Before I begin the summary of the post, I’ll remind everyone to sign up soon for the CFI Games! Registration for the event closes in 10 days, on July 22nd. If you’ve forgotten any of the details, see Marcus’s post announcing the event, and Ruth’s post covering the division standards. Also, we are looking for volunteers for the event. Volunteering isn’t limited to just gym members, if you have family or friends that are interested in helping out, we’d be happy to have them. Please contact me if you have questions about volunteering roles and send me an email if you or a friend are interested.
Today came as a surprise to the entire CrossFit community, Dave Castro, the programmer for the Games, started the competition for the individual athletes two days early at Camp Pendleton. He announced on Monday that they would be completing three extra events on Wednesday, a mini-triathlon, an obstacle course and standing broad jump. The mini-triathlon consisted of a 700m ocean swim with fins, an 8 kilometer bike and 11.3 kilometer run/hike through the hills of Pendleton. This event had two possible scoring opportunities, 1 at a checkpoint just after starting the run, and another at the finish line. Since the events took place on Camp Pendleton, they couldn’t allow any spectators to attend or video to be streamed from the site, so they posted updates on the website and facebook all day and ran a radio feed from their website.
When they started the swim there was still a marine layer overhead and it was slightly chilly outside. Important notes from the swim are that only one person dropped out (as opposed to 4 last year) because of an injury getting into the water and Deborah Cordner Carson, who had to drop out last year because of the swim, faced her fears this year and finished the swim (twice as long as last year’s). When the athletes got onto their bikes, the trail was mostly sand to begin with and once they reached the first hill, many athletes just had to hike it while carrying their bikes. At checkpoint 1, Icelander Numi Snaer Katrinarson, who was first out of the water, took first, followed closely by Australian Chad Mackay and Matt Chan. For the women, Ruth Anderson Horrell was in first, followed by Julie Foucher who beat out Annie Sakamoto by two seconds.
At this point the marine layer had burned off and it was starting to get pretty warm outside. Many of the athletes chose to carry water to try to stay hydrated, but many began to suffer from cramps in their legs. The most notable for the cramping issue was Chris Spealler who hit checkpoint 1 in 9th place and was gaining ground, however the heat got the best of him and severe cramping in his leg caused him to slow considerably and he finished the event in 44th place. The top three for the men and women were Chad Mackay and Julie Foucher, Numi Snaer Katrinarson and Christy Phillips, and Kyle Kasperbauer and Ruth Anderson Horrell. The surprise of event 1 was that none of the past champs came close to finishing toward the top of the pack in this race.
The athletes had only a little while to rest before the obstacle course began. The obstacle course event was set up bracket style with 3 rounds to find the champion. The first round was 12 heats of 3 to 4 athletes and only the top finisher from each heat would move on, with the exception of 4 wild card spots. In the second round of the men’s competition, none of the wild card athletes moved on and Spencer Hendel ended up winning it all, beating last year’s champ, Rich Froning. It was a different story for the women’s second round. Surprisingly Annie Thorisdottier was a wild card but she and one other wild card made it into the final round. However neither of them were enough for Talayna Fortunato who barely beat Kristan Clever for the win.
At this point the day had come to an end and there was no time left for the standing broad jump competition. They decided to move that event to the weekend. At the end of day 1 Chad Mackay is in first by one point, followed by Kyle Kasperbauer in second and Numi Snaer Katrinarson in third. Last years champ, Rich Froning, sits in 5th place and Games hopeful Ben Smith sits in sixth. For the women, Julie Foucher sits in first place with a comfortable 40 point lead, followed by Christy Phillips in second and Talayna Fortunato in third. Next closest big names are Annie Thorisdottir in sixth and Val Voboril in seventh.
They certainly started off the 2012 CrossFit Games with tons of excitement and I look forward to seeing what the next three days of competition hold for the athletes and how they handle and use their rest day. For additional highlights about the competition, see the Games website or the CrossFit Games facebook page.