EVENT 4 – SPRINT O-COURSE
This was a long day but not overly crushing. The first event was the obstacle course race. It was raining and cold, the slippery conditions changed the tempo of the event drastically. If it was a hot dry day I think most athletes would have been flat out sprinting and very winded by the end of the course. Due to the conditions times were slower and the pace was a lot more cautious by most.
It really felt like luck played a high factor in your placing.
If you had a late first heat you were cold and the times were slower, but if you made it to the next round and were up immediately your muscles were firing and you could have a pretty fast second run.
My first run was ok, I slipped up the rope swing, held on for a second “tarzan” swing and stuck the landing. After that I was smooth and relatively conservative. I finished third in my heat, only the top two moved on. Luckily I had the fastest “wildcard” time so I was in the top 20 semi final. During that run I started off very fast with no mistakes. One of the last obstacles was the rope traverse. I thought a few athletes were right with me so I jumped to the third rope and slid right down to the ground. Ran back, jumped more conservatively to the second rope and completed the rest of the course. Because of the mistake it cost me the heat win and a trip to the finals. After watching the replay I realized I was well ahead and did not need to risk the jump. Live and learn!
EVENT 5 – 1 RM SNATCH
Quite quickly after that we were warming up for our 1 rep max snatch. I had help from my coach Big Bad Bobby Dee and my Emotional Shepherd Mitch Barnard to determine my opening weights. They decided on 280 and 286 pounds. The warm-up felt good, I was confident I could deliver and secure a place in the top ten to attempt two more lifts. The first lift at 280 was a bit sketchy, I caught it on my toes and went for a little ride but fought to finish the rep. I looked to my right and saw that Fraser was lifting about the same as me, so that was a good sign. I crushed the next lift and had a bit of fun with a quality celly as I locked it out. We went under the stage for them to tally the scores, then back out on the floor for two more attempts.
I quickly hit a warm-up lift at 245lb to prime the system again. It was an ugly lift and felt heavy. So I loaded 291 on the barbell anyway. YOLO right?
When it was my turn I smoked the lift. My best technical lift of the event and a 1 pound PR. The bar aggressively hit my groin and stung quite badly, but the pain receded pretty quickly. Coach had told me to hit 295 or 296. But I thought it would be cool to crush a 300lb snatch finally. And if there was one place to do it it’d be here. So I signaled the crowd to pump me up and it worked. 3rd place in the snatch I was happy. Funny story: after the event Fraser told me his judge said “Oh you’re doing 297, are you sure? He’s doing 300?” Mat was like “Uh ya, that’s fine.” Crazy things happen on the floor between athletes and judges sometimes, we had a good laugh after it was fun lifting next to Mat.
EVENT 6 – TRIPLE-G CHIPPER
The next event was the big Triple G Chipper. I was optimistic about this event. Not a great event for me on paper, but it ended with rowing and jerks which I love. And I was hoping my fitness could carry me through to a solid finish. It did not. Pull-ups went ok but not great, about 10 no reps cost me time, and my grip was just fatigued. GHD Situps and pistols I paced as best I could but I had so much ground to gain that I couldn’t catch the rest of the field. I felt big to be honest, every now and again with those movements I feel nimble, light, fast. Not today. The row was fine, and the jerks were a little more wobbly than I had expected. I raced to the mat as one of the last to finish in my heat. Was tired and felt a little defeated.
EVENT 7 – ASSAULT BANGER
After the last Event I did my best to keep my chin up. I remembered feeling similar last year after the ring handstand push-up workout, and just like last year when the box jumpD Ball workout was announced it perked up my spirits, so did this event. 40 calories on the bike, and 20 feet banging a hammer. Needless to say I had a big grin on my face. I love the bike, and we built a similar rig at our gym out of wood to hit with a hammer.
I hit the 40 calories at about a 90% effort, rushed to the banger and did my best to not stop no matter how bad I wanted to pause for an extra breath. I was able to change over my hands twice quite efficiently when my dominant swinging hand tired. I was pretty pissed off when Pat got off the bike about 10 seconds ahead of me. I thought “I’m supposed to be the bike guy!” So when I got to the banger I was very aware of Pat to my left and tried to edge him out at the finish. I did (suck it Pat) (Jokes I love you bro). Ran to the finish and almost fell in a hole when I dropped my hammer. Amateur move. Totally missed out on a cool celebration. But I finished second in the heat and fourth overall in that event which is great. Lots of points! I love a good chunk of points.
Late night, excited already for tomorrow to start! Feeling energized and loving every minute of competing.
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Read Brent’s account of Day 1 from The CrossFit Games:
- Brent-Fikowski: CrossFit Inc