Bright and early on the perfect Saturday morning, athletes began to arrive for the 4th installment of The Courage Games. As before, we had a solid group of people show up (including an awesome crowd all the way from Dayton, OH!) and they were all eager to get after the workouts. As with two other Courage Games events, the Washington Waldorf School grounds were super generous in allowing us to use their perfect outdoor space, as well as their air-conditioned halls and bathrooms. We were all set to go for workout #1 and #2 at 9:30am!
1000 meter run
the second you cross the finish line you have 8 minutes to establish your heaviest clean.
This was done as one workout, but scored as two (the run, then the clean). We had a great course with some rough patches in terms of terrain, a few steep hills and everything from concrete, grass, dirt, much and more! Everyone pushed hard and I was so excited to see how people would approach their 8 minutes after such a fatiguing run. Well, we had a decent collection of PR's, so it seemed to go well. I think the biggest battle for the cleans was the sun. Bars and plates were getting hotter with each heat (no pun intended). But everyone fought through and we had some great looking cleans! A funny story going along with this one was that Riley, a young volunteer standing at our turnaround point was approached by a woman who seemed upset that there was a "race" going on in her neighborhood. About 10 minutes later a cop showed up asking why we were drag racing on a residential street! Say what?! Drag racing?! I can't even process how anyone could have thought that. A 14 year old standing by a cone with people running around it and she called the cops on us for drag racing! Too funny.
Workout #3 looked to be the "sprint." We all were excited to see how fast people could burn through the kettlebell work and how they would approach the fun little challenge I threw them at the end.
50 meter KB run 53/35
30 KB swings
50 meter KB run
30 KB snatch (had to switch arms every 5 reps)
1 KB throw
(2 seconds taken off total time for every 1 foot thrown)
Well, this one did NOT disappoint! There were actually a few placement changes thanks to the throw (meaning someone finished about 5 or so seconds behind another, but then got an awesome throw to move ahead of the person by 1 second!). It was a gasser though, and with everyone fighting to move up spots, we had people giving everything they had. The best moment here came when two competitors, Alex and Adam finished at exactly the same time and just exploded to the throw line. The pic is the first pic on this post and was so exciting to watch! They ended up tying the workout as their KB's landed perfectly evenly as well!
Workout #4 was a last second add-on and I was so excited to have it as part of the day, it perfectly added a good deal of diversity to the workouts and did the job of separating a very close race all the way through the rankings. I called it the "skills" workout, but it was more of a test of body control under a very short time domain.
30 seconds for max reps at each station with 30 seconds rest between each:
Pull ups (strict)
Box jumps (extension ON box, step down)
Swing jump throughs
The L-sit hold was a great starter, and a huge majority of the field was able to hold it for the entire 30 seconds! Everyone got rolls in, and it was so interesting to watch people go from rolling around directly to strict pull ups. There were definitely a few stumbles as people walked over to the bar! The box jumps caused more of a problem for people than I think most people expected. I like this because I know that most CrossFitters are so used to being able to bound off the box and/or off the ground, cycling the jumps over and over pretty quickly. The forced step-down screwed with a lot of people who had gotten used to the classic CrossFit standard. And finally, the swing jump through. This is something I started doing with my outdoor conditioning groups and I absolutely love it. It seems kind of dorky and easy, but it actually is really tough, especially if you're trying to go fast. All you have to do is grab the swing chains, and jump over the seat. But the swing starts to move around a TON, and people were getting their feet caught up a good bit. It was a great finisher to this fun workout!
For the final workout I had a typical Josh Courage-style short chipper in store for the group. I knew this would be a nail-biter as the top four men were separated by only 1 point all around! And the top four women were in a dead-race of only a couple points as well! This was going to come down to the wire.
20 deadlifts 185/135
50 meter barbell carry 185/135
20 burpees over bar
-strip bar to 95/65
50 meter overhed carry 95/65
20 push press 95/65
50 meter sprint
50 meter plate carry 45's/25's
20 power cleans 95/65
100 meter shuttle run (50 meters out 50 meters back)
People FLEW through this one, and it was so motivating to watch. It looked like the burpees slowed most people down, and the push presses were easily the toughest lift -- that was when everyone hit the wall. While the power cleans were clearly exhausting, I think that the sight of the finish line gave everyone their second wind and they muscled through. I would say the two best moments of this final workout was Cory (pictured below to the left) banging out all 20 cleans unbroken. Also, Mark, at his first ever event like this, and as the oldest competitor, fighting like mad to finish. As his coach, I was so proud to see him keep such awesome form even through probably the most fatigue he has felt in many, many years! Awesome job Mark!
Man what an awesome event all around! Congrats to Chad (1st), Dave (2nd) and Alex (3rd) for the men, and Alyssa (1st), Sarah (2nd) and Megan (3rd) for the ladies! I could not have asked for a better run event and all the judges and volunteers made everything run so smoothly. I think we got out of there almost exactly when I had hoped to, and then had a good group meet up at The Garage for tons of meat and some pool time! I must say, I love putting on these events and I am hoping I can do a winter one every year in CA, and a late summer one every year in Bethesda!
Finally, I want to make sure I give a HUGE thanks to all the sponsors of this year's Courage Games for everything they gave. I must admit, I was a little envious of what the winners got!
Life As Rx
Georgetown Sports Massage
Again, thanks so much to everyone who came out! Hope to see you at another event soon! Please feel free to leave any comments/reviews here!
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