It was a bittersweet start to the CrossFit Games for Amanda Allen.
Allen, a former individual competitor, finished fifth at the Australia Regional and competed in the Games’ new 40-44 Masters Division that on Tuesday kicked off the 2013 Games.
Despite a disappointing Regional performance, Allen said Tuesday morning that she felt she was setting an example for women her age and older.
“Don’t check out just yet,” she advised.
In the first event of the three-day Masters competition, Allen blazed through Nancy—five rounds for time of a 400-meter run and 15 overhead squats at 65 lb.—putting an increasing gap between her and Becky Conzelman. Conzelman, also a former individual Games competitor, is competing in the division after finishing fourth at the South West Regional this year.
Allen finished in 10:53, while Conzelman finished in 10:57. There was a 20-minute time cap on the event. The two women were the only in any division to finish ahead of Lisa Mikkelsen, who competed in the 45-49 division and finished in 11:23. Mikkelsen won the 45-49 division in 2012.
“I set it up really hard and hung on for dear life,” Allen said just after winning the event.
The 42-year-old made easy work of the run after years of being a professional triathlete. Her easy strides had her cruising in the early rounds, and by the halfway point only Conzelman was anywhere near her.
“Interval work is my bread and butter,” Allen noted.
She added: “Everyone says I’m a machine, but I work hard for it.”
In the women’s 60-plus Division, Lynn McTaggart struggled with the overhead squats in the first event because of a hip replacement.
“I really had a problem getting the depth,” said the 68-year-old, who finished the event last in her heat with a time of 20:43. If an athlete runs into the time cap, remaining reps are added on as seconds, meaning McTaggart left 43 reps on the table.
Still, she remained positive.
“Hey, I did it,” she said. “Hey, I’m here—that’s what’s important.”
Among the men’s five Masters divisions, the story was Scott Snarr.
The 55-year-old finished 13th out of 20th in his heat—with a large, plastic boot on his left foot after breaking several bones three weeks ago.
“Up until yesterday afternoon, I still didn’t know if I could do this,” said Snarr, who broke the bones in his foot after dropping a 1-pood kettlebell on it during 50 one-armed snatches.
Although the overhead squats were expectedly difficult with each foot in a drastically different shoe, Snarr said he’s “happy now.”
“I don’t plan on getting past day 2,” he said. “To me, it’s just a workout and meeting great guys.”
Snarr added: “My goal was to beat the 20-minute clock, and I beat it.”
In the final men’s heat of the day’s opening event, Rob LaBar narrowly missed first place in the 40-44 Division by tenths of a second.
“I knew that I had to do good on this, given that it was one of my better ones,” he said.
LaBar pointed to overhead squats as one of his strengths. The 42-year-old has a 200-lb. snatch.
He finished in 10:28.4, while Michael Moseley finished in 10:28.1.
“Obviously first is better,” LaBar said, still breathing heavily minutes after the event ended. “I pushed as hard as I could. Nothing I could (have done) differently.”
60+ Division: Sharon Lapkoff (13:39.0)
55-59 Division: Gabriele Schlicht (13:47.1)
50-54 Division: Joy Bruening (13:04.8)
45-49 Division: Lisa Mikkelsen (11:23.3)
40-44 Division: Amanda Allen (10:53.3)
60+ Division: Clarke Holland (13:00.0)
55-59 Division: Donald King (14:36.5)
50-54 Division: Craig Howard (12:19.0)
45-49 Division: Cliff Lewis (11:11.1)
40-44 Division: Michael Moseley (10:28.1)
For all scores from all divisions, visit the Leaderboard.