Wow, it was a whirlwind of a weekend! For those of you who didn’t know, I got the chance to compete at the Kill Cliff Granite Games this past weekend. The Granite Games is a competition in St. Cloud, Minnesota that grows bigger every year. It starts with an online qualifier that consists of 4 weeks of workouts, one workout per week. In order to compete, you must complete the qualifier. You can either do this unaffiliated or join a community roster. After the qualifier, you can either be invited (Pro Division), qualify as an individual (Rx, Intermediate, Masters), qualify as a community team (2 men, 2 women) or buy a ticket as part of an open team (team of 3 women or team of 3 men). The top 30 are invited to the pro division while 31-75ish are invited to do the Rx division. If your community places in the top 60, you’re invited to compete. This is the route I did since our community placed 32nd in the qualifier. I teamed up with Community Louisville, 2 guys and another girl, none of whom I had met before.
Ryan, John, me and Stephanie
The weekend of events started on Friday morning so we got into Minneapolis Thursday night. Unfortunately the guy’s flights were delayed and they didn’t get in until around midnight. Since we only had one car, the other girl and I had to wait around for the guys since St. Cloud is about an hour and half away from the airport. Needless to say, getting to sleep at 2:30 AM was not what we had in mind for the start of our competition. Life happens though so we focused on our first event, the Minnesota Tri. Thankfully this didn’t involve swimming but it did involve this torture device, the ski erg.
If anyone has ever used a Concept 2 Rower it’s kinda the same idea, except way worse. The events was performed between the 2 females then the 2 males. We split 1500 m on the ski erg, 4500 m on the assault bike and then had to run 8000 m (FIVE MILES) together, both grabbing a rope together at the turn around point and crossing the finish line together holding said rope. I think we were dreading this event the most but looking back now, this might be one of my favorites from the weekend. My main goal was to not stop during the run and mission accomplished! The ski erg and bike were a lot worse than I thought they’d be though! After this we had a few hours of rest (ie time to nap!) before our 2nd event. While the nap did help, this event definitely didn’t go as planned. It involved double unders and synchronized overhead squats. The first male to go broke his jump rope mid way through. My shoulders burned so bad I thought something was actually wrong. Needless to say, not our best event.
Post Minnesota Tri
By the end of the day, we were all exhausted and couldn’t wait to sleep. We fueled up at a local restaurant called The White Horse. This is probably one of the most bizarre places I’ve been to recently. Their menu had a little bit of everything from steak to curry to sushi rolls while the décor was a random assortment of paintings. This place could definitely use the help of Bar Rescue. Despite this, it was still delicious. My meal consisted of chicken and lots of carbs! Fast forward to about 9:00 PM and we’re all asleep. I slept a solid 10 hours, it was glorious. I woke up insanely sore but was happy I could at least get out of bed. On to day two of competition!
Don’t worry, I won’t bore you all with the exact details of the workouts. If you want to know you can find them here! The clean event was fun and super fast paced. I thought that was going to be one of our less than stellar events but actually ended up being our best. This was followed by the gymnasty chipper which was frustrating to say the least. The final event was a mix of synchronized handstand push-ups and heavy partner deadlifts. Overall, the day had a lot of highs and lows but was still a lot of fun. The best part of this entire weekend was being able to see the “pros” walking around the event and getting to see them perform.
Top: Tommy Hackenruck, multiple time games compeitior Bottom: Sara Sigmundsdottir, 3rd place at 2015 CF Games
Saturday night concluded with the pros final event followed by a meet and greet. The guys got dinner and headed back to the hotel while Stephanie and I geeked out over meeting some of our CrossFit favs. We both waited in line to meet (and get a signed photo!) Brook Ence. She is by far my biggest CrossFit woman crush. She’s incredibly good looking and INSANELY strong. Seriously, check out her clean and jerk. INSANE. Stephanie and I both realized we know way more of the CF females than the males. Don’t get me wrong, the guys are hot but the women are seriously so inspiring. Some of the other people I got to meet included Nick Urankar, Elizabeth Akinwale, Dan Tyminski, Annie Thorsidottir, Sara Sigmusdottir and Sam Briggs.
Top: Brooke Ence, Middle: Nick Urankar Bottom: Sara Sigmundsdottir
After the meet and greet, we retired to the hotel and got another 9 hours of sleep. Sunday consisted of my favorite events. We didn’t rank as good as I thought we would but I had a lot of fun during this WOD. The 2nd and last WOD was even better. Stephanie and Ryan killed the first half of the workout and helped put us into 1st place in our heat. John flew through his muscle ups (I slowly chipped at mine..) and we were able hold on to 1st place until the 17 min time cap. This was the first time all weekend we got 1st in our heat so this was a great way to end the weekend.
In between these last two events, we got to watch the pro teams do “Oly Meet”. Every pro team was made of 2 men and 2 women. One woman gets 3 chances to perform a max snatch, while the other gets 3 chances to perform a max clean and jerk. The same goes for the guys. The team with the highest weight total wins. The pro teams did not disappoint. We saw some monster lifts which was really cool!
Unfortunately, I had to be at the airport at 5AM Monday morning so Sunday was another early bedtime. After having some time to reflect, I really got to appreciate what an amazing event I got to be apart of. It’s hard mid-wod or mid-competition to truly appreciate your surroundings. I was worried about my performance, our team standings and a lot of other things during the course of the 3 days. I can without a doubt say that I would do this all over again in a heartbeat. As I’ve mentioned before, CrossFit is so much more than just working out to me. Being apart of this awesome community has given me so many opportunities and helped me inside and outside the gym walls. It’s safe to say I will definitely be itching to go back next year!