on shoulders--one 35 lb. bag for women, two for men. Athletes tore out of the Stadium and up the hill only to find a grind of a climb on the way up the viciously steep slope. For some the sprint turned into a walk.

The fourth event was a "blue-collar workout" that featured 500-meter rows bracketing a sledgehammer stake drive. Tommy Hackenbruck crushed the WOD in a top time of 4:36 and attributes his success to his old job: up until three months ago he worked construction and used a hammer six days a week for three years.

Saturday's final WOD was savage: three rounds of 30 wall-ball shots and 30 squat snatches. Early in the first round of the first men's heat, it was clear the workout would be a challenge that would send many athletes home from the games with a solid kick in the ass.

The regional qualifiers produced CrossFit's top athletes, and the Day 1 WODs distilled them further. Only 32 athletes will return to compete on Day 2, where one man and one woman will be crowned the 2009 CrossFit Games champions.

The Final Workout of the Day

July 11, 2009 @ 9:10 PM

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Sunday's final WOD was savage: three rounds of 30 wall-ball shots and 30 squat snatches.

Early in the first round of the first men's heat, it was clear the workout would be a challenge that would send many athletes home from the games with a solid kick in the ass.

The powerful Josh Everett was in the first heat, and other competitors were watching him closely to get a feel for the WOD. Everett is the best Olympic lifter in the Games, but 75 lb. is a met-con weight that had him struggling for breath, wincing and grabbing his back.

Vic Zachary from Bayou City CrossFit was in the same heat and said the WOD was brutal.

"On everything else today you were able to rest... but with this your legs were already burnt and you just keep going," Zachary said. "Your snatch and your wall ball, it was just legs, legs, legs."

Zachary tried to do his snatches in sets of fives by the middle of the second round. He also only had about five wall-ball reps disallowed, which was a sharp contrast from the Affiliate Cup, where many athletes struggled to reach the 10-foot target.

Continue reading ...

Live on CrossFit Radio

July 11, 2009 @ 5:59 PM

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Lauren Plumey joins us on CrossFit Radio streaming right now live. Justin also has the latest news coming from Aromas, including the results thus far.

Update: The Radio show is over, but the real show continues here in Aromas. The community here is doing an amazing job keeping the online community up to date with what is happening via twitter. Get the latest word here.

The Stakes are High...

July 11, 2009 @ 4:50 PM

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Call the fourth event a "blue-collar workout."

Featuring 500-meter rows bracketing a sledgehammer stake drive, WOD 3 was not for the delicate.

Jeff Tincher, a firefighter, set the tone in the first heat with 5:26.8. Other competitors struggled badly with the sledge, with one competitor breaking four of them before completing the event. Others were bleeding after wild swings found flesh instead of metal.

Tincher's strategy was simple: "I was tapping it.... I just made sure it was solid in my left hand. It stopped wobbling, I stepped back, and it wobbled a little bit. Three more taps and it stopped wobbling, and then it was just chopping wood or chopping a hole in a roof."

Tincher also advised against whaling away at the stake with looping swings.

"It's like any other movement," he said. "What do we teach? Core."

Tincher's work as a firefighter no doubt helped, but he credits his success to "cords and cords and cords of wood-chopping as a kid."

Continue reading ...

CrossFit Radio Live

July 11, 2009 @ 2:49 PM

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CrossFit Radio is coming to you live at 3 PM Pacific once again from the 2009 CrossFit Games in Aromas, CA. Be sure to listen live to get the latest results and interviews with top competitors and spectators alike.

On this show: Russell Berger of CrossFit Huntsville. He will be talking about the competition thus far, as well Mike Warkentin, who has been doing the writeups for the site throughout the event. There will be full analysis of the results on this show!

Update: Show's over. Next Radio show goes at 6 PM Pacific.

WOD 3 Results

July 11, 2009 @ 2:07 PM

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When is a sprint not a sprint?

When you do it at the CrossFit Games.

With sandbags on shoulders--one 35 lb. bag for women, two for men--athletes tore out of the Stadium and up the hill only to find a grind of a climb on the way up the viciously steep slope.

For some the sprint turned into a walk. For others, such as Pat Barber, it was top gear all the way. Barber set the pace early in the heats with a 1:06.8 that stood for several heats.

Barber actually had a false start, which oddly worked to his advantage. Barber was one of the few athletes to carry his sandbags behind his neck and dropped them as he was loading.

"I picked them up on my shoulders turned around and I was like, 'Well, whatever. Looks like I have to play catch-up,'" he said. After the restart, Barber loaded the bags with ease and ripped up the hill.

As for the 'sprint,' Barber said it definitely got rough at the top.

"I literally almost fell over...," he said. "Ten feet from the fricking (finish line), I'm looking at it going, 'Go, legs! Go, legs, go!' They just stopped completely."

J.C. Nessa, overall leader after WOD 2, had a simple strategy: "Balls to the wall."

He added: "The legs are already hurting from the first two workouts. I've just got to keep loose and keep moving."

Continue reading ...

WOD 2 Results: New Leaders

July 11, 2009 @ 11:54 AM

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After opening the competition with an endurance event, Games organizers chose a deadlift ladder for WOD 2.

Sixteen men managed to pull their way through a series of bars loaded from 315 to 505, with noteworthy competitors such as Josh Everett, Jeremy Thiel, and Jason Khalipa all ripping the final bar off the ground.

The flamboyant Thiel screamed "Lightweight!" a la Ronnie Coleman after his final lift, and Jordan Holland actually laughed at the top of his pull.

"I was pretty happy. It felt good," said Holland, who felt after two events that the strength-focused Northwest Qualifier was a great prep for the Games.

Continue reading ...

Live Radio Show Coming Up

July 11, 2009 @ 11:07 AM

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Radio Coverage is coming to you live from Aromas at Noon. Make sure you listen to the feed and hear the latest news from the CrossFit Games.

On this show will be competitors Josh Everett and Jeremy Thiel as well as some perspective from others on site.

Listen Now (Windows) Listen Now (Mac)

WOD 1: Run Complete

July 11, 2009 @ 10:34 AM

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The first event of the 2009 CrossFit Games is complete.

As expected, Chris Spealler from CrossFit Park City came down the hill in a dust cloud, signature headphones cranking tunes. Spealler had a significant lead but was being stalked by Finnish firefighter Mikko Salo.

Down the home stretch Salo and Spealler were neck and neck, with the Finn holding a slight lead. When the two entered the Stadium in a sprint to the finish, it was Speal in front, adding yet another impressive performance to a list that goes back to the 2007 Games. His time: 37:43.2, 1.4 seconds in front of Salo.

"I think it's going to be interesting how that pans out," Spealler said when asked about the run before the event. "You just never know. There's a lot of fast guys. You've got to do your own race."

His strategy: "Keep it mellow."

The plan clearly worked for the Utah resident.

Russell Berger finished third, followed by Blair Morrison and David Millar. Shortly after, James (OPT) FitzGerald crossed in sixth, with his brother Michael in hot pursuit. Only 43 seconds separated the two.

Continue reading ...

Let The Games Begin

July 11, 2009 @ 8:54 AM

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The contest to decide the World's Fittest Man and Woman began three seconds after the American national anthem ended.

"Three, two, one... Go!" said Games Director Dave Castro.

Moments earlier, Coach Greg Glassman had opened the Games with a brief speech to loud and enthusiastic crowd gathered in the sunshine at The Ranch.

The athletes, all carrying computer chips, sprinted over the timing pads and across the Stadium to open the run with a loop down the road where James (OPT) Fitzgerald famously duelled Chris Spealler to a sprint finish in the 2007 Games.

About four minutes later, the athletes returned to the Stadium before heading up The Hill for the challenging trail run.

In the lead was Roch Proteau, followed closely by Jeremy Thiel--last year's third-place finisher. The lead was only slight, however, with a large pack of athletes entering the Stadium seconds after. Josh Everett, Jason Khalipa, Pat Barber, Spealler and a host of others jostled for position as they set themselves up for the gruelling climb.

At press time, the top competitors were completing the short inner loop before heading into the California wilderness for the steeper, longer section of the run.

Continuing Radio Coverage

July 10, 2009 @ 4:03 PM

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Coming up on a special edition of CrossFit Radio today at 6:00 PM (Pacific):

Justin Judkins will recap today's Affiliate Cup Competition. There will also be interviews with Coach Mike Burgener, Pat Barber, and Darrell "Bingo" White. Mike Warkentin of the CrossFit Journal has been covering events all day and will also add his perspective.


Show is over. Great overall coverage with competitors and spectators alike. Next show will be tomorrow at noon. Make sure you tune in to hear the latest from Aromas.

Affiliate Cup: Friday Results

July 10, 2009 @ 3:30 PM

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Northwest CrossFit has claimed first place overall in the Affiliate Cup after completing the hill run in 11:27 (third overall) and registering a low score of 18.

Because Northwest is five points ahead of second-place Central, the team is all but assured of the overall Affiliate Cup title on Sunday, even if it places last of the five teams in the final WOD. If Northwest doesn't finish the workout, the title is up for grabs.

CrossFit NorCal finished third on the strength of a first-place finish in the OHS/pull-up WOD. Crossfit Invictus from San Diego slipped to fourth after a spirited third WOD in the afternoon heat of the Stadium, while Oregon CrossFit finished fifth after posting a stellar 11:09 (first overall) on the trail run.

Northwest's lowest placing was 11th in the OHS/pull-up WOD, but the outfit--Paul Zavaglia, Zak Middleton, Alek Vlaski, Lindsey Dion, Amanda Barelli and Laura Asbell--finished third in the run and fourth in the Stadium WOD. A diverse group that proves specialization is the enemy, the team features a former rugby/football player (Zavaglia), a tennis pro (Vlaski), a cyclist/track athlete (Barelli) and a basketball player (Dion).

Last year's winner, CrossFit Oakland, placed 43rd, while the 2007 champion, CrossFit Santa Cruz, finished 17th.

The top international team was CrossFit Calgary (13th).

The final WOD has not been announced as of press time but is scheduled for release Saturday night or Sunday morning.

Affiliate Cup Friday Overall Results

Invictus Victorious in Their Heat

July 10, 2009 @ 2:35 PM

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Two rotations into the Affiliate Cup, Northwest CrossFit was two points ahead of CrossFit Invictus, making their final WODs intense events.

Reports from The Hill indicate Northwest did not win its heat but placed well, while a large and vocal crowd gathered at the Stadium to watch Invictus.

The San Diego team struggled with several missed wall-ball reps early on but was redeemed when Sage Burgener (pictured), daughter of CrossFit Olympic Lifting Coach Mike Burgener, knocked out almost 30 straight shots.

The crew moved to the row, push press, box jump and kettlebell swing well in front of the other affiliates. They moved to the deadlift portion 1:38 in front of their competition but couldn't match the pace set by Front Range CrossFit earlier in the day. With a time over 18 minutes, Invictus sits well back of Front Range's 14:20.

That didn't stop Invictus' supporters from screaming loudly from start to finish, and excitement builds as the final heats are being completed.

Affiliate Cup Heat 2 Results

July 10, 2009 @ 1:09 PM

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After two WODs, Northwest CrossFit is two points ahead of CrossFit Invictus in the Affiliate Cup standings. Northwest finished sixth in the OHS/pull-ups WOD and third in the stadium WOD, while Invictus finished first in the OHS/pull-ups workout and 10th in the hill run.

As of press time, Invictus was in the Stadium, where many affiliates lost points after struggling with the high wall-ball shots. Northwest is up on The Hill testing the endurance of their team members.

CrossFit Central presently sits in third, followed by CrossFit Calgary, CrossFit NorCal, CrossFit Omaha, Rainier CrossFit and Front Range CrossFit.

Front Range's placing--first in our last update--was altered after an error was corrected, revealing the crew had actually completed the hill run in 12:31, not under 12 minutes.

Brethren CrossFit, CrossFit SoCal, CrossFit East Sacramento, CrossFit Valley Park and several other boxes are all in the running for the top 5 and a spot in Sunday's final WOD.

The morning mist has burnt off and the temperature is rising as the athletes complete their last workout in the sunshine.

Overall Results after Heat 2

Affiliate Cup: Front Range Out Front

July 10, 2009 @ 12:30 PM

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As of noon, most teams have completed two workouts in the Affiliate Cup, with several teams looking to solidify leads won in the first rotation.

In the Stadium WOD, Front Range CrossFit posted a blistering time of 14:20, well in front of Kelly Starrett's crew from San Francisco CrossFit (15:49). Third place went to Northwest Crossfit (16:02), with CrossFit NorCal the only other team that finished under 17 minutes. Seven teams did not finish the WOD, which challenged competitors with a 30 10 foot wall-ball shots (14/20 pounds).

The brutal trail run on The Hill was hotly contested as well, with CrossFit Central (11:40), CrossFit Redding (11:52.3) and CrossFit Atlanta (11:52.5) taking the top three spots. Also making good time on the steep terrain were CrossFit Flagstaff and Front Range CrossFit, both of whom just squeaked in under the 12-minute mark.

On the North Pad, CrossFit South County posted a 949 total on the overhead squats/pull-ups WOD. CrossFit Silicon Valley was next at 926, with Wasatch CrossFit the last team to crack 900.

With constant results coming in at press time, Front Range CrossFit stands in first place. Northwest CrossFit, CrossFit Calgary, CrossFit NorCal and Rainier CrossFit round out the top 5.

One rotation remains to determine the top five qualifiers for Sunday's Final Affiliate Cup workout.

3, 2, 1... Go!

July 10, 2009 @ 12:15 PM

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The fitness revolution will be televised--on a JumboTron.

CrossFit Games Director Dave Castro appeared in front of the 97 teams competing in the Affiliate Cup at 8 a.m. this morning with an 18x24 foot JumboTron broadcasting live behind him.

Detailing movement standards to the 97 teams, Castro was framed by a giant sign/wall-ball target reading: "Our workouts are competitive events. The strength and value of CrossFit lies entirely within our domination of other athletes. This is a truth derived through competition, not debate."

It's doubtful any of the athletes would argue the point, and when the three-WOD rotation started it was obvious that everyone agreed.

With athletes struggling with overhead squats and pull-ups on the North Pad, others attacked the Hill--which is far steeper than anyone will imagine after watching a video.

In the Stadium, teams attacked a rotating workout that led off with 30 wall-ball shots to the sign/target--the bottom of which is 10 feet high. Judges had to "see wood" underneath the ball, meaning a shot clearly above 10 feet was strictly enforced.

Some smaller competitors struggled with the wall-ball portion, leaving their teams a lot of ground to make up in the rowing, kettlebell swings, push presses, box jumps and deadlifts that followed. Several teams did not finish within the 25-minute time limit in the first heat--a theme that was repeated throughout the morning.

"It's tough," said Annie Sakamoto of CrossFit Santa Cruz Central. "I mean, hip crease below knee is all very personal and relative. The target is not, so in some ways maybe not as fair. But it is what they said it was going to be, and that's great."

Other competitors agree.

"I think the weight was fine, but the height was a little high," said Katie Wasalaski of CrossFit Alexandria. "We were on an incline a little bit, so it's hard to get the full squat on the incline, but it's OK. You do what you've got to do."

"It kind of threw me off because the ground was a little bit slanted...," said Yvonne Howard of Diablo CrossFit. "I've been practicing with a 10-foot target with 14 pound ball so it was just the angle that surprised me."

Adrian (Boz) Bozman heads the judging team at the Stadium and believes the wall-ball shots are a great challenge.

"The wall ball is pretty high," he said. "The bottom of the target it 10 feet, which is usually the middle of the target for most people, so it's a little higher than a lot of folks are used to, especially some of the women. It's been eating some people up."

He continued: "You're never going to get these workouts where they're 100 percent completely even, everybody's got the same footing, blah, blah, blah. It could be argued that the higher slope makes it easier to stay back on the heels: an advantage for some and a disadvantage for others, depending on your perspective."

Affiliate Cup Heat 1 Results

July 10, 2009 @ 11:40 AM

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The Affiliate Cup is underway and the team is feverishly working on the numbers. Here are some preliminary results from the first heat of the Affiliate WODs.

Overhead Squat/Pullup
Relay Run

Two more heats to go, so these stats are sure to keep moving.

Saturday's Five Events

July 10, 2009 @ 6:00 AM

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Games09PrepStadium.jpgAs the affiliate teams prepare to compete today (the Stadium Workout setup pictured, with Jumbotron in the background), we announce the five events for Saturday's Individual competition.

General Rules
1. The movement standards are typical HQ unless otherwise stated.
2. Each athlete will be ranked according to their time or score relative to the other athletes for that workout. Their final score for the workout will be equal to their rank.
3. The overall ranking going into each event will determine the reverse starting order for that event. For example, the athletes that win the first event will get to go last in the second event, while the athletes that come in last in the first event must go first in the second. The athletes in the lead (those with the lowest running total) after two events get to go last in the third event. And so forth.
4. After the second event, the bottom ten men and the bottom ten women (those with the most points) will be eliminated from the competition.
5. After the fourth event, the remaining bottom ten men and ten women will be eliminated from the competition. At this point, there will be approximately 55 athletes competing in Saturday's final event (for each men and women).
6. After the fifth event, the 16 men and 16 women with the lowest total points will be invited to compete on Sunday. If by chance there is a tie for 16th place, the athlete with the best single placement in any of the five events will be awarded the invite.

Event 1 - The Run
The first event is a 7.1km run through varied terrain including both asphalt and extremely steep hills off trail. The athlete's time will be electronically determined by a chip given to the athlete prior to the race.

Event 2 - The Deadlift
Heaviest successful deadlift completed lifting one rep every 30sec. Each competitor will begin at the first barbell, which weighs 315lbs for men and 185lbs for women. Dropping is permitted. The athlete then has 10sec plus any portion of the 20sec remaining to set up at the next bar, which is 10lbs heavier than the previous (so the second bar weighs 325/195). Athletes continue moving to progressively heavier bars until they fail. The athletes are ranked according to the heaviest successful weight lifted before failing.

Event 3 - The Sandbag Hill Sprint
The men will pick up two 35lb sandbags (loosely packed) and sprint approximately 170m uphill. The sandbags begin flat on the ground. The sprint is steep in places, with approximately 100' in elevation gain over the 170m course. Women carry one 35lb sandbag for the same course.

Event 4 - Row / Hammer Stake
Row 500m
Hammer a 4' metal stake into specially prepared, evenly compacted ground (women use a 3' stake)
Row 500m
Details and standards will be given to the athletes on Saturday afternoon.

Event 5 - The Couplet
The two exercises are wallball and barbell snatch. The specifics of the workout will be disclosed on Saturday afternoon. We want the athletes to have the privilege of being the first to perform this exact workout.

Managing Recovery on Saturday

July 9, 2009 @ 12:00 PM

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Games08RunRecovery1.jpgAthletes competing on Saturday will have to actively manage their recovery.

The competition this year is very different from last year. Beyond the 0830 start for the run, you don't know what time you are competing for the subsequent events. Starting order is based on athlete ranking. The higher you are in the ranking (closer to the top), the later you go. The lower you are in the ranking, the sooner you go. The rankings, and thus your positions in the heats, change after each event.

There are scheduled start times for each event, but even these will be a little fluid. You won't have the same luxury as last year of knowing you have approximately four hours to recover, refuel and reset before your next event. Be smart about taking rest when you can.

Be flexible and prepared for a variety of scenarios. Have food and water in various quantities ready for you. Keep alert and in touch as the events unfold. Make sure that you are warmed up and ready to go when your next event is on.

More Event 1 Run Information

July 9, 2009 @ 8:02 AM

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Last Climb.jpgSevan and Carey went to the most treacherous part of the Event 1 Run to film the section that was missing from their other videos. You get an in-depth view of the most remote hill and see two premiere athletes disguised as cameramen dominate nature for your benefit.


Unfortunately, Sevan started yapping about the second event, even though we aren't releasing full details on the second event until tomorrow.

DO NOT watch these videos if you want to stay true to tomorrow's official release date.

Remote hill run video ... [wmv] [mov]

And since Sevan let the cat out of the bag, we might as well show you Dave Castro doing Event 2 using the 09 Games timing video ... [wmv] [mov]

The Games: Event Hours

July 9, 2009 @ 12:07 AM

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Games09TentSetUp.jpgThe 2009 CrossFit Games Event Hours

0800 Mandatory Affiliate Team competitor meeting
0900 First events commence
1500 Estimated conclusion of the events

0700 Mandatory Individual competitor meeting
0800 Opening Ceremonies
0830 Event 1 commences
2000 Estimated conclusion of the events

0900 First Individual event commences
1130 Estimated Affiliate Cup Final
1600 Estimated Award Ceremonies

Event 1: Full Disclosure

July 9, 2009 @ 12:03 AM

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CrossFitGames09Event1Run.jpgThe first event is a 7.1km run through varied terrain including both asphalt and extremely steep hills off trail.

The athlete's time will be electronically determined by a chip given to the athlete prior to the race. Instructions will be given, but it is your responsibility to make sure the chip is properly affixed.

Athletes are encouraged to race intelligently. There are several points in the course in which attempting to pass another athlete is ill-advised. Dave Castro covers this and more as he ran the entire course mic'd, talking about the terrain and recommended strategies. It is strongly recommended that all individual competitors watch this HOUR LONG video on the event.

Proper footwear (off-trail running shoes with decent knobs) is encouraged. Leg protection may also be desired (gaiters or Skins Sox).

Even watching the video and considering the route, it is very easy to underestimate the potency of the terrain. This event, which is just the first of five on Saturday and eight for the weekend, is still very much unknown. And, unlike many (all?) other competitions, this run is followed in short order by the second event, which will be a heavy lift in a timed environment (full details announced Friday morning).

Detailed Event 1 Run description video (57min) ... [wmv] [mov]

Individual Competition Teaser

July 8, 2009 @ 4:00 PM

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JimiGHD.jpgWe know there is great anticipation about what the events will be at this year's Games, so we're tipping our hand a little early.

Here's what we can tell you now about the Individual competition.

Event 1 is a run noticeably longer than last year's. Teaser video ... [wmv] [mov]
Event 2 is a heavy lift in a timed environment.
Event 3 is a run noticeably shorter than last year's.
Event 4 is something completely different.
Event 5 is a couplet.

Sunday will have three events of noticeably different time domains.

Besides running, only one movement is repeated in the 8 total events.

Proper footwear is advised for the first event (off-trail running shoes with decent knobs). You may also want gaiters or Skins Sox.

Radio at the Games

July 8, 2009 @ 7:00 AM

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The Games is sure to be an exciting event this year. We here at the Games site will try to keep those that cannot attend up to date on what is happening throughout the weekend. There will also be live webcasts of CrossFit Radio here from Aromas. Here are the times for the show (All times are Pacific):

Friday 6 PM
Saturday 12, 3, and 6 PM
Sunday 11 AM, 2 and 5 PM

Listening to CrossFit Radio will be one of the quickest and easiest links to the action here at the Games, so make sure you listen in.

Behind the Numbers

July 7, 2009 @ 5:20 PM

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If you've been watching this site, you have certainly noticed many different names and numbers and rankings for many of the different workouts. Mike Warkentin took a look at all the data behind the competitors and went a step further with an article in the CrossFit Journal:

Elite CrossFit athletes from around the world are now gathering in Aromas, California, site of this weekend's CrossFit Games. As the excitement mounts, let's take look back at the regional qualifiers.

The results are all online--every rep, every second, every pound. In the end, 61 WODs at 19 regional qualifiers produced 137 athletes, plus 11 who qualified on their past performances. The vital stats and PRs of these elite athletes can be found online on the 2009 CrossFit Games website.

But names and numbers don't always tell the whole story....

Is OPT's brother competing in Aromas?

Which woman can deadlift more than some of the men?

How did technical difficulties almost keep Linda Leipper out of the Games?

Which tunes will Chris Spealler be listening to on his signature headphones this year?

What did Peter Egyed do between Last Chance Qualifier WODs?

With the 2009 Games only days away, find out more about the athletes who will be competing for the overall title.

The Names and Numbers Behind the Games - CrossFit Journal

Posted in The Games »
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PreGames08Thruster.jpgThe scoring for this year's event will be one point for each place at each event. For example, first place gets 1 point, second 2 points, third 3 points, fortieth 40 points, and so on.

Ties get the lower number and the next competitor gets his or her place. For example, Bob and John tie for thirteenth and Dan comes in right behind them in fifteenth. Bob and John each get 13 points, while Dan gets 15 points.

The man and woman with the lowest total points after all the events are Champions, and the team with the lowest total points after all events takes home the Affiliate Cup.

The Affiliate Cup
The Affiliate Cup competition on Friday, July 10 will be comprised of three events. The schedule will be similar to last year's competition in that three workouts will be happening simultaneously at each time slot. When all teams have completed their first workout (a third of the teams at each of the three workouts), there will be a short break. The teams will then move on to their second workout with the same basic schedule. And again for the third.

The performances in the workouts will be ranked according to time, loads, reps, and/or rounds. One point for every place as described above. The five teams with the lowest scores will compete on Sunday morning in the final event. The ranking of the final event will be added to the totals from Friday, and the team with the lowest score will win the Affiliate Cup.

The Individual Competition
The Individual competition on Saturday, July 11 will be comprised of five events. All athletes will compete in the events in the same order. At the end of each event, the results will be announced with the relative ranking of each athlete determining their score as described above.

The overall ranking going into each event will determine the reverse starting order for that event. For example, the athletes that win the first event will get to go last in the second event, while the athletes that come in last in the first event must go first in the second. The athletes in the lead (those with the lowest running total) after two events get to go last in the third event. And so forth.

Not all athletes will stay in the competition. After the second event, the bottom ten men and the bottom ten women (those with the most points) will be eliminated from the competition. After the fourth event, the remaining bottom ten men and ten women will be eliminated from the competition. At this point, there will be approximately 55 athletes competing in the final event (for each men and women).

The day will conclude after the fifth event. At that point, the 16 men and 16 women with the lowest total points will be invited to compete on Sunday. If by chance there is a tie for 16th place, the athlete with the best single placement in any of the five events will be awarded the invite.

There will be multiple events on Sunday, and the same scoring by rank will continue and be added to Saturday's totals. At the end of Sunday's events, the man and woman with the fewest total points from all events on both days will be crowned Champions.

On Wednesday afternoon 1400 PDT, we will publish the workouts, movement standards, and schedule for Friday's Affiliate Cup competition.

On Friday morning 0600 PDT, we will publish the workouts, movement standards, and schedule for Saturday's Individual competitions.

Attention Competitors! - Registration

July 6, 2009 @ 12:00 PM

Posted in The Games »
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Games08WomenPreThrusters.jpgThis post is about Competitor Registration.

Individual Competitor Registration Hours
Thursday 10am - 4pm
Friday 6am - 4pm
Saturday 5:30am - 6:30am

Athletes competing in the Individual competition MUST register during one of these times. It is STRONGLY advised that you register on Thursday or Friday if at all possible.

There is a MANDATORY meeting for all individual competitors on Saturday at 0700 inside the shop. Being caught in long registration lines is not an acceptable excuse for missing the meeting.

Affiliate Team Registration Hours
Thursday 10am - 4pm
Friday 6am - 7:30am

Please register together as a team. It is STRONGLY advised that you register on Thursday if at all possible.

There is a MANDATORY meeting for all Affiliate Cup competitors on Friday at 0800 in the "Stadium" bleachers. Being caught in long registration lines is not an acceptable excuse for missing the meeting.

General (non-competitor) Registration Hours
Thursday 10am - 4pm
Friday 6am - 4pm
Saturday 5:30am - 6pm
Sunday 6am - 2pm

This is the first of many posts that will be going up in this Games category explaining everything competitors need to know. Please check back frequently and spread the word to all competitors!

Games Content in the CrossFit Journal

July 5, 2009 @ 12:00 PM

Posted in The Games »
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Ranch09.jpgIn case you missed it!

The CrossFit Journal has recently posted three items that might be of interest. There was an article published by Mike Warkentin, called Let the Games Begin. The list of gear presently at The Ranch includes just about every piece of equipment you'll ever see in a CrossFit WOD--and it's all available for use during the 2009 CrossFit Games. The workouts themselves are still a closely guarded secret, but it's clear that organizers will not be limited by gear when programming the WODs that will challenge the world's fittest athletes.

The Ranch itself has been modified for this year's event--to the tune of about $95,000. The main competition area was paved in May and June to offer athletes more stable footing, and the hill around the competition area has been re-graded. New to the event will be a JumboTron, which was added to the list after CrossFit Games Director Dave Castro saw one in use at the Hell's Half Acre Regional Qualifier in Texas in early May.

Justin Judkins talked about the article on CrossFit Radio.

Finally, Sevan Matossian caught up with Dave Castro at the Ranch, and interviewed him about programming for Games' athletes.

Watch a preview of Sevan's interview ... [wmv] [mov]

Though not a part of the Journal, Gillian Mounsey agrees in this video ... [wmv] [mov]

Josh Everett on the Steroid Debate

June 24, 2009 @ 12:00 PM

Posted in The Games »
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everettjerk.jpgVeteran CrossFit Games competitor and Strength and Conditioning Coach Josh Everett joins the discussion on Steroids...

Josh Everett Age and Testing... [wmv] [mov]

Games 09: Steroid Testing

June 18, 2009 @ 4:45 PM

Posted in The Games »
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Website_logo_CMYK.jpgBreak Records Legally: CrossFit will be conducting on-site steroid testing on all athletes competing at the 2009 CrossFit Games. Every competitor will be required to provide a urine specimen during the Games which will be tested for performance enhancing substances. A positive result on this test will negate any placings, and all awards will be rescinded.

The 2009 Competitors: The Official List

June 17, 2009 @ 4:00 PM

Posted in The Games »
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Games08_SundayMensHeat.jpgAfter months of planning, dozens of successful and highly competitive regional qualifiers, and a healthy dose of speculation, we are proud to announce the official list of the 2009 CrossFit Games competitors.

This is the first year that everyone participating had to qualify first. There is no doubt that the competition this year will the hottest ever.

There are 75 women and 77 men coming to Aromas, along with 99 affiliate teams. Friday, July 10th will be the open affiliate competition. Saturday, July 11th will be the open individual competition. Sunday, July 12th will be the finals for the Affiliate Cup, plus the Men's and Women's individual championships.

2009 CrossFit Games List of Individual Competitors

2009 CrossFit Games Prizes Announced

June 15, 2009 @ 6:22 PM

Posted in The Games »
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The prizes have been announced for the 2009 CrossFit Games! The amazing field of competitors from around the world will be competing for the title of "Fittest Person on Earth" as well as a few more rewards.

In 2007, the top Games finishers received $500. In 2008, that amount was bumped up to $1500.

The top Male and Female Athlete of the 2009 CrossFit Games will receive $5,000.00 and a prize package from the Games Sponsors.

The second and third place Male and Female finishers will receive some great gear from Games sponsors.

Last Chance Results

June 2, 2009 @ 10:00 AM

Posted in The Games »
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GreatBasinPeterEgyed.jpgThe Last Chance Online Qualifier Results are In!

Peter Egyed (pictured) from CrossFit Fury took the top spot with a total time of 19:31 (2:54, 6:03, and 10:34 for the DL, Jackie, 10-1, respectively).

Linda Leipper from CrossFit Marina took the top spot for women with a total time of 29:42 (8:27, 8:30, and 12:45, respectively).

We're taking five men and five women. They are:
Peter Egyed 19:31:00
Tommy Hackenbruck 20:23:00
Spencer Hendel 20:59:00
Michael Giardina 21:13:00
Charlie Dunifer 21:26:00

Linda Leipper 29:42:00
Ashley K. Smith 30:02:00
Danielle Dionne 30:06:00
Jill DiGiampaolo 30:51:00
Kallista Pappas 31:54:00

A special thank you goes out to all the coaches, friends, affiliates, and general supporters of all the participating athletes. It wasn't easy to stage and video three workouts in 24hours. The commitment and dedication of the CrossFit community is inspiring.

Last Chance Qualifier Update

May 31, 2009 @ 8:48 AM

Posted in The Games »
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NorCalRow.jpgThe Last Chance is Over!

We had a tremendous worldwide event. There were over 100 formal submissions.

We are organizing the information and starting the process of evaluating the submissions. We plan to announce the winners within 48 hours.

At first glance, it appears that good men's times are in the low 20s and good women's times are in the low 30s.

We've been getting emails and calls from all over the world in support of the amazing CrossFit community. Major props to everyone who participated.

Last Chance Online Qualifier

May 30, 2009 @ 6:00 AM

Posted in The Games »
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RockyMtVidDL.jpgThere is one last chance to qualify for the 2009 CrossFit Games.

Below are three workouts chosen from the pool of regional qualifiers. All three must be completed before 0600 PDT on May 31st, 2009. They can be performed in any order, spread out throughout the 24 hour period. All three workouts must be videotaped.

Workout 1 (from the MidAtlantic Regional Qualifier)
3 Rounds for time of:
10 Deadlifts (275lbs men / 185lbs women)
50 Double-unders
For a video description of the standards, click HERE (note that the description of this workout starts at 2:00 into the video)

Workout 2 (from the Canada West Regional Qualifier)
1K Row
50 Thrusters (45lb barbell men and women)
30 Pull-ups
For a video description of the standards, click HERE (WOD 4 in the list)

Workout 3 (from the Northeast Regional Qualifiers)
10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4 3, 2, 1 reps for time of:
Power Cleans (155lbs for men / 105lbs for women)
Pull-ups (Chest to Bar)
KB Swings (24kg men / 16kg women - A 55lb DB men / 35lb DB women can be substituted if no kettlebell is available)
Description of the standards video ... [wmv] [mov]

Video Rules
The videos must be completely unedited and uncut from beginning to end. Any evidence of tinkering will instantly disqualify the athlete. For a general description of how to video, see here ... [wmv] [mov]

The video is solely for documenting the workout. The camera should be positioned so that proper range of motion can be determined. Use a tripod if at all possible. Move the camera as little as possible to ensure proper coverage.

An additional person with a stopwatch must be in the frame for the whole workout (the stopwatch does not have to be visible). The time on the stopwatch should be presented to the camera at the end of the workout. There should be one obvious close up of the weights to validate official loads.

Special consideration for Workout 2 (Jackie). You must show the rower monitor at zero for the start. Without cutting, the athlete must be shown initiating the row, and at the end, the camera should show the monitor at 1000 meters or more. A description of this last part is in the How To Video.

The videos must be uploaded uncut and unedited to a public forum. Vimeo is our first choice, but YouTube or any other public arena is acceptable. You can upload each workout separately or put them together, your choice.

To be considered for the Last Chance Qualifier, you must email your times (each workout alone and the total combined for the three) and the link(s) to the video(s) to lastchance09@crossfit.com before 0600 PDT on May 31, 2009.

We are expecting hundreds of submissions, so there will be little to no tolerance of missed guidelines. Questions can also be addressed to lastchance09@crossfit.com.

All Volunteer Slots Filled

May 27, 2009 @ 6:00 AM

Posted in The Games »
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All slots for volunteer positions in Aromas at the 2009 CrossFit Games have been filled! Those of you that have applied will definitely be used in some capacity throughout the event. We sincerely appreciate all of you who wish to help!

The list of volunteer roles will be posted towards the end of June.

Last Chance Update

May 21, 2009 @ 8:00 PM

Posted in The Games »
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JoshCareyPostRun08.jpgHere are more details about the Last Chance Qualifier

At 0600 PDT on May 30th, three workouts will be announced. If you are interested in qualifying, you will have 24 hours exactly to complete all three workouts and report your times.

In addition to the workouts themselves, there will be movement standards established and specific guidelines for filming. Plan on having at least two people assisting you. We will require one person with a stopwatch in the frame besides you. It would probably be wise to have them enforcing proper movement standards also, as that will be an integral part of qualifying.

You will have until 0600 PDT on May 31st to upload your unedited video to YouTube and send us the link with your time. We are expecting a large number of candidates, so there will be little to no tolerance for missing deadlines or technical difficulties. Please make all necessary arrangements ahead of time.

You will need a predictable amount of standard CrossFit gear (meaning it will not be inconsistent with the gear required for many of the regionals). No GHD will be required.

One Last Chance to Qualify

April 30, 2009 @ 12:00 PM

Posted in The Games »
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DirtySouthByForrestWalden_th.jpgEnlarge image

For anyone who missed their Regional, are overseas, or just barely missed qualifying at their regional, there will be one last chance to qualify for the Games.

At some point near the end of May, a workout format will be announced. You will have two days to complete the workouts under strict guidelines that will be clearly established at the time of the announcement. You must time and film your efforts also under strict guidelines that will be clearly established.

Make sure you know how to capture and submit the video (or connect with someone who does). No late entries will be accepted. The CrossFit HQ staff will judge the video and determine the legitimacy of the time.

The number of spots available for men and women will depend on a number of factors, and will be announced later.

There is nothing to do now. This is only an announcement that the opportunity will be there. More information to follow over the coming weeks.

Every Second Counts: OPT Trailer

March 11, 2009 @ 5:59 PM

Posted in The Games »
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Games80_OPTCameraInterview_th.jpgEnlarge image

Yes, the Movie is still being finalized. It's very close. It has already been invited to three film festivals. They are working on getting the DVDs finalized. Here is what Carey Peterson (one of the directors) posted on the main site comments the other day:

The wait is nearly over. I know it seems like you have been hearing that forever, but this truly is the case now. The movie itself is DONE. We are now working out the final bits and logistics of distribution (DVD construction, cover artwork, etc). At the same time we are submitting the film to a few dozen film festivals around the world with the hope of exposing more people to the amazing program and community that is CrossFit. Stay tuned as we hear back from festivals. We will be sure to announce screening dates, time, places, etc. as soon as we get this information Attending one of these festivals may be one of the best ways to first see the movie (big screen, real theater sound,etc) and one of the best ways to support the movie and CF. How cool would it be to pack out theaters around the world with amped up CFers?

Some of you may have heard about or been at one of the 'test screenings' over the last few months where a few lucky folks were able to get an early, sneak-peak at various unfinished versions of the movie. Until this week, the movie was not in it's complete and finished form and almost no one has seen the finished version.

Sevan and I want this film to be finished and available to the community and world more than anyone. This has been a labor of love for both of us for the last 8+ months. During that time there has been only a handful of days where hours and hours of work weren't being put into the movie. We are crushing this movie, and it is actually being completed on a pace and schedule that is incredibly fast for a project of this size.

We are stoked on the enthusiasm that the community has for the pending release of the movie.

Hang tight. It's coming and it will be worth the wait.

OPT Trailer video ... [wmv] [mov]

Coach on the 2009 Games Format

February 7, 2009 @ 4:00 PM

Posted in The Games »
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AromasHillRun_th.jpgEnlarge image

Coach Glassman, in an unexpected aside during a lecture on CrossFit exercise science, spoke briefly about what the 2009 Games will, or perhaps better said, will not look like. None of the competitors will have done any of the workouts. And perhaps more significantly, none of the athletes will have ever competed in several of the movements.

In other words, there can be no gaming of the event. It will be a true test of work capacity across broad time and modal domains, and the CrossFit world will have great interest in knowing who did what to prepare for it.

A hint at the 09 Games format video ... [wmv] [mov]

Looking for the 08 Games Site??

January 23, 2009 @ 9:18 AM

Posted in The Games »
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Enlarge image

It's still there! We just can't make comments to it.