Bi's and Tries

July 22, 2014

Mike Warkentin and Andréa Maria Cecil

Muscle-up biathlon includes penalty laps for broken sets.


Muscle-up biathlon includes penalty laps for broken sets.


Carson, California—CrossFit Games individual athletes had been guessing about the Muscle-up Biathlon since Dave Castro dropped the name of the workout in a video aired July 8.

All was revealed at 6:25 p.m. in the soccer stadium before a special dinner for the individual competitors at the StubHub Center. The event will not include gunfire, to the dismay of some online speculators—and competitors—nor will it include a ski erg.

Borrowing only the general format of a biathlon, the CrossFit Games event will feature three rounds of 400-m runs and 18, 15 and 12 muscle-ups—and penalty laps will be in play. Every time an athlete comes off the rings, he or she must complete an extra 200-meter lap. Go unbroken and you only have to run 1,200 m total—up and over the hill used in Naughty Nancy last year, of course.

Demo athlete Austin Malleolo got 15 muscle-ups before taking a penalty lap, and 2010 Games champ Kristan Clever did 8 before running the 200-m loop.

The event will take place Saturday afternoon in the soccer stadium.

Castro wasn’t done: Saturday afternoon will also feature the Sprint Carry, a 3-round test of 100-yard sprints and 100-yard object carries. A heavy cylinder, a lighter sandbag and a lighter cylinder are on the menu.

Castro also offered details of the previously announced Sprint Sled event. On Friday, athletes will be pushing a specially designed 95-lb. sled for 100 yards in two separately scored events. Athletes have 3 minutes to complete the length and can take the remainder of the interval to rest before the second race begins. Both events are worth 50 points each.

When Castro ended the session and announced it was time for dinner, the athletes passed on the food en masse to test out the equipment—especially the sleds, which had challenged demo athletes Emily Friedman and Stacie Tovar. Camille Leblanc-Bazinet laughed as she pushed in sandals but will probably opt for cleats on game day.

“There’s a point in the field where it all of a sudden stops,” Tovar said.

She added: “As long as the feet are moving … keep going.”

“Oh, Dave’s done it again,” seven-time Games competitor Becca Voigt said as the athletes headed up to dinner.

“(He’s) taken something that could be predictable and made it unpredictable.”

Tommy Hackenbruck, who stood on the podium as an individual in 2009, said the Sprint Sled “looks like a good test of fitness.”

In terms of planning, he said he started devising a strategy for the Muscle-up Biathlon but not the Sprint Sled: “The sled workout, it’s not a whole hell of a lot of strategy.”

After dinner, Castro announced that Wednesday’s Overhead Squat event will allow athletes to take the bar from a rack, and they will lift one at a time in heats of 15 athletes.

Left unanswered were questions about the first individual event of the CrossFit Games. Athletes know they’ll be on a beach on Wednesday morning, but they have no idea what they’ll be doing.

A video presentation before dinner ran through the history of several aquatic CrossFit Games events but ultimately revealed little.

When the video wrapped, Castro said the first individual CrossFit Games event would be … announced Tuesday night.

And then he walked out the door, leaving athletes to wonder for another day.

Val Voboril said she didn’t think the athletes would find out anything about Wednesday’s event, while Lucas Parker said he expects Games organizers to "mix it up" each year.

"An easy way to do that is give us less information," he said.

Jordan Troyan, who won The Pool event that opened last year’s individual contest, is hoping to be on the waves. The All-American swimmer from West Chester University was a beach lifeguard for seven summers and is “pretty comfortable in the ocean,” but he’s not even sure if he’ll get a chance to swim.

“Honestly, I think Castro’s gonna throw me something crazy like a kayak or a paddleboard,” he said. "The first event in the last couple of years has always be something kind of outrageous."