CrossFit Mo'Down lifted spirits

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CrossFit 7 Mile had yet another successful “Throwdown” at its gym beside Treasure Island on Saturday, with weights and kettle bells swinging all day.  

Athletes from CrossFit Cayman and CrossFit Muscle Beach joined in the competition at the Seven Mile Beach gym in the “Mo’Down Throwdown,” which lasted eight hours. Some proceeds went to Movember charities. 

Considering this event was initially introduced for non-elite athletes as an incentive to continue the demanding CrossFit workouts and gauge their progress, the event has grown impressively. Competition was divided into five divisions for each gender and certainly lifted already high spirits across the local CrossFit community.  

CrossFit 7 Mile celebrates its fourth anniversary this month, and in that short time, owners Carl and Wanda Brenton with their dedicated team of coaches headed by Chris Spigner and Dona Karlowee have seen it grow to around 120 members. Many from the early days have remained loyal. They include, at the Throwdown, Angelo Giuzio, their first-ever member, and Jason Sneah, a recent bodybuilding convert who competed in the men’s RX division.  

Carl Brenton, sporting his finely groomed Movember whiskers, was pleased with the turnout.  

By lunchtime, Brenton said, the standard was so high that someone had “cleared 285 pounds with a clean” weight lift. “It’s been really impressive so far,” he said.  

He could not predict a winner because the early workouts favored the bigger, stronger athletes, and the later ones were easier for the lighter, more agile ones. “That’s what CrossFit is – who’s the fittest and can put it all together, not who’s the strongest.”  

Considering its relative newness and smallness, CrossFit 7 Mile has had tremendous success, winning the Latin America team title twice and Wanda Brenton qualifying for the 2014 Reebok CrossFit Games after becoming the women’s Latin America champ. 

She had to pull out early at the Games due to injury, but recently got the all clear to resume intensive training. She just turned 40 and will now relish competing in the masters division and not having to concede to stronger and faster youngsters. 

“This is really a great community of people, that’s the resounding praise we get,” Carl Brenton said. “People that come down to visit say that we’ve got really good coaching and a community spirit, that’s what CrossFit is about.” 

He added that the majority of regulars love CrossFit, even though some initially were not sure if it was for them.  

He cited athletes like Joanna Mansi, who recently won the Pirates Week 5K run, and Scott Ruby, 47, who is one of the elite performers now, though until a couple years ago he never seriously lifted a weight. Ruby’s wife Miles and daughter Claire, 18, are avid CrossFitters now.  

“Jo Mansi’s in her 40s and just keeps getting better,” Brenton said. “She comes in here and does these records and then she goes and runs races and kills it. It’s amazing and really cool to see.” 

Brenton added that Scott Ruby is “a big advocate of ours.” Ruby was grossly obese only a few years ago and decided to get in shape. 

The men’s RX winner was Johann Werth, who is unafilliated because he is new to Cayman.  

Werth placed third in Africa in the 2014 CrossFit Games Open and 17th at the 2014 Africa Regional. 

Carl Brenton is pleased that Wanda can pitch into competitive CrossFit again.  

“Hopefully, there will be big things for her next year, being a 40-year-old athlete,” he said. “She’s got some good opportunities and hopefully we’ll see her on TV (qualify for the 2015 Reebok CrossFit Games).” 

Carl Brenton is an occasional CrossFit athlete, nowhere near as fit nor dedicated as his spouse. “I’m just happy to get my workouts in,” he laughed.  


Mark Wellon competed in the RX division.

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