March 20, 2013
60 Ain't So Bad: Derek Briton
By Quin Siah

"I am sure there were times when my coaches had to work hard not to roll their eyes as I struggled to master the basic movements."

“Hitting 60 isn’t so bad after all,” Derek Briton, of CrossFit Edmonton, says.

He has reason to celebrate — after Open Workouts 13.1 and 13.2, Briton is atop of the 60+ Masters Division in Canada West by five points.

A dedicated husband, father of three and grandfather of two, Briton started CrossFit to train for an Ironman marathon his daughter, Clare, convinced him to do.

Briton read that CrossFit’s short duration and high-intensity training provided superior results to high-mileage training. He called CrossFit Edmonton, set up a visit and never left.

With a background in rugby and marathons, Briton was humbled when he stepped into his first CrossFit class three years ago.

“I am sure there were times when my coaches had to work hard not to roll their eyes as I struggled to master the basic movements,” he says.

Suzanne Bourgeois, owner and coach at CrossFit Edmonton, says Briton has worked very hard for his success at CrossFit. Weightlifting movements and flexibility did not come naturally for him.

“He gets here early to work on his range of motion and skill work,” Bourgeois says. “He is hardworking and dedicated to being the best that he can be.”

Briton scaled most workouts for the first two years.

His recipe for success?

“Perseverance and some dedication. Showing up is necessary and how much you sweat is optional,” he says.

“I decided to throw my hat in the ring for the Open because my coach, Auty Brooks, encouraged me to compete.”

His two driving factors for competing in the Open were to have fun and be a positive example for his kids and grandkids. He didn’t expect to be at the top of the Canada West Leaderboard after two events.

“I didn’t prepare for 13.1 and I surprised myself by reaching the third round of snatches, but I took too long to set up my bar and I had no time for a lift so I lost some valuable reps,” he says.

He attempted 13.2 twice, and improved his score by 14 reps. He’s in 73rd place worldwide and has three workouts to move up to the top 20 to qualify for the Games.

“I never in my wildest dreams thought about competing in the Games. But now that I see my worldwide ranking, I’m starting to think that I’m going to have to take competing more seriously.”