Masters athletes soaked up the atmosphere in Miami competing in one of the world’s largest fitness festivals. The workouts were tough, the competition world class, and the experience was second to none.
Wodapalooza has hosted one of the most popular Masters competitions over the last few years and 2020 was no exception.
Athletes flocked from all over the globe to compete and the field included previous CrossFit Games champions, multiple times CrossFit Games competitors, and a host of other athletes all looking to make their mark.
CrossFit legend Valerie Voboril also made her first appearance as a Masters athlete at a major competition in the 40-44 age group.
Taking place in Miami, Wodapalooza ran between February 20 and 23. One of the world’s largest fitness festivals, the Sanctional hosts six Masters divisions, starting at 35 years old and running up to their newest 60+ category.
Unlike the Elite Individuals, Wodapalooza is not a direct qualification route to the CrossFit Games for Masters. Nonetheless, it’s a unique chance to test skills, get some competition experience and see how Masters fare up against each other.
Social media is full of glowing reviews, heartfelt messages of happiness and friendships, appreciation posts and evidence of real hard work!
“Competing with this group of men brings out the best in us. If some shit ever goes down I’d want them in my corner for sure!” Cory Dague, 2nd place in the 45-49 category, wrote on Instagram.
His feeling were echoed by Stuart Swanson, winner of the 55-59 age group:
“Wodapalooza 2020! It was beautiful, a long 4 days but an experience I will never forget. Loved the competition, the camaraderie, meeting and getting to know so many athletes,” he wrote.
Masters athletes competed in seven challenging workouts over three days. The events were the same (some modified slightly depending on the age group) as the workouts completed by the elite field.
Have a look at all workouts here.
WODAPALOOZA MASTERS COMPETITION HIGHLIGHTS
- Watching three of the 2019 CrossFit Games Champions competing and dominating – Jason Grubb, Joel Huges, and Kevin Koester. Joel and Kevin won their age divisions (45-49, and 50-55 respectively), and Jason Grubb paced 2nd in the 40-44 age group.
“What a weekend at WZA! My body is wrecked for a minute but my heart is full❤️❤️❤️ All of the amazing people from my competitors, family, friends, volunteers to the adaptive athletes that prove anything is possible. Winning is just the icing on the cake as they say,” Kevin Koester, wrote on Instagram.
- Valerie Voboril, competing in the in the 40-44 age group, won four of the five events on days two and three. Valerie had a slow start placing 8th in both of the first and second workouts, but then performed incredibly on day two and three finishing in 2nd place overall in her age group, behind Lori Barth.
- Cal Cherrington placed first in five of the seven events in the 60+ men’s category, putting him on top of the podium.
- Jenn Osborne (35-39 age group) rowed an extraordinary distance in event 1, “Pace Race”. The workout was a 12 minutes rowing trial against a pace boat, which increased in pace as the time progressed. If the pace boat caught you, your row ended and the metres were recorded. Open athletes did the same workout and Jenn’s distance of 3,250 would have placed her in 5th place amongst all the elite athletes in open age, beating Sara Sigmundsdottir, Brooke Wells and Tia Toomey.
Ryan Elrod (35-39 age group) kicked off Wodapalooza with a 22nd place finish. Not letting that be a setback, Ryan followed up with exceptional performances, never finishing outside the top five (2nd, 1st, 5th, 2nd, 2nd) and climbing to the top of the leaderboard by the end of the competition.
- The dominating performances of Tony Kurz (40-44) and Kim Purdy (45-49). Both won their age groups by 100 points or more. Tony Kurz also won his masters division at Strength in Depth in January making a good start to 2020.
- Watching Masters athletes dive in and swim as part of “Shark Bait” was definitely a highlight. This workout combined a 300-metre swim with pistols and D-Ball over shoulder. All age groups had to perform the 300-metre swim, and for some Masters it presented a real challenge. It’s a good reason for always having a regular swim in your training even as a Masters athlete!
- Masters athletes on social media have repeatedly described the incredible camaraderie, the building of new friendships, and the amazing support from fellow competitors. It seems this is one of the best things about competing as a Masters athlete.
WODAPALOOZA WOMEN MASTERS LEADERBOARD
35-39 – Rachel Green | Michelle Palmer | Hilary Niewald Gerrish
40-44 – Lori Barth | Val Voboril | Sara Blunck
45-49 – Kim Purdy | Jen Dieter | Stephanie China
50-54 – Zoe Stewart | Laurie Granata | Cara Yost
55-59 – Linda Elsun | Cherise Walmsley | Diane Stuart
60+ – Patricia Mcgill | Theresa Demich | Victoria Mcdonald
WODAPALOOZA MEN MASTERS LEADERBOARD
35-39 – Ryan Elrod | Garrett Corley | Nick Aranda
40-44 – Tony Kurz | Jason Grubb | Brian Kunitzer
45-49 – Joel Hughes | Cory Dague | Jeb Simmons
50-54 – Kevin Koester | David Asier Madina De Salustiano | Gregg Geerdes
55-59 – Stuart Swanson | Wally Schreiber | Eric Cohen
60+ – Cal Cherrington | Tim Vivian | Kurt Reid
Interested in CrossFit Masters Stories?
Helen Harding is the founder of The Masters Movement, a group set up to connect masters athletes around the world and sharing stories and masters-related information. She’s also a two-times CrossFit Games Champion (2016/2017) in the 40-44 age group and a four-times Pacific Regionals Athlete.
Professionally, Helen is a Physiotherapist with over 20 years clinical experience and has a special interest in exercise rehabilitation and health.
Follow her work @themastersmovement.
- wodapalooza-masters-recap: Image courtesy of Wodapalooza