Local CrossFit Competition Programmers: Your Strength Events Suck

Local CrossFit competitions are not The CrossFit Games, and I understand that. What I will never understand, is where in the hell these folks come up with some of these complexes. If you are one of the programmers out there throwing one-reps in your comps - kudos to you. Go spread the gospel to some of these goofs elsewhere. -SW

 

Christian Hines of CrossFit Sua Sponte, Raleigh, NC - hitting a backflip celebration after hitting this smooth complex PR - oh wait, nobody celebrates like this after hitting a 12 rep PR.

Dear Sir/Madam,

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the time you spend every year putting on your annual CrossFit competition. You help thousands of athletes every year be able to experience the joys of competing, gain all the valuable knowledge about themselves that competing brings us - and most of us know how much work goes into these events. So again, thank you.

One thing I would like to ask you about, respectfully of course, because of how much time you spent on the event - what in the holy fuck were you thinking about when you programmed your “strength” event?

 Malachi Bennett during the 1rm snatch event at the 2017 Turkey Challenge at MBS CrossFit

Malachi Bennett during the 1rm snatch event at the 2017 Turkey Challenge at MBS CrossFit

I have competed in 37 CrossFit competitions. I’m sure there are thousands of people who would laugh at that number, while others may see it as large. What it is, is a number that shows you I have at least a decent amount of experience with local CrossFit competitions. I am by no means a great athlete or CrossFitter, just an older dad who likes to spend the occasional weekend exercising for time. I would say about 15 of those events, as well as another dozen I have attended over the years, featured what my friends and I now refer to as “Creative Strength Programming,”

 Brooke Austin celebrates a PR at the buzzer during the 2018 Wyoming Open at CrossFit Frontier. August 2018.

Brooke Austin celebrates a PR at the buzzer during the 2018 Wyoming Open at CrossFit Frontier. August 2018.

"Creative Strength Programming" is when you, the organizer or person in charge of programming the events, decides that what the people really want to see, and what the athletes really want to do, is a weird, confusing, high-rep complex, rather than a one rep max. One programmer who decided that instead of a one-rep max clean, he would make athletes perform an L-Sit for max time, then clean, but only two attempts, with a miss counting as zero, told me he would “never program a straight one-rep max” for his event. Cool, I’ll pass on coming to watch amazing athletes forced to play it safe and lift less weight. I’ll be across town at the comp with a 1rm snatch event - because it will be far more enjoyable to watch.

Two weekends ago, I attended a competition in Fort Collins, CO. The “strength” event was:

  • 1 hang power clean
  • 1 hang squat clean
  • 1 front squat
  • 2 shoulder to overheads

On it’s own that is a six-rep complex for a strength event. That’s cardio bruh. Nobody wants to watch strong athletes struggling to stand up 185 pounds. It’s fuckin' boring. Further more - this event wasn’t simply one time through - it was THREE TIMES THROUGH WITHOUT DROPPING THE BAR! Athletes were getting confused by the third round, skipping movements, with a few failing the final jerk at 175 pounds, after 17 reps - for a no rep. It was by the far the silliest event I have ever seen programmed at a local event - but it does not stand alone when it comes to the concept and thinking behind these events.

 Seth Waggener during the 1rm Snatch event at 2017 Tuff Love at CrossFit Sanitas. Photo: Scott Brayshaw.

Seth Waggener during the 1rm Snatch event at 2017 Tuff Love at CrossFit Sanitas. Photo: Scott Brayshaw.

There is a reason we don’t see these type of events at The Games. Mostly because they are boring - and people want to see big weight getting thrown up, PR celebrations. How many times have you watched someone stand up their 18 rep “silly fuckery” complex PR and the crowd went crazy? Yeah, me neither.

You want to test the athletes - you want to see them perform under stress, under fatigue - fine, do a ladder. Run a sprint event before the 1rm with a set remaining time to establish a 1rm like the Open does sometimes. Running strength events that are actually just cardio, doesn’t test across different domains. You are seeing endurance, ability to perform high reps - just skip the strength event and run another metcon if you are gonna throw 18 reps at someone. Hell, you are only 12 reps shy of Grace or Isabel.

Your “creativity” is harming your event, is not creative at all, is boring and in some cases, if it’s above 6 reps or so, potentially dangerous to the athletes.

Take pleasure in knowing you have one less event to program for your competition next year. Just throw a 1rm snatch, clean, clean and jerk, whatever - give the people what they want. We want to watch guys and girls clout chasing out there - not doing some high rep, low weight foolishness that would be better off left to crowd at Curves or Planet Fitness.

I look forward to attending your event next year, and screaming encouragement to all the athletes as they fight to stand up 1rm PR’s. Please note in your event announcement next year if you will be creatively programming your strength events, so I can plan to get a haircut or run errands that weekend - because either would be infinitely more entertaining than your competition.

Sincerely,

Seth Waggener

 

P.S. Hire a decent DJ. Your cousin’s playlist sucks, doesn’t have any lit bangers on it, and if I have to snatch for load to Evanescence one more time, I might go to his job at 24/7 Heating and Cooling and either smack him in the face or steal his phone and just download my playlist to it so we can throw some weight around to 6ix9ine.




 

Six-Time CrossFit Games Veteran Lauds CBD as Cure-All

The 2018 CrossFit Games will be remembered by Dani Horan as a week where one thing after another seemed to go wrong. It didn’t take the six-time Games veteran long to realize this was going to be a tough week - she had just gotten her period and as an athlete suffering from endometriosis, this in and of itself can be a struggle. Then she had a cyst rupture on the second lap of The Crit event on day one. Horan did what CrossFit fans have come to expect from the former gymnast and competitive equestrian jumper - she dug in and went to work - ultimately she finished 33rd, her worst finish at the Games. I met Dani when she came by the Pure Spectrum booth at the Games, then had the chance to meet her mother as well, when she came by on day three just to say thank you to the Pure Spectrum team. Dani and I were able to catch up last week to talk about her performance, CBD and her future in CrossFit.

When were you first introduced to CBD, was it at the Games or before?

I am always looking for natural cures and I had been reading about CBD for a while - but WADA didn’t allow it which I thought was crazy. Vermont has medicinal marijuana, and I had asked about getting a therapeutic exemption from CrossFit - but was told it would more than likely not be granted.

We have a large dispensary here in Vermont that sells CBD and as soon as WADA removed it from the banned list in January of this year, I started taking it. The biggest thing I noticed right away was the sleep. I normally would wake up four to five times a night - and it helped with that a lot. When I started taking Pure Spectrum’s products I really started to notice a difference not only in my sleep but my gut health and acne as well.

Since Midol is banned by WADA, I never had anything I could really take that would help with my cramps either - with Pure Spectrum’s topical and tincture, I was able to get rid of really bad cramps in about 40 minutes. This is the first product I have ever used that has worked for my periods.

That’s quite a laundry list of things you are using it for, with success. Do you see CBD as a product that will continue to gain traction with CrossFit athletes?

I see it as the new fish oil, apple cider vinegar - one thing you can take that fixes almost everything. One thing athletes need to be aware of though is there are a lot of crappy CBD products out there - the difference I saw using Pure Spectrum’s products tells me that the purity and potency matter.

I can see that, because of all the uses - but with it being produced from the cannabis plant - even though Pure Spectrum and other companies have a THC-free product - did you encounter any negative reaction from other athletes at the Games when you discussed CBD?

I got some weird looks from people, you know those looks like they are thinking “what are you doing, are you doing drugs?” - a few of those, some curiosity but there was also a lot of positive reaction and curiosity as well.

The 2018 Games. What’s the takeaway from your experience this year?

I haven’t really processed what happened this year. I had adrenal fatigue after the Games in 2017. I took four months off, just did some really basic conditioning during that time, took a huge off-season and just really focused on healing my body. I tried a new coach, it wasn’t a good fit. Three weeks before the Open I took over my own programming. I think I just started too late - I was able to get healthy and heal - but I just don’t think I had enough time to get ready. I had a rough go of it at the Games. Stabbing pain from the cyst rupturing didn’t help. The events this year were very different as well - there was not a lot of “CrossFit” events if that makes sense. I tried my best - but like I said, I’m still trying to process it all.

The recovery after a week of Games events has to be unreal - especially when things don’t go your way, or events are not in your wheelhouse. What was your experience afterwards, and did you use CBD to aid in that recovery?

I thought I was gonna be ungodly sore this year - I used CBD consistently - and while my muscles were certainly very fatigued, but the level or soreness was not nearly what it has been in the past.

The average age on the women’s podium this year is about 23. Is that something you think about when you are out on the competition floor trying to go head-to-head with these athletes as a 30 year old?

I’m definitely older in this sport. As an athlete I know I am in better shape than I was last year, but everyone is getting better every year and I’m not getting better as fast as I did when I was younger. I ask myself “was this just an off year?” The Games were really hard for me this year. Everything that could go wrong seemed to go wrong, but I just wasn’t good enough. I wasn’t in good enough shape.

So what does the future look like for Dani Horan. Will you be back in 2019? Is that even a goal for you?

I know that I want to compete this year - I am planning on competing this year - and I will just leave it at that for right now. Like I said, I am still trying to work through everything, so l’ll just say that - I plan on competing this year. One thing I can say is, that my goal for the future is to become more involved in the community. I know other people out there experience the things I experience - female athletes who suffer from terrible periods, adrenal fatigue, acne, gut issues, sleep, all of those things - I know they want a way to cure them. I want to spread the word about CBD - I want to help people through programming, nutrition, information - that is one of my goals regardless of my future as a competitor.

CBD: The Next Step in CrossFit Recovery

As a CrossFit athlete I see all sorts of new fads when it comes to athletic recovery. From jigsaw-looking power tools that massage sore muscles to a myriad of powders and liquids that claim to be the perfect supplement to fix your (fill in the blank injury).

Enter the newest player in this game (it's been around forever, but new to the marketplace) - unlike so many others, Cannabidiol (CBD) is backed by a lot of scientific research - and it could be a game-changer in the world of recovery for high-intensity athletes like CrossFitters. We are already seeing companies making an attempt to expand their customer base to include athletes. If you were at the CrossFit Games West Regional last month in California, you may have seen new Games sponsor Pure Spectrum with a booth set-up. The Evergreen, Colorado-based company will be on-site in Madison as the first ever CBD company to sponsor The Games.

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I was introduced to CBD during my time as spokesperson for Governor Matt Mead of Wyoming. A bill seeking to legalize CBD in Wyoming to treat seizures in children was introduced. The lack of information available to lawmakers was laughable. A former police chief who was a policy adviser to the Governor would give briefings every day about the bill, and would talk about the THC levels (which were trace amounts), give stories from the internet about kids “getting high” off CBD and other claims that were not backed up by anything. Despite this, the bill passed - but the Governor allowed it to become law without his signature - a final silent protest of sorts.

Since recreational legalization in Colorado - the access to CBD products has increased by leaps and bounds. I know a large number of CrossFit athletes who already use it as a recovery tool and swear by it. Despite this, the aforementioned level of ignorance about CBD remains high. Why should you be using it? Does it contain THC (the psychoactive compound in marijuana that produces the “high”) Is it legal to use if you are an athlete who undergoes drug testing?

Like any supplement out there, I would encourage you to do your own research from as many different sources as you can. My information comes from people who have worked in this industry for decades, from studies done on CBD usage and from athletes who have used it for years. This article is the first in a series we are working on, which will go into detail how CBD works and how it can benefit you when it comes to athletic recovery.

seth.jpg

There are some basic facts about CBD that make it appealing for athletes. The human body has what is called an Endocannabinoid System - just like our respiratory system is responsible for bringing oxygen to our cells, our Edocannabinoid System is responsible for bringing us to, or keeping us at homeostasis - the ideal state for the body. Anything that is out of balance in this system, can cause problems for us when it comes to sleep, anxiety or inflammation. This means CBD has a list of potential benefits that reads like a “what’s what” of recovery needs for any high-intensity athlete:

  • Improved sleep

  • Less anxiety

  • Faster recovery

  • Less inflammation

  • Improved mental focus

  • Anti-aging

  • Antioxidant

  • Pain relief

  • Improved immune system response

  • Improved gut health

We know that CBD aids in bringing our body back to homeostasis - and we know that these benefits come from our body being in that state. When you look at that list and think about the things you do or take to combat those issues - the idea of having one product that can address all those issues, was something I found extremely intriguing.

 Myths about marijuana spread in propaganda films like Reefer Madness, continue to plague the CBD debate, some 50 years after these films were made.

Myths about marijuana spread in propaganda films like Reefer Madness, continue to plague the CBD debate, some 50 years after these films were made.

Even the federal government in patent #6630507 labels CBD as a “neuro-protectant” as well as an antioxidant. The benefits of CBD are well known and widely agreed upon. Now that you see the potential benefits of this product, the first question may be, “why is everyone not using this product?” Sadly, in this age where all the world’s information is available at our fingertips - we are still a society that is held back by the lingering claims made by propaganda films and anti-drug activists from as far back as the 1930’s. Many of the outrageous claims made about marijuana in Reefer Madness - are still thought to be true by millions, and that ignorance has unfortunately bled over into the CBD world. Your grandfather didn’t wake up one day thinking the Devil’s Lettuce is a “deadly scourge that drags our children into the quagmires of degradation” (that’s on the cover of Reefer Madness...seriously), that sort of ridiculous misinformation was pushed by the media and the government for years, and the “knowledge” still lives on - and in some cases has even dictated legal policy surrounding the drug.

I am not going to get into just how little THC there is in CBD products produced from marijuana plants (just look up the word “trace”) because you can get them with ZERO THC. CBD manufactured from the hemp plant, contains no THC. Companies like Pure Spectrum, the CrossFit Games sponsor, are made from hemp grown just north of Denver. They sell and ship legally to all 50 states because there is no THC in their product. CBD itself was on the United States Anti-Doping Agency’s list of banned substances until this year. USADA removed CBD from it’s list of prohibited S8 Cannibinoids, while THC remains banned. Despite this, many regional level CrossFit athletes I speak with about CBD, are wary of its potential to result in a failed test. If you are using CBD sourced from the hemp plant, this will not happen. So really it boils down to the company you are purchasing from and whether or not they are trustworthy and test their own product - which is what makes Pure Spectrum an attractive sponsor for athletes and athletic events. They already sponsor a number of MMA fighters who undergo rigorous drug-testing, most prominently UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway.

 Hemp growing at one of the nation's largest hemp farms in Eaton, CO. Hemp grown here is used to produce USDA certified organic CBD products for Pure Spectrum.

Hemp growing at one of the nation's largest hemp farms in Eaton, CO. Hemp grown here is used to produce USDA certified organic CBD products for Pure Spectrum.

Navigating the supplement world to find what you need and what works has always been a headache. Overpriced powders, outrageous claims, failed third-party testing - it’s a jungle out there. CBD is not immune from this - so finding a trusted source is essential, especially if you are an athlete who will or who could potentially be tested by an anti-doping agency. It appears CrossFit HQ did their research with Pure Spectrum - finding a company that uses local hemp, tests their products, ensures the 0% THC level and tests their product from seed to sale. The fact they already sponsor world-class athletes who undergo testing should also put CrossFit athletes’ minds at ease.

These features all come with a cost - but if you look at the benefits and what CBD could be replacing in your cabinet, there really is no sticker shock. The companies producing low-cost CBD products are not going to be able to make those claims about how their CBD is manufactured.

“You can buy beef anywhere and you can buy any cut you want. You can buy ground beef and you will get what you pay for. Pure Spectrum is for the athlete that cares about what they put in their body, Pure Spectrum is the filet mignon of CBD,” said Brady Bell, Chief Executive Officer for Pure Spectrum.

If you are an athlete neglecting your endocannabinoid system, it is scientifically impossible for you to reach your full physical potential. CBD opens up a new window to athletic recovery - a limitless potential of what you could improve or correct - depending on what is out of balance in your body. This is not some 21st century “snake oil” - but rather a tool, available to us for centuries, that has been ignored by the masses because of propaganda, lack of education and government interference. CrossFit is ahead of the curve, bringing a CBD company into the sponsor fold - and opening the eyes of a population to this fountain of youth for functional fitness athletes.

Pure Spectrum, the CBD company sponsoring The 2018 CrossFit Games, is offering wild/STRONG readers a 10% discount on ALL their products. Make sure to follow the link and use the code WILDSTRONG at checkout.

 

Bullying Is Good: The Violent Reality of Evolution

Opening my Facebook feed every day is always an experience. What will the sheep be bleating about today? What celebrity or politician lost their job because they allegedly touched someone inappropriately 48 fucking years ago? What kind of a potato chip is my friend Rick, according to a Buzzfeed quiz? Today – the internet “cause du jour” was a kid who was bullied and made a video “fighting back” one headline read.

This is the world we live in. Fighting back is so loosely defined, violence so widely repudiated, that the term “fighting back” has been used to define a viral video on Facebook. What's next? We all start referring to your mother as a combat veteran because she "waged a war on hunger" by cooking you dinner? You see, when I was kid, yes, all the way back when we rode horses to school and were just learning about things like radios and electricity, fighting back meant something different. Fighting back meant punching that piece of shit who was tormenting you right in his fat fucking face.

 With my sons. I've taught them from an early age that nobody will fight your battles for you and sometimes violence is the only answer.

With my sons. I've taught them from an early age that nobody will fight your battles for you and sometimes violence is the only answer.

That’s not the world we live in anymore. Now, traits that once were celebrated as being inherently “male” are condemned. Your son is sent home from school with recommendations of what doctor to see to address his “aggressive” behavior – and yes, fighting back is done through social media videos and hashtags.

Bullying has existed for as long as humans have walked this earth – actually, for as long as animals have walked this earth. The strong take from the weak. That’s how the world works. Our children are not served by being taught otherwise.

I was bullied – mercilessly tormented for years. I had bad teeth, braces, glasses, even spent some time rocking some killer Forrest Gump leg braces designed to make my legs straight as an arrow. You can imagine how other kids reacted. I was a target – and for a long time, I was an easy target. I was scared to fight back. My dad had to drag me out of the car crying when he dropped me off at school. One day when I was 12 years old, that changed.

My younger brother (just one year behind me) and I were playing basketball at the park with our older brother. A pickup game of football was going on with some kids from the neighborhood and my brother and I asked to join in. Teams were picked and we got going. Despite my braces, glasses etc. I was a pretty decent athlete growing up, as was my younger brother. It wasn’t long before we were running all over these guys, despite the fact many of them were a few years older. It will come as no surprise to anyone who knows me that regardless of the bullying I received growing up – I always talked a lot of shit. This day was no different and as the score started getting out of control, I made sure the other team knew about it. Then one of the older kids took exception and started in on me, talking about my braces, my glasses, and calling me a lot of names. Like I normally did, I just sort of backed down. The kid was way bigger than me and quite a few years older. For those that know my brothers and me, the next part will also come as no surprise.

My younger brother Matthias, about 11 years old at the time, has always been one of those guys who never saw the value in missing out on a fight. He immediately started in on the kid and told him if he didn’t shut up he was gonna have problems. Again, he was 11 and this kid was easily 15 or older. Eventually the two squared off and my brother smoked him, dropped him right there on the football field and got on top of him and was laying waste to this kid when his friends jumped in and pulled him off – it appeared it was over but apparently the kids just wanted to restart, since things weren’t going well for their buddy. Restarting turned the tide and the older kid began kicking my brother in the face repeatedly – finally leaving him there, beaten – and me watching, ashamed of myself. Your younger brother is not supposed to fight your battles for you. I was such a pussy that I watched my younger brother take a beating, because of me.

 With my brothers: On the left, photo taken around the time of the incident in the park. On the right: All grown up, from an age perspective at least.

With my brothers: On the left, photo taken around the time of the incident in the park. On the right: All grown up, from an age perspective at least.

That day changed me. I can still see that kid’s foot meeting my brother’s face. I can tell you exactly what he was wearing and exactly how it felt to watch it. It stuck with me – and is still right there in the front of my mind even today. Three months later an older kid was picking on my baby brother at the YMCA, calling him names, telling him where he could and couldn’t swim in the pool. He came to me, almost in tears and told me what was happening. He was an undersized kid and was about 8 years old. This fat-ass punk that was picking on him was my age.  I followed him into the locker room, my hands sweating, barely able to breathe because of how nervous I was. I told him that was my younger brother he was picking on, and I was gonna teach him a lesson. He laughed and then I beat the absolute shit out of him.

Every time I slammed the door of a locker on his face while he yelled for help, I saw my brother’s face being kicked in by the kid on the football field. I had never felt so alive in my short life. I’ve never backed down from a fight since that day in the park – that day was a pivotal moment in my life – where I learned that nobody should fight your battles for you and that nobody should be allowed to hurt someone you love. For me, it was my brother fighting back that changed who I was. I may not throw my hands nearly as much as I once did – but the attitude of never letting anyone push you around – is still deeply-rooted in who I am as a person. Many years later, Matthias would tell me, "I remember being in high school and we ran around with different people, and I would hear about guys you had fought or a guy you had beat up and I would think, man, that guy was huge - I'd be scared of him - and I would just think, man, Seth changed a lot."
I've never really shared until today how much he had to do with that change.

 My baby brother Paul on the left, Matthias on the right. I doubt Matt knew that day in the park what an impact him fighting that kid would have on my life - knowing him, he just wanted to fight.

My baby brother Paul on the left, Matthias on the right. I doubt Matt knew that day in the park what an impact him fighting that kid would have on my life - knowing him, he just wanted to fight.

When my youngest son was about the same age as I was in the park that day, he endured terrible bullying at his school – to the point where I was talking to school district officials trying to get something done. In the end, my son adopted a similar attitude to mine – and today, he doesn’t deal with any bullying. He is a great wrestler for his school and the last time we had any behavioral issues with him, it was the school notifying me that he had gotten in a fight. Once I learned the particulars (he had slammed a kid to the ground and choked him after the kid had bullied a special needs student and broken his glasses) I bought him ice cream.

Bullying is shitty behavior, and according to most studies, a result of a number of issues that particular kid is dealing with, either at home or in school. Our overly sensitive culture can no longer see the value in simply punching this kid in the face, and instead wants a softer approach. That’s fine for that kid I suppose – he doesn’t have to get smacked around in the schoolyard and humiliated by one of his victims who one day has had enough – but what about the victim? How are the victims of his torment benefitting from this soy-milk approach to the problem? They are not. Standing up to bullies is what serves them – standing up and fighting back, in the real, physical sense of the word, matures a young man or boy. It teaches them valuable life lessons that cannot be learned elsewhere. It readies them for the real world, where participation trophies and coddling do not exist.

I understand how serious a problem bullying is, and the devastating impact it can have on a child and his or her family. I’ve stared into the tear-stained eyes of a friend’s mother who found her son hanging from his bedroom rafters – seeing suicide as the only way to escape his tormentors. I’ve also dealt with a host of adults – who were raised in this coddled environment where violence is never the answer – who cannot deal with their problems because they were always dealt with for them. They are medicated with anti-depressants and walk through life in a drug-induced haze, completely impotent when it comes to addressing any real issue in their life.

Both of those circumstances sadden me - but bullying is never going to go away. It will never stop – no matter how many celebrities use a certain hashtag, no matter how many politicians pledge to “end bullying” – it will never stop being a thing. Strong people will prey on weak people or those who are perceived to be weak. You have to fight back. Not with a video, not with a hashtag, with your fists. This is part of growing up. Stand up for yourself. Stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves. Start parenting your children in a way that will help them not make them pussies. Sign them for boxing, wrestling or Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. More often than not, the cool, collected aura of a person who knows how to defend themselves, is enough to make an attacker wary. Bullies prey on the weak, so become strong. Stop celebrating the fact you are a victim. Stop being proud of the fact you found a non-violent way to “fight back” – embrace violence. Use it when necessary and pass along your knowledge of it to your children so they can do the same.

"The Moose" Dominates, Schauer Pulls Off Comeback, Wins Turkey Challenge

There are more people in the city of Denver than in the entire state of Wyoming. So when you say “the fittest man in Wyoming” – it has a way of eliciting eye rolls and a general sense of “who cares?”

This weekend at the annual MBS Turkey Challenge – a field of some of Colorado’s best athletes - got put on notice. There is a neighbor to your north who is pretty fit.

 Bennett (13 points) finishes off a wire-to-wire performance. Trailed by Brian Harris (right) and Jared Enderton (left)

Bennett (13 points) finishes off a wire-to-wire performance. Trailed by Brian Harris (right) and Jared Enderton (left)

Five-time consecutive Wyoming Open champ Malachi Bennett stepped on to the scenic runway outside MBS’s famous airplane hangar, and in the shadow of the majestic Rocky Mountains, took first place on event one. For the rest of the weekend, it was a standing on the leaderboard he would never relinquish, en route to a dominating wire to wire first place finish.

Bennett followed up event one, by tying his PR on the max snatch event with 275 pounds, second only to CrossFit Invictus weightlifting coach and fittest man in Colorado, Jared Enderton’s 300 pounder.

Bennett elected to complete his floater on Day 2, so he headed home after Day 1 in first place. Day 2 would be more of the same. Malachi took a second place in 15.4 – again, second to Enderton, who appeared poised to make a run for the lead following a 9th place finish on event 1. The writing was already on the wall however – Bennett had just 5 points after 3 events – Enderton had 11, eventual second-place finisher Brian Harris was at 15 points.

 Enderton gave the crowd what they wanted on event 2, snatching 300 for a first place finish. Bennett would take second, tying his PR of 275.

Enderton gave the crowd what they wanted on event 2, snatching 300 for a first place finish. Bennett would take second, tying his PR of 275.

After a seventh place finish on the floater, Bennett had pretty much sewn up the competition – and needed to simply avoid disaster on the final event to walk home the winner. Instead of avoiding disaster, Bennett dominated the final, going unbroken on every set of thrusters and muscle-ups. Only two other athletes in the field were even close. Dark Horse Performance owner and CrossFit Barkada coach Justin Biays showed off a perfectly paced effort – starting slow and gradually moving up every round – joining Brian Harris as the only two athletes in the field to challenge Bennett.

Malachi would finish in 7:22, with Harris and Biays the only other athletes under 8:00. Save those three competitors, no other athlete in the field would finish under 9:00. The final points tally showed what was already clear before the final – Bennett’s nearest competition, CrossFit Decimate’s Brian Harris, had twice as many points (26) as the Wyoming athlete. Enderton finished in third for the second straight year.

Next up for Bennett is Wodapalooza where he stood on the podium last year as an individual. He has elected to go as a member of a team, with Turkey Challenge 4th place finisher Westy Guill.

Women's Pro

Unlike the men's division, the women's pro had a lot of drama headed into the final event. CrossFit Sanitas athlete and last year’s second place finisher Elisa Schauer, needed a big performance in the final event if she wanted to knock off leader Marie Van Dyne of CrossFit DNR.

 Schauer completes a three-year run at the Turkey Challenge. Finishing first in 2017, second in 2016 and third in 2015.

Schauer completes a three-year run at the Turkey Challenge. Finishing first in 2017, second in 2016 and third in 2015.

Schauer’s muscle-ups proved to be the difference – like Bennett on the men’s side, she took first place in the final – one of only two women to complete the workout under the time cap. Alpine CrossFit’s Megan Markee also finished under the cap. Van Dyne would end up getting time-capped on the event and finished 10th, giving Schauer a 6 point final margin on the leaderboard.

Schauer’s win completes an impressive three year run at the Turkey Challenge – finishing third in 2015, second in 2016 and first in 2017.

Rounding out the women’s leaderboard was Van Dyne, Florida resident Dani Speegle, who wowed the crowd on Saturday with a 195 snatch, and then a three-way tie for  fourth with CrossFit Omnia’s Kelly Stone, Backcountry Crossfit’s Kelly Bruehl and CrossFit Barkada’s Tori Alemany – who stood on top of the podium this year at the Wyoming Open.