More than 130,000 people worldwide signed up to participate in the 2013 Reebok CrossFit Games Open, nearly doubling last year’s number of registered athletes.
With such a spike in participation, affiliates have had to prepare for competitors, judges and spectators in order to run a smooth event.
Las Vegas affiliates prepared for months because they expected to cater to not only local athletes, but also to competitors who travel to the destination city to do the Open workouts.
Although most of the 16 Las Vegas affiliates will be doing the Open on their own, four of Las Vegas’ largest affiliates are once again participating in an Open rotation: CrossFit Las Vegas, CrossFit Max Effort, This Is CrossFit and CrossFit 702.
“The main factor that we considered when deciding which affiliates should participate, were the size of the gyms,” Mikey Ty, head coach of CrossFit Las Vegas, says. “We were looking for a space to hold a potentially large amount of participants and spectators. A second factor was equipment concerns.”
Local athletes can get validated at their own box as soon as the workout is announced on Wednesday, but if they want to participate in a competitive atmosphere, they can do so on Saturdays. Each week, the workout will be hosted by one of the four affiliates and any athlete wanting to get validated for that week’s Open workout can participate. Athletes will be assigned heats and the competition will continue throughout the day until everyone has been validated.
Open Workout 13.1 was hosted by CrossFit Las Vegas and more than 100 athletes turned up to compete, including veteran Nicole Austin of CrossFit Max Effort, who finished the Open last year in 60th place and went on to compete at the 2012 Regional with team Max Effort. Austin gave birth to her first child in December and barely had three months to train, but finished with an impressive 156 reps.
There were many first-timers, including Karina Francis from CrossFit Las Vegas, who has been CrossFitting for a few years, but never participated in the Open until this year.
“I decided to sign up because I wanted to see how I rank within our region, and I wanted to start pushing myself more at the gym,” Francis says.
Francis’ goal for the first workout was to get at through at least half of the 75-lb. snatches, but she surpassed it and finished with a score of 142 reps.
Edward Maurer, a CrossFitter from Lake Orion, Mich., was in town for a wedding photography conference. He had visited CrossFit Las Vegas in the past and when he found out he would be in Las Vegas once again during the first week of the Open, he knew he would be getting validated there. Maurer finished with 142 reps.
The general consensus at the end of Saturday’s event at CrossFit Las Vegas was that participating in the group setting helped them to do better.
“For me, it’s always been about the CrossFit community,” Damary Toledo, owner of This is CrossFit, says. “Being able to bring everyone together, and able to do that under one roof means everything to me.”
This is CrossFit just opened up a few months ago and is the newest affiliate to join in on the rotation. Open Workout 13.2 will be held there. The rotation schedule for the rest of the Open will be:
March 9 @ CrossFit Las Vegas
March 16 @ This is CrossFit
March 23 @ CrossFit Max Effort
March 30 @ CrossFit Las Vegas
April 6 @ CrossFit 702