Taranis… You mean Tyrannosaurus? No… this sounded much more terrifying because it wasn’t already dead in the ground. Here’s the Road Report from CFK’s trip to Victoria this last weekend.
Nancy, Fynn, Robyn, Connor - A Team (Wolf Pack). Michelle, Riback, Geoff and Christine – B Team (Crossbreed). Myself (Sean)- Individual. After a brutal qualifier, CFK had two stellar teams enlisted in the Taranis 2012 Winter Challenge, going head to head with a total of 24 teams from across BC and Washington State. Victoria’s Crossfit Taranis started this competition which has grown into a three-day event with nearly 200 athletes and over 250 spectators in attendance. What a better way to show off your achievements than to do it with your peers and family looking on and competing alongside you?
The months leading up to Taranis, we all trained – Fynn working us hard on our goats (some new terminology for me) – putting in many extra hours at the box – worrying that there would be the one movement we each feared (except Connor and Geoff – with their hats on backward, cool as ever, fearing nothing except a D in Spanish). I probably did 10,000 double-unders in October, and snatched more than I had ever snatched in my life, and it felt good… We were about to have our collective talent tested in an arena environment. None of us were there to “show off”, but rather to be the best that we could be. About a month before the competition, Kevin, one of the clear stars putting in as many hours as he could alongside a busy school schedule – fell and tore the meniscus in his knee. He was out. Taking his place, I now had more to contend with than making it on my own.
Finally November 16th was upon us, we had our rest and felt as ready as we could be. Boarding the ferry and arriving at our hotel, we had a great sense of team and pride before we arrived at the box for our 5PM briefing and initial WOD. Going to deliver with all the skills we had as a family felt amazing – and something we all fully intend to repeat. Most events we found had a similar format. Individual men would have their go, then individual women, then teams would have a slightly altered format of the same. We had one event on Friday, three on Saturday and a tournament-style elimination for 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th on Sunday.
One man and one woman on a fat-bar one handed deadlift. 100lbs and 60lbs respectively. One man and one woman on alternating burpee box-jumps. Collect as many points as you can and go like hell.
This event was interesting – so many had a very difficult time with gripping the heavy bar with one hand, trying to make up points on the box jumps. Monster athletes were being crushed by the inability to grab something with their own hands. Frustrating to say the least, it was a good taste of what was to come. We had in our heads the feel of the tournament, and for three of us (myself included), that small WOD was the first time we had been “in the pit” – in a competition style event. In that short time though, our team was the only thing that existed.
Post-Wod, the organizers announced the events for the following day, and we were off to rest and congratulate each other. We all had to collect very early out on a wet, cold field.
The next day we collected on the turf for something we knew would be a challenge. Each team member must carry every other team member a distance. 50 yards for the women, 100 yards for the men. Few teams had the issue ours (Crossbreed) did. Christine & Michelle – ~130 lbs. Geoff – 155 lbs. Sean – 205 lbs. I felt like the team cow, but I have to admit, everyone did a great job. Wolf Pack was alongside us and we cheered each other on. Some clean carries, some messy – legs flailing everywhere. Teams completed somewhere between 8 and 10 minutes, and many were left coughing and wheezing. It wasn’t easy in any way. In the end, my weight slowed us down considerably, but it is what it is. Tall members with big hands have an advantage on Event 1, and are a liability on Event 2. That’s the fun in Crossfit – you never know when you will be put up against or when your advantages might become disadvantages.
Resting for a bit, we moved on to a barbell complex, raising in weight by 10 lbs each increment for the gents, 5 for the ladies, points for each member making it as far as they can on a snatch-grip deadlift, to a snatch, to an overhead squat – hands may not release the bar the entire way. Wolf Pack and Crossbreed were neck-and-neck on this one. I think we all exceeded our expectations on this one (except for Connor, who reached the end of the ladder and wanted to go for more).
Event 4 put us up for something that was clearly unexpected. The previous three events seeded the teams in their competition order. Two teams would compete directly against each other for the chance to move on to the last day of events. Our two CFK teams were matched as competitors. We thought.. hey – we could have fun with this. One clean and strict overhead press, 20 pistols, 21 calories on the rower, 32 wall-ball situps, one clean and strict press. Only one team member could occupy a station at a time and we all proceeded single-file. We all raced through the stations, killing our respective bests (Geoff’s pistols were amazing) – it all came down to the last strict press, which had been many competitors issues all evening. Both teams struggling with the last strict press, Misch conjured some fire deep down and managed to get it overhead somehow. She looked like her eyes were going to burst. Neither of us really wanted to see a win over those we consider our family. It was bitter-sweet for sure, but for a few of us new to competition, we were going to get a real treat by moving on to the final round – the fun was just beginning.
The final day we arrived at the box to see overnight the crew had set up a rig with four lanes, two bars per lane and a narrow aisle running between them. This looked interesting.
80 double-unders in the narrow passage inside the rig (this tripped up MANY of the good individuals)
16 hand-release pushups
16 over-the-box jumps
1 each of a clean and jerk
Each team member had to complete at least one rep of everything.
Each team and individual would move on tournament-style with increasing difficulty. Pullups would move to chest-to-bar, to ring dips and eventually to bar muscle-ups. Hand release pushups would move to clapping pushups. It turned out to be a really interesting WOD to watch, mostly because it was so fast! Crossbreed put in a fantastic effort on this event, coming within 5 seconds to finish of the competing team (Alpacas) – had it not have been for one of the skip ropes flying to pieces mid-hop, we may have made it to the next round.
Watching the final rounds was a treat – for the rest of the day we recollected on how hard everyone worked, and how much an event like this gives you new spirit to train harder and builds stronger camaraderie – why else would we hang around each other for two and a half days solid? I want to send a humungous thanks to everyone who participated from CFK: Geoff, Connor, Nancy, Fynn, Robyn, Michelle, Christine (you’re practically adopted), everyone who came to watch, and the crew that put on such a fantastic event.
Tyrannosaurus 2013, anyone?