With the live announcement coming out of CrossFit Vitality in the Mid Atlantic Region, athletes were excited to watch the live feed and attend the event.
As crowds gathered at CrossFit Vitality in Concord, N.C., for the live announcement of Open Workout 13.1, it was clear the showdown between Scott Panchik and Dan Bailey was going to be a good one.
Steve and Jessica Pinkerton, owners of Vitality, mentioned how excited they were to have so many people watching the announcement.
Many members of the CrossFit Vitality community attended, along with more than 500 eager visitors from the Charlotte area and beyond.
Darrell White, known as Bingo within the CrossFit community, traveled all the way from Cleveland, Ohio, to witness the first live announcement.
“I am really impressed by the warm welcome from everyone here at Vitality,” he says. “The CrossFit community is a great place, and the organization of this event definitely proves that.”
In between conversations about the possible workout combinations for 13.1, people were capturing pictures of the set-up and talking about which athlete would win the event.
Julia Hartman, from CrossFit Peerless in Concord, could not wait for the workout to begin.
“I came tonight to cheer on two great competitors,” she says. “This atmosphere is so uplifting, it makes me thankful to be part of such a great community. I am anticipating a great evening.”
The focus shifted toward the floor as CrossFit Games Director, Dave Castro, took the microphone to begin the evening with a few general announcements, including a thank you to the Pinkertons and the CrossFit Vitality community. Spectators looked with anticipation toward the front of the gym, awaiting the official entrance of Panchik and Bailey.
As both athletes were introduced, the noise level of the crowd escalated and remained high until the announcement of the workout.
“It was great to hear everyone gasp and talk about the craziness of 13.1,” Hartman says. “The expressions on the athletes’ faces told the seriousness of this workout.”
Throughout the entire workout, the crowd continued to cheer. Regardless who was winning, there was never a lull in support from the spectators.
Hartman was situated just steps away from Panchik and Bailey while they were competing.
“Being in the front row was amazing,” she says. “I could see the sweat on the competitors’ faces. It was awesome to see fitness at such a high level. CrossFit Vitality was truly on fire tonight.”
Even after the head-to-head battle was over, guests were hesitant to leave. The crowds dispersed to take pictures of the athletes and pose in front of the venue banners.
Jennifer Doriott, member of Vitality, shared her thoughts on the 13.1 festivities.
“Although there were less people tonight, this was like a mini Regionals for me,” she says. “I am pumped about the upcoming 2013 CrossFit Games, and this was a great way to begin the season. They really pulled out all the stops tonight and put on a damn good event.”