FiCT and fabulous!
So I survived Fittest in Cape Town 2013. I have many bruises and bumps to show for it and I couldn’t walk properly for about 3 days afterwards but I had an absolute blast. Same time next year? For sure!
First of all meet my team:
Not a bad-looking bunch eh? I was very proud to be a part of such a strong team. We’re all from Cape CrossFit but we all go to different classes so until Saturday morning about 10 minutes before this picture was taken I had only met Kirsten and Hermann. Nonetheless we still made an awesome team!
The first team event was tug-of-war. I know right? When last (if ever) did you do that? I don’t remember it being quite so brutal in my school years though. When they announced it I thought “OK, that’s not too bad…”
But I was wrong. It was a rookie crossfit mistake. NEVER underestimate a workout. It’s usually those ones that jump up and bite you in the ass with big shiny teeth.
Not only were we not allowed gloves, which made pulling on a rope very sore, but you should have SEEN some of the people we were up against. Holy shit, they were BIG. And strong.
But we held our own. First the girls pulled against the girls from another team in our pool (which we won!) then the boys, then we pulled as a team. We had to do this 6 times. It was brutal.
This is what happened after the first team pull:
Sexy huh? By the end of the weekend I had another 2 of those.
Then we had time to eat and rest and watch the amazing men and women individuals compete before the next team event.
The next event was ball tosses and sprints. It was quite complicated and very hectic. By now it was about lunchtime and there was not a breath of wind on the field and it was a blistering hot day. So sprinting wasn’t much fun. But we gave it our all.
Basically it started with tossing a 14lb medicine ball then running and touching it, running back and tagging a team mate. We did this for 100m. Then back 100m. Then we had to sprint to the opposite side and try fit in as many individual 100m sprints as possible before the time cap of 9 mins ran out. THEN we had to try get as many ball tosses as possible in 1 minute. It was very hectic. But we did damn well and finished top in our pool.
After that we had a nice 2 hour rest before our final event for the first day. Which was great because by then we were all buggered and it was so hot everyone scattered to find shade and water.
The final event proved to be just as tough. It consisted of front squats (29kg for girls/ 50kg for guys) then partner carries, then 10 burpees. It was a tough one to coordinate and we were the first group up after they revealed the event so we didn’t have much time to prepare a strategy, but we still did quite well. Big bonus was having really strong guys on our team so they could carry us girls across the field to do the burpees.
And that was the first day done. Little did we know what lay ahead for the next day… a gruelling 5.45am start with a seriously hectic 6.5km run up Kloof Road (if you don’t know it, suffice to say it’s f#*ing steep) and back down carrying an 11kg weight plate.
We were SO lucky our guys were so strong that they opted to carry the weight plate the whole way and just let us girls focus on running. Did I say running? So silly. I meant SPRINTING. Yes. More of that stuff from the day before. We were trying to make up points and I ran alongside our team captain Hermann who pushed me to sprint as fast as my little legs would carry me all the way down some of the steepest roads. All I could think about was not tripping – which fortunately I didn’t. We came 18th out of 37 teams in that run so all my heavy breathing, red-faced dry heaving was worth it.
Until the run I actually wasn’t’ very sore – no more than after a normal workout at the gym. But AFTER that mad sprinting I was stuffed. My hips were sore, my legs were aching, my arms hurt… basically everything hurt.
But it wasn’t over yet. We had one more team event which would see the top 8 teams go through to the next round. At this stage we were in position 25 so we knew it was unlikely we would make it through to the next event (which my body was not-so-secretly thrilled about).
And what was it? Tug-o-war! Yup. My old nemesis. This time I had a sleeve to wear to protect my already battered arm, but with an aching body I wasn’t so sure how well I’d manage.
But we did OK, we got through the first heat and got knocked out by a team of giant heavyweights in the second round.
Overall our team came 27th out of 37 teams. Which isn’t too shoddy considering how strong some of the teams competing were AND the fact that we only met as a team on the morning of the event.
I’m SO happy I took part though, I have never had so much fun doing things that hurt so badly with a bunch of people I don’t really know.
One thing I forgot to mention is how amazing the vibe was – it was awesome. You couldn’t hear yourself think with all the cheering going on, teams cheering for other teams, everyone rooting for the individuals, spectators and athletes like. There was nothing but good sportsmanship throughout the competition, from all athletes. Sure it’s a competition, but everyone was so supportive of each other that it made it a lot more fun than other sporting events I have been to with an “each man for himself” attitude.
Check out some of the awesome videos of the team finals and individual events on the Fittest in Cape Town Facebook page. These people are amazing. I can only hope that one day I am as strong and fit as they are.