March 26, 2012
Master Full Finish by CrossFit BC
By John MacDonald
Three Masters and one team from CrossFit BC will move on.
Three Masters and one team from CrossFit BC will move on.

Three Masters and one team will move on from CrossFit BC.

Gord Mackinnon

Maybe it’s something in the water. That’s the helpful suggestion from Gord Mackinnon, who took 1st overall in the Masters Men 50-54 Division (12.1 - 10th, 12.2 - 3rd, 12.3 - 2nd, 12.4 - 1st, 12.5 - 1st). 

He, his training partner, Richard "Doc" Roston, and their coach, Troy Straith will all be going to the 2012 CrossFit Games Masters Competition. Roston took 2nd overall in the 55-59 Division and Straith took 7th overall in the 50-54, behind Mackinnon.

That's not all. CrossFit BC athlete, Sally-Anne Hickin, came four places shy of qualifying for the Masters 45-49 Division, and their team qualified for the 2012 Canada West Regional with an 8th place finish in Canada West.

“We do have good water around here, but we do our own programming, which is really the key to successful CrossFit training,” explains Straith, who combines a background in mixed martial arts with CrossFit. “Also nutrition–that’s essential to get to the higher level. Plus we work our tails off. There’s no way around that.”

As owner of three Vancouver-area affiliates with more than 500 members, Straith has a lot of raw talent to choose from, but admits the previously-garage-trained Mackinnon came out of nowhere to dominate his division in 2011.

“We met at the Games last year and it turned out we knew a bunch of the same people,” he says. “We got him out of his garage into our box and he’s been with us ever since.”

Mackinnon, a 53-year-old firefighter from Vancouver, British Columbia, is hoping to repeat his division win from last year. This means he isn’t resting on his laurels. “I’m the favorite coming into the competition, but there’s quite a few fit new guys competing in my division,” Mackinnon says. “There’s three times as many guys as last year.”

Straith knew Roston – he’s actually a dentist – for years through tae kwon do, but has seen him rise to a new level after he combined CrossFit and weightlifting with martial arts a few years ago.

But their physical accomplishments aside, Straith says his top athletes also share a mental bond. “We all have the same kind of philosophy,” he says. “We’re never satisfied.”

All of them were surprised by the repetition of the 12.5 workout from 2011.

“It was unexpected, but it will be an interesting benchmark to see how we’ve changed from last year,” says Roston, 58.

Roston completed Workout 12.5 a day after it was announced, but was coy about sharing his score. “I’m not going to tell you, you’ll have to wait until Monday,” he laughs. “I’m happy with it, that’s all I’m going to say.” Roston got a score of 93 for 13th place in his division.

Mackinnon, on the other hand, says he will rest up until Saturday or Sunday before submitting his latest effort. “My legs are still shot from the last workout,” Mackinnon admits. 

New competition aside, Mackinnon says a 1st place repeat is his to lose with a 36-point lead going into the last workout. “I would have to not do the workout or blow it completely not to take 1st,” he says. “I’m pretty sure that’s not going to happen.”

Mackinnon went on to get 116 reps on 12.5 for 1st in his division.

Roston is content with a top 20 finish. “I’m OK with that,” he says. “Sometimes 1st just makes you a bigger target.”

 “We’ll have a big contingent [at the Canada West Regional],” Straith says. “I’ll be there coaching and cheering them on.”