The masters competitors kicked off the 2014 CrossFit Games this past Tuesday by working their way through no less that 4 separate events. That’s quite a change from 2010, when the masters competition debuted with two events on Friday, a rest day on Saturday and one final event on Sunday. It just goes to show that the work demands of Games athletes is going up across the board—and the masters are rising to meet it.
The 2014 Games began with a deadlift ladder, with some impressive weight being moved by both men and women. In the 40-44 division, three men picked up 535 lbs (the max weight on the 10-barbell deadlift ladder),while David Walters (60+) moved 455lbs. On the women’s side of things, two women in the 40-44 division (Christine Kluge and Merrill Mullis) each shifted 375lbs. The winner of the 50-54 division, Cindy Kelley, wasn’t too far behind her younger compatriots with a 325lb lift. Clearly, strength is not an issue for these ‘older’ athletes. In fact, a few competitors were actually able to clear the deadlift ladder with ease—notifying the Games organizers that the weight limits needed to be significantly increased for next year.
Following the deadlift, masters athletes up to 59 years old moved on to a max-distance handstand walk. Those in the oldest age division performed a max-distance walking lunge with a 30- or 50-lb. medicine ball overhead. Shawn Ramirez took the event for the 40-44 division with a 185ft effort, while John Marriotti led the way for the 55-59 group with 75ft on his hands. That may sound like quite a drop-off, but when you consider the difference in age, it becomes all the more impressive. Amanda Allen, who finished 4th in the Australia Regional and just missed out on going to the Games as an individual competitor, crushed the event with a 205ft score in the 40-44 division. Linda Elstun’s top score of 155ft in the 50-54 division would have also given her the win in the 45-49 group, which was led by Shellie Edington (95ft).
Immediately following the Max Distance event was the Sled Sprint, which called for a 100-yard sled drag for time. The day ended with the Run Rope event that, as the name indicated, included running and rope climbs. The masters will finish up their Games competition with a repeat of the inaugural CrossFit Games workout, fittingly titled ‘2007’, followed by an awful looking MedBall Burpee event to round out Wednesday. Thursday will be the final day of competition, starting with a Down&Back Chipper before athletes face their final event, which as of now, is unknown.
But what IS known is that each year, the masters are getting stronger and stronger. As the events get more arduous and we see competitors showcase their exceptional skills to meet them, one can truly say that these divisions are full of ‘masters’.
Photo courtesy of CrossFit Inc.