Elite Masters athletes will compete in the Masters Fitness Collective Championships from the 20th to the 23rd August in Fort Wayne, Indiana. This competition has been offered as an alternative to the CrossFit Games, which cancelled the Age Group division competition in May due to the COVID19 pandemic.
Following the announcement, a group named the Masters Fitness Collective (MFC) decided to organise and host their first worldwide Masters Competition to give athletes who missed out on the CrossFit Games a chance to throw down against each other and put their fitness to use.
Bobby Petras, competition director of MFC Championships and one of the founding members of the MFC, said: “It will most likely be a one off and we are not planning on making this an annual event. It was simply put together to give masters athletes an option of competition following the cancellation of the Games”.
Invites were initially sent out to the top 20 masters athletes in each age group from the Age Group Online Qualifier (AGOQ), run by CrossFit in April, and spare spots were then backfilled using the AGOQ leaderboard. There was also an online qualifier held in July.
All spots in all age groups have been filled and there is an incredible line up of athletes, including big names and many previous CrossFit Games champions and athletes. Some of the athletes competing at the MFC Championships include:
- Valerie Voboril (40-44 age group) – 6-time individual elite (open age) Games athlete
- Ron Ortiz (50-54) – 8 Games appearances and 4-time podium finisher
- Gregg Geerdes (50-54) – 3 previous Games appearances and 2nd place in 2019 CrossFit Games
- Linda Etsun (55-59) – 6 previous Games appearances
- David Hippensteel (60-64) – 7 previous Games appearances and 3 gold medals
There is also an additional 5 men and 5 women competing in a new, 65+ category.
One of the things apparent when talking to Bobby Petras about the upcoming event is the professionalism, passion, and desire to host a memorable and well-run event, with the goal to provide an incredible experience for the athletes.
When asked about this he commented: “It’s all about the experience. You only remember a handful of workouts but you remember the experience you had.”
MFC have a collection of big sponsors on board, so there is a large prize pool to be shared amongst the winners of each division. It is estimated the winners in each category will receive approximately $5k in prizes and cash. Each athlete will also be given a Bear Complex backpack worth $150.
Programming and judging
Programming for the event has been taken care of by CJ Martin from CrossFit Invictus and the judging team has a number of Games and Regionals judges helping out, along with 300 local volunteers.
Petras stated that “five local affiliates came together to help out and they have all been fantastic.”
Athlete protection and COVID19
Petras is well aware of the risks of COVID19 but has done everything he can to minimise the risk to athletes, staff and spectators during the four-day competition.
With Bobby’s family business operating in the health and aged care space, and Bobby also running his own CrossFit affiliate gym in Fort Wayne, he is very familiar with procedures to reduce risk of transmission of the disease.
Strict protocols to ensure the safety of the athletes will be in place over the four days including testing of athletes (even after the conclusion of the competition before athlete’s head home), each athlete having their own chalk bag for the competition, and all spectators and judges wearing masks.
Temperature checks for all athletes, staff, and spectators coming into the venue every day will be carried out and spectator numbers will be limited to 250.
How to watch and follow the Masters Fitness Collective Championships
Live streaming of the event will be available on the Morning Chalk Up’s YouTube channel for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The Buttery Bros will also make an appearance from the 21st – 25th and plan on putting out some video footage.
The leaderboard will be updated on Competition Corner.
- Masters-fitness-collective-championhips: Photos courtesy of CrossFit Inc.