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2012 Reebok CrossFit Games Experience: Day #1

Posted Jul 16 2012 8:59am
I’m still wrapping my mind around the incredible, overwhelming, motivational awesomeness I witnessed this weekend at the 2012 CrossFit Games.  Absolutely a situation where “you had to be there” to grasp the full extent of how awe inspiring these athletes are, but I hope I can at least give you a little bit of an idea through my posts, videos, and pictures.   This is going to be long (I have an entire 6 hour flight to write it),split up by days of the Games, and I’ll probably say “awesome”, “epic” and “fantastic” too much,  but if you can’t sit still for very long (I can relate) feel free to skip ahead to the videos and pics.  If you want all of the details…keep reading.

 As I mentioned in a previous post , thanks to the amazing people at FitFluential , and our gracious hosts/sponsors GNC & Reebok , 5 bloggers from the fitfluential team were invited out to California to attend the Games and share the events with our social media networks.  In attendance (besides myself) were: Tina from Carrots & Cake, Jess from Blonde Ponytail , Scott from Your Inner Skinny ,  Joe from the Hybrid Athlete, and the amazing Kelly Olexa from  FitFluential .   Have I mentioned before (maybe once or a thousand times?) how much I adore the fitness blogging community?  They were all fantastic, and I had SUCH a great weekend spending time with all of them. 
<><><><><><> <><><><><><> Joe, me, Tina, Jess, & Scott.  photo credit, Jess @ Blonde Ponytail <><><><><><>
Friday morning the fitfluential crew was as excited as kids on Christmas to get to the Games.  We waited patiently to grab our media passes from our amazing sponsors Reebok & GNC and headed down to the Home Depot Center in Carson, CA for day # 1 of the CrossFit games.

Now, let me back up for a minute here. Even though it was day #1 of the Games, it was *not* day #1 for the athletes.  No, as I mentioned in my previous post, CrossFit 101 , the athletes are almost completely clueless to what sorts of events they will face at the Games.  This goes hand in hand with the whole concept of CrossFit: training well rounded athletes who are truly fit in all aspects.   So the surprise for them came when they were informed that on Wednesday they would be competing in the CrossFire triathlon.  A 700 m open ocean swim.  Then, an 8k bike ride, through the hills of camp Pendleton, on single speed bikes (everyone was given the same bike).  Lastly, an 11.3k run back through the trails and mountains, finishing off with an obstacle course.   100 points were given to the first place athlete (Australian Chad Mackay finished in 1:57:33, Julie Foucher for women in 2:05:12) 95 to the second, 90 to the third, and so on.   The competition had begun even though the games had not.  photo credit: CrossFit Games facebook page <><><> <>

<><><>  photo credit: CrossFit games facebook page <><>

Thursday was a rest day, and Friday, the games “officially” began.  First stop for Tina & I was the vendor village.  Both runners, we were instantly drawn to it like marathoners at a huge race day expo.  Except this was far larger than a race expo.  Paleo bars, protein powders, functional fitness equipment, and hysterical CrossFit shirts as far as the eye could see.    Yes, you came here for a recap of the CrossFit games and I’m telling you the first thing we did was shop.  Sometimes it’s better to just get it out of the way (and you KNOW all of you runners can relate!) check out  to purchase Reebok CrossFit gear <><>

One thing that was blatantly apparent about the majority of the spectators in attendance was how incredibly fit everyone was (and I’m not talking about the competing athletes).   I’ll get more into this later, but you could immediately feel a sense of community.  And I could immediately feel a sense of dire need to eat paleo and get off my semi- lazy streak.   Throughout the village were numerous vendors offering fun mini competitions to the spectators.  We saw handstand pushups, double unders, pullups, tire flips, and more.  There was even an area where you could sign up and join a WOD, and another section with demos on proper form for different movements.

We met up with our awesome GNC sponsors where we got to chat, and I got eat.  I love to eat.  I was able to sample the Total Lean breakfast squares .  I tried the Iced Cinamon Bun, and I believe between shoveling into my mouth I said something along the lines of “tastes like dunkin donuts”.  And if you know me at all, you know that’s one of my most favorite, gluttonous  places on earth, so this was obviously a huge compliment.  Yum.   
Once the shopping was done, we headed over to the mens medicine ball toss and Triplet competition.  (for a full list and recap of ALL the events, check out the CrossFit Games official page here )This event consisted of  :- throwing 4 lb medicine balls from the GHD for distance (they had a time limit as well)then
Three rounds for time of -115 pound Split snatch, 8 reps alternating legs
- 7 Bar muscle ups
-Run 400 meters

I love this pic. Leave it ALL out there!  Austin Malleolo from Reebok CrossFit One <><>

 The crowd was thick and the stands were packed. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, over 12,000 spectators were in attendance this first day, as compared to 3,000 last year. We watched all of the heats, and on the last one, thanks to Tina’s quick eye, we were able to use our media passes to get front and center for some amazing shots. This is where we had the first glimpse of how amazing these athletes are, not simply in strength, but in character, as well as the community/family feel of crossfit. Here were these mega buff guys, competing for the world championship and title of Fittest on Earth. Yet, when they were done with their event (and got up from their collapsed, exhausted spot on the ground), do you know what they did? They walked back over to those who were struggling and cheered them on. And not just an insincere “you can do it”, it was over enthusiastic encouragement (typically yelling ) that you see among teammates. These guys and gals truly are first class.

After that competition was over we took a little break to hydrate, chat, and run into Rich Froning, current first place male and last years winner.   And I won't lie, we all oogled a *little*. Purely at his stellar fitness level only, of course.

Next up we headed to the team competition.  We got there in time for event #2:Front Squat - 2 rep Front squat for max load (one bar per team. Men's heaviest weights are added together.  Women's heaviest weights are added together.)
Team Triplet - Three mixed-gender pairs must complete in order: Rowen 750 m while 215/145lb Front rack held, 50 burpees while 135/95 lb Overhead held, 50 Thrusters 95/65 lbs while Dip support held. 

What I loved most about the team events was seeing athletes of all ages, shapes, and sizes coming together to compete.  I'd say all different fitness levels, but the truth is, they were all amazingly fit. 

All exhausted from travel and with an early dinner with the folks from GNC, we left after the team triplet. But for those who are curious, the last event of Friday for both men and women was :
 Medball HSPU (men/women)
Three rounds for time of:
150/80 lb Medicine ball clean, 8 reps100 foot medicine ball carry7 Parallette handstand push-ups100-foot Medicine ball carryDay #1 knocked me off my feet, and I wasn't even competing.  Day #2 would only get better, with more amazing events, presentations from and interviews with Reebok executives, and a WOD of our own.  Stay tuned for post #2 tomorrow!
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