CrossFit 7 Mile organized another “throw down” with a superheroes theme – and everyone who competed deserved to wear a cape.
The throw down at the gym on Seven Mile Road was another chance for CrossFitters to measure their progress and maintain interest rather than merely train for months without a goal.
It was also a fundraiser for those going to the Latin America Regionals in April, and $600 was collected.
This time athletes were paired in three divisions – scaled, intermediate and RX (advanced).
There was certainly a diversity of competitors and immense goodwill. Runner Joanna Mansi tested her CrossFit level as did the gym’s oldest regular, Scott Ruby, who is 47. His daughter Claire, at 18, was the youngest competitor.
Meghan Barrett, who was an assistant coach at CrossFit 7 Mile and now coaches in Raleigh, North Carolina, made the trip to compete with husband Tyler. They won the RX division. CrossFit Cayman and CrossFit Muscle Beach entered too.
The all-day event generated a great atmosphere from the 30 teams who did four tough workouts that were modified for each division. Scaled and intermediate divisions used lighter weights.
“The biggest thing about this competition was that everyone was competing, but they were genuinely happy for each other’s achievements,” said gym owner Carl Brenton. “They hung out between events and cheered each other on.”
The superheroes theme helped lighten the atmosphere. “The whole day was about the athletes and making it fun for them,” he said.
“CrossFit is about community, and we wanted to showcase that in the throw down,” Brenton said, adding that in his case his Superman costume needed no justification.
This was the biggest event CrossFit 7 Mile has held, and the high numbers can be put down to the partner concept. Those who might be too shy or intimidated to compete on their own felt more assured going with a partner, Brenton felt.
The feedback was positive. “My Facebook feed is covered in people talking about how much fun they had and how they pushed themselves harder than they ever have,” he said.
“The partner concept also meant that you didn’t want to let your partner down.”
The gym gets really busy now. The first stage of qualification for the 2015 Reebok CrossFit Games, which is the CrossFit Games Open, starts on Feb. 26. Competitors record their results from their own gyms over five weeks and the best go on to the next stage, the Regionals.
CrossFit 7 Mile is making the Open even more interesting this year by dividing the gym into four “intramural” teams that will compete internally throughout the Open. The intramural will culminate with an awards banquet at the inaugural CrossFit 7 Mile prom at the end of the Open to celebrate everyone’s achievements.
The Open will be even more accessible this year as a scaled division is added, allowing more athletes to complete the workouts.
Brenton’s wife Wanda is a champion CrossFit athlete who qualified for the Games last year. She has overcome injury and is raring to go again.
“Wanda will be looking to defend her past two years of Open wins in Latin America,” he said, and added that by turning 40 she has become a master and hopes to compete in the master’s qualifier from April 25-27.
The master’s qualifier is online. CrossFit announces four workouts on Thursday evening and the athletes have until Monday to submit videos of themselves performing the workouts. The top 200 worldwide after the Open compete for 20 spots to the Games.
The top 20 masters in each division will qualify for the 2015 Reebok CrossFit Games in Carson, California in July.
CrossFit’s massive growth means that it has combined regions this year to create “Super Regionals.”
Latin America is combining with the South West and South Central divisions and will compete in Dallas May 15-17.
Only 10 teams and individuals from Latin America will qualify to go to the regionals compared to 30 last year.
“We have some very strong athletes and plan to send a strong team to compete against the U.S. regions,” Brenton said.
He added that he is really proud of what they have created in such a small place in the gym’s four-year history.
“Seeing the friendships that are formed inside the gym and carry on afterwards is incredible.
“We just had a reunion of four members in Tampa that met inside CrossFit 7 Mile. A girl from London, a girl from Halifax (Canada) and a girl from Cayman all flew to see another girl that moved back to Tampa. You don’t normally see people form these kinds of friendships inside a regular gym.”