Mikko And Speal: 7K Friends

August 3, 2009 2:00 PM

Posted in The Games »
19 Comments » on this entry

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.

I decided to stay behind him and let Mikko choose the pace. Hoping that it wouldn't be too fast, and allowing me to find some recovery or at least maintain a solid pace with something left in the tank at the end. I stayed tucked in behind him until we passed the ranch again and the cone was in sight. Music was playing relatively loudly so I couldn't hear much but I realized Mikko was saying something. I pulled my headphones to the side so I could hear him.

Me: What's that?
Mikko: You still have strength... energy? (in his Finnish accent)
Me: Yeah, a little bit. You're Mikko, right? (I stuck my hand out to shake his)
Mikko: Yes, I'm Mikko. (He shook my hand in return)
Me: Nice to meet you, Mikko

Headphones went back over my ears, I tucked in behind him again as we passed the cone at the far end of the road. Mikko picked up the pace and I stayed with him till we saw the tent. When most of the Ranch was in site, I picked up my pace and hoped that he didn't have much left.

What other sporting event allows the most competitive of athletes to have a common respect for one another and show it, not only outside of competition, but in the middle of it. Part of me thinks that Mikko is not only a great guy, from the very little bit that I saw him and interacted with him, but that we share a common thread and respect for one another since we have both experienced the challenges of what CrossFit present us with.

Video 1 shows Mikko Salo running just ahead of Chris Spealler on the midway through the road part at the end of the run, right before this conversation ... [wmv] [mov]

Video 2 shows the end of the race, with Speal edging out Mikko. They enter the frame from the top. As they run in, they pass a collapsed Jason Khalipa being attended to by the Medical team. In the foreground, Tony Budding addresses the start of crossover traffic now that the top runners were finishing ... [wmv] [mov]

Video 3 has Chris Spealler talking about this incident right after it happened ... [wmv] [mov]

19 comments on this entry.

1. Richard Vanmeerbeek wrote...

August 3, 2009 2:54 PM

Mikko is like the Terminator.

2. Pat Sherwood wrote...

August 3, 2009 4:01 PM

A couple of class acts. That is what CF is all about.

3. Vic, CrossFit Osan wrote...

August 3, 2009 4:55 PM

I met mikko at the qualifiers in Europe, i was his judge for the first WOD Chest to Bar, heavy "Helen"

when he finished in sub 7:50, I knew i wasnt dealing with a human being. we call him the Cyborg!, and he is a very very nice guy just like Chris. Mikko and Chris are the prime example of What CrossFit and sportsmanship are all about. Congrats to Mikko and Chris for a hell of a job well done this year. and will see you guys next year! chris will be back and Mikko 1 second behind him :)

August 3, 2009 5:03 PM

God, this is why I love CrossFit.

5. Merle Mckenzie wrote...

August 3, 2009 5:48 PM

I was a judge at the the games this year and was stationed at the bottom of the ravine when those 2 warriors came crashing down the hill. What a thrill to watch them and so many other great athletes give their all and there cheer on every other athlete competing against them. There is so much to say about the greatness of the sport and those who toil in it that I can't find the proper words to describe it all. Where is Jon Gilson when you need him?

6. Renee Lee wrote...

August 3, 2009 7:58 PM

This story makes me smile. I love CrossFitters...

...and I also have doubts as to whether Mikko is human or robot. I think it's the reindeer meat. :D

8. gaucoin wrote...

August 3, 2009 8:45 PM

What a great story. Very cool.

9. Nick replied to comment from sevan...

August 4, 2009 6:45 AM


Are you referring to the shirt with the silhouette of Spealer? Dude, when I was talking to him at the Games, I was like, "Man, that is a sweet shirt." He said he didnt really feel comfortable wearing a shirt with him on it. Class act, Spealler would probably rather have a shirt with all of his clients on it. THAT is what CFit is all about!

10. Karl Eagleman wrote...

August 4, 2009 1:16 PM

Awesome story! It's great to have the corresponding video footage too.

11. MB wrote...

August 4, 2009 6:44 PM

When Speal calls you a beast....I think it's safe to say that you're a BEAST.

August 4, 2009 7:09 PM

I second that motion!

13. Tim Wyatt wrote...

August 4, 2009 7:15 PM

Spealer said "He's a Beast!
He knew!

14. Aaron Wilson wrote...

August 4, 2009 10:53 PM

Mikko - 'Hey, are you Speal?'

Speal - 'No, I'm Cyberdyne System Model 101, are you Mikko'

Mikko - 'No, I'm the T-1000, advanced prototype'

Speal - 'No wonder your a beast'

15. Speal replied to comment from Aaron Wilson...

August 5, 2009 4:51 PM

Aaron... that is funny!

August 5, 2009 5:20 PM

Now that is funny !!

17. hetman replied to comment from Aaron Wilson...

August 5, 2009 8:45 PM


18. Lapp wrote...

August 10, 2009 1:38 PM

It's nice meeting new friends in the middle of races. :)

19. arvind wrote...

November 7, 2009 2:22 AM