The 2009 CrossFit Games finished with a long, grinding chipper including everything from cleans to muscle-ups, thrusters and overhead lunges.
Mikko Salo finished the chipper in 19:46 and claimed the overall title, and shortly afterward, competitions around the world started to feature long, grinding more-is-better chippers containing every movement programmers could think of.
In 2012, the Games featured an elegant middle-distance there-and-back chipper showcasing six movements for 110 reps. Rich Froning won it in 7:06.
In 2013, the Games chipper was a flat-out sprint: 21 med-ball GHD sit-ups, 15 snatches (165/100 lb.) and nine wall burpees. The time cap was but five minutes, and most athletes only needed three minutes to complete it.
Just like he paces workouts, Rich Froning paces the CrossFit Games. Even though he’s been at or near the top of the Leaderboard for most of the competition and entered the day in first, Froning won his first event on the fourth day of Individual competition. He took the Sprint Chipper with a time of 2:28.3.
Going into the event, Froning said he had one thing on his mind: "Beat Jason (Khalipa)," he said with a laugh. "Simple as it gets. Try not to let him get too far ahead."
"Dude is on a mission," he said, referencing the 2008 champ. "And he's making it tough."
Dan Bailey, who competed in the second heat, finished in 2:30 and took second place overall. He pulled ahead on the 15 snatches, dispatching them in big sets while other athletes rested. Bailey exhibited impressive technique on the wall burpees, keeping his body close to the barrier and using the structure for leverage.
Khalipa was even with Froning on the snatches but fell behind on the wall burpees. His fourth-place finish in this event kept him in second place, 37 points behind Froning.
Froning said if he wins, it will be the sweetest victory yet “because of how much of a struggle it's been since the beginning," he said.
He said his plan was to keep doing more of the same.
"Just keep doing what I've been doing,” Froning said, “and not revert back to Wednesday, when I got 30th."
He added: “Almost there. Almost home.”
Lucas Parker won the third heat and came in eighth overall, which was good enough to make the cut into the final event.
Parker knew this event was important for him to try to break into the top 30 and qualify for the final event of the competition
“I think that was pretty much do or die for me because I came in a couple places out (of 30th place),” he said.
Parker was almost last off the GHD but made up ground on the snatches.
“I’m kind of used to it because most of my CrossFit career, even in the workouts I win, I’m never first out of the gate,” Parker said.
Going into the final two events of the competition, Froning has a 37-point lead over Khalipa.
It was a $1,000 error.
In the final heat of the Sprint Chipper, Jenn Jones made it to the wall burpees first. Putting her feet on the wall to get up and over, Spiderman-style, Jones finished her 9 wall burpees just ahead of Sam Briggs. Then it was a sprint to the end, and when it seemed as if Jones would edge out Briggs, she tripped.
The fall allowed Briggs to win the event, earning her $3,000. Jones came in second, taking home $2,000.
“I’m not sure what happened,” Jones said. “My legs stopped working. Something just didn’t fire right.”
Jones said she was confident going into this workout because she loves snatches.
“In the Open I did all 30 100-lb. snatches unbroken, so I was pretty confident I could get through these,” she said. Jones now sits in fifth place, and she said she hopes she can make a steady climb up the Leaderboard in the final event.
The win helped Briggs stay comfortably in first place. She said her plan was to go “unbroken as fast as I can.”
"I'm not known for the faster, shorter workouts,” Briggs said. "I need to do everything I can to hold on to that (No. 1) position."
“The workouts have really left me drained so it's pure adrenaline that's going to get me through.”
Although Alessandra Pichelli took ninth on this event, she held onto second place. The Sprint Chipper shook up the third place spot, however. Lindsay Valenzuela showed off her speed work and took sixth on the event, moving her into third place overall, 12 points ahead of fourth-place Val Voboril. Briggs is now 64 points ahead with two events to go.
1. Rich Froning (2:28.3)
2. Dan Bailey (2:30.0)
3. ZA Anderson (233.3)
Overall leader: Rich Froning
1. Samantha Briggs (2:35.3)
2. Jenn Jones (2:35.6)
3. Talayna Fortunato (2:41.1)
Overall leader: Samantha Briggs
For complete standings and all scores from all divisions, visit the Leaderboard.