Great metal structures covered the floor of the tennis stadium since Wednesday of Games week, leading athletes and fans to wonder how the hell the steel figured into Dave Castro’s plans.
Shortly after 3 p.m., ropes were hung from the structure and Castro brought former Games athlete Pat Barber to the floor to demonstrate a workout comprised of thrusters and legless rope climbs.
In relay format, each team member had to complete 15 thrusters (95/65 lb.) and three rope climbs, 12 thrusters and two climbs, and nine thrusters and one climb .
Upper-body strength, anyone?
One of the keys proved to be taking enough rest to avoid repeated failed reps on the rope.
The first heat of teams took off with the men blazing out of the gates. Most men weren’t slowed down on their first three rope climbs, but some started to struggle on the second round. Some got halfway up or more before failing and sliding back down.
It was obvious at that moment that the workout was not a sprint for most athletes. From there, it only got uglier. Many teams didn’t even get through their three men before the time cap of 25 minutes.
The second heat was slightly faster. The first team to get all three men through was CrossFit Fraser Valley. Their third and final male, Nate Beveridge, crossed the line in 8:41.
Heat 3 was more of the same: a sea of athletes flailing, failing and eventually falling from the rope—except for Lindsay Bourdon, an ex-gymnast from CrossFit Adrenaline. She got through all six legless rope climbs with apparent ease.
“The key is resting,” Bourdon said. “You can to take a lot of rest. You can’t get too fatigued.”
But when Bourdon said “a lot of rest,” she was speaking in relative terms: the efficient climber didn’t need a lot of recovery and finished her last climb 9 minutes before the time cap and giving her next female teammate time to progress through the thrusters and rope climbs.
The top teams had plenty of time to watch the epic rope-climb struggles before they finally took the floor. It was overall leader Hack’s Pack who came out to an early lead. Their men were through in 8:15, and their first woman, Taylor Richards-Lindsay didn’t slow them down either. She was through at 12:24.
Hack’s Pack’s lead didn’t last as their second woman started to fail and three teams rapidly started closing the gap on them. And with one minute left to go, CrossFit Dallas Central passed Hack’s Pack and took over the lead with the crowd going wild during one of the best finishes of any event so far.
“We planned to take really long breaks,” Hack’s Pack’s team captain Tommy Hackenbruck said of his team’s strategy.
He thought if they were as conservative as possible and didn’t fail any reps, they’d be able to win the event.
The conservative plan went well for them until the last few minutes.
“We’re really disappointed. We were very confident going in that we could finish it,” he said.
The feeling was anything but disappointment in the CrossFit Dallas Central squad, who tied CrossFit Dynamix for first in the event and moved a single point of Hack’s Pack in the overall standings.
“We wanted to make a statement,” Julianne Kennedy of Dallas Central said after her team’s win.
1T. CrossFit Dallas Central
1T. CrossFit Dynamix
3T. Hack's Pack UTE
3T. CrossFit Invictus
CrossFit Dallas Central