We were unable to get in to the 2015 South Regional as a vendor this year, so we decided to go as spectators and get in on the action. Let me just start by saying that it was EPIC! There were so many monster athletes out there kicking ass the whole time. We got to see so many of the larger name athletes walking around and I even captured a picture of Camille Leblanc-Bazinet, the fittest woman on Earth. We posted it on the GtmPR Instagram page and it got over 340 likes. We're pretty stoked about that. I got to shake hands and take a picture with the following: Travis Williams, Jordan Cook and Matt Chan. Three awesome athletes that wrecked shop all weekend. The highlight of my weekend was meeting the inspiration that is Kevin Ogar. Everyone is absolutely right about him; he is the nicest.
If there is one thing to be said about the CrossFit® Games, it's that they know how to run a competition. The logistical nightmare of hosting an event of this magnitude is mind-blowing. They pull it off with such ease with smooth transitions from one workout to the next, great commentators and decent to good music. Haha. My hat goes off to the volunteers that put in some crazy shifts for these events.
The separation between regions becomes apparent with most of the Latin American athletes at the bottom of the leaderboards. The Southwest region and South Central region brought it though. Great athletes like Matt Chan, Tommy Vinas (an 18 year old phenom), Adrian Conway, Sean Sweeney, Jordan Cook, Roy Gamboa, Travis Williams, Caleb Cristian, Stephano Tsaganis, Maddy Myers, Beth Spearman, Margaux Alvarez, Jenn Jones, Randi Stevens, Alexis Johnson and so many more put on a show. Some of them showing off their 3rd and 4th lungs, some of them slanging some crazy weights and some of them doing both. It was fun and humbling to see these athletes perform at the level they did.
I saved the best part of this blog for last. The part about my good friend and now a part of Team GtmPR, Richard Andrews. He worked his ass off to get to the showdown in Dallas and did not disappoint once he was there. He was a bit nervous, which is to be expected when you're competing against the best of the best in your region, but he overcame that once the starting bell went off in WOD 1.
The highlight of his Regional experience, for me, was during the 1 rep max snatch event. He loaded the bar with 225# for his first rep and he flung it up with ease. His form, well as good as to be expected after 2:40 of handstand walks. LOL! He obviously felt good because he loaded on 25 more pounds for a total of 250#. 3, 2, 1...lift. Rich set himself and pulled as hard as possible. The triple extension was on point and he dropped beneath the bar in almost a perfect catch, regained his balance and stood it up with ease. All of that was great, but once he stood that bar up and the judge cleared his rep, he slammed that bar down with almost as much force as his pull and jumped back and let out a hulk-like yell. The crowd went crazy, and the #teamrich supporters went even crazier. This lift catapulted him from 44th place to 28th place. A solid Olympic lift, and metaphorical lift in morale.
Unfortunately, Rich tweaked his bicep in the Chipper WOD and it affected his performance for the remaining workouts. Nonetheless, his performance was stellar and inspiring. He ended up in 30th place this year, but he will be back and he will be ready for whatever they throw his way.
Rich...you've inspired all of your friends and family and you've proven yourself worthy to have been there. Hold your head high brother, they haven't seen the last of you.