The ultimate test of athlete and machine!
I’ve enjoyed checking-in on FreeMotion’s endurance, treadmill-based, relay “challenges” at the past few IHRSA Shows. In 2010 the competitors climbed/ran the vertical equivalent of Mt. Everest–29,000+ feet. Last year the challenge was a rugged 100 kilometer (62.1 miles) segment of a popular mountain stage of the Tour De France. As I walked the floor at last week’s 2012 IHRSA Show, I was interested to see what FreeMotion had cooked-up for this year. FreeMotion did not disappoint!
Apparently, running up mountains was perceived as too easy, or boring. Why not engage the whole body–utilizing a broad-spectrum of FreeMotion fitness equipment in the name of a tortuously (for the competitors) enjoyable (for the spectators) event called the FreeMotion Fit Games Challenge.
Part of my enjoyment of this annual FreeMotion event is the event itself. After all, I have a myriad of desert and mountain ultraendurance events on my athletic resume; once in a while it’s fun to watch others, who happen to be amazing “heart and lung machines” go through hours of glorious pain and agony–that is ultraendurance competition! The other part of my enjoyment comes from meeting the people–the competitors, event organizers, masters of ceremony, and special guests–last year I enjoyed chatted with Phil Keoghan, the host of The Amazing Race (CBS). In particular, however, I’ve taken a liking to Team Utah–two-time defending FreeMotion IHRSA event champions (Everest and 100K); nice folks and GREAT athletes! My main man, from Team Utah, is Seth Wold. He always keeps me updated–when he’s not on-duty competing–on the progress of the event, and is always good for a juicy quote or a first-hand explanation of the event.
Watch the attached video, and you’ll get a better idea the areas of fitness that the 2012 FreeMotion Fit Games Challenge entailed and encompassed. The only thing the competitors knew in advance were the “machines” to be used in the competition–from the “call for teams/competitors” on Freemotion’s web site: “The challenges of the competition will be performed on the FreeMotion Incline Trainer, the FreeMotion IC bike (with power console) and the FreeMotion Dual Cable Cross and/or Rip:60 Straps (strength/balance movements).” The competition was limited to six teams of three; each team had to have at least one male or female.
Listen to Seth; the Challenge definitely took Team Utah out of their comfort zone –if you can call racing up Mt. Everest a comfort zone. The heart and lung machines were challenged to quickly metamorphose into heart, lung and muscle machines! As you’ll hear, there was no pre-training for the specific events. As in Cross-Fit competitions, the program was: 1) Sign up, 2) show up, and 3) let the (unknown) games begin. As you’ll see on the video, this was high intensity competition. Why not, there as $10,000 in prize money on the line!
So, who won? Did Team Utah defend?? Unfortunately, unlike the past two years, I was not available to see the finish of the event. But, thanks to Chelsea Grant, Social Media Manager for FreeMotion Fitness here are the final results:
1st Place: LA Tri Club
2nd Place: CrossFit Meanstreets
3rd Place: Team FC (Fitness Coaching)
Alas, Team Utah finally met its match. According to Chelsea Team Utah finished 4th or 5th (she couldn’t quite remember their exact finish place). She did note, however, ” Team Utah did great! The competition was a little different this year. We brought in the Indoor Bike and the Dual Cable Cross, so it added a different element to the competition that they weren’t so dominant in. We thought they might be able to win it at one point, but a couple of teams stepped it up at the end.”
So, congratulations to FreeMotion and all of the competitors on another great event. I have to admit, when I hit the IHRSA Show floor, I now intentionally seek out the FreeMotion booth. Nothing better than watching great athletes push great equipment to the max, and vice versa.