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."
Lauren Pryor is a track athlete who usually places high in any running event, but she wasn't sure what to expect when she got under the bag.
"It'll be interesting," she said. "I've never done it before."
Barber's early time stood up until the later heats, when Icelander Sveinbjorn Sveinbjornsson clocked a smoking 1:01 that stood up to the end of the contest.
In the final men's heat, J.C. Nessa jumped out to a lead in hopes of retaining the overall spot. He looked as if he would cross the line first before losing his footing and nearly his sandbags. That was all the opening Mikko Salo needed. The Finn slipped past Nessa and across the line, finishing ninth in the WOD, which puts him first overall. Nessa is second, fully 15 points back, and Jeremy Thiel is in third.
Annie Thorisdottir won the women's event in 1:07.4, with Carey Kepler second and Lauren Pryor third.
The top of the women's overall standings looks like an Olympic podium: Thorisdottir (Iceland) is in first, Tanya Wagner (United States) is second, and Pryor (Canada) is third.
Next up is the rowing/stake drive WOD--a true CrossFit original.