In May, we made a decision to try to send a team to Strength in Depth 2017. Strength in Depth is probably the largest Functional Fitness Competition in the UK. Backed by Reebok, teams of 12 face three qualifiers to get to the finals in Bath in November. Each qualifier takes a slightly different format, but 12 members from SCCF kept an eye on the leaderboard through the summer as they worked through three qualifying workouts. The group qualified in 49th of a 60 available spots.
Fast forward to November and on a chilly Saturday morning the SCCF crew arrived at the University of Bath with an agenda. The team knew they were capable of more than 49th, they also knew they had done the work to be able to deliver the required performance, what they didn’t know was the level of competition they were facing.
Event one: Max clean and jerk total plus 5k Row for time. In advance of the competition the team had spent some time running through the events, discussing the best way to take down each event. Event one was the first opportunity for that homework to pay off. Big shifts on the rower from Marcus Davis and Sam O’Connor helped pull the team to 33rd on the row, at the same time Charlee Leachman and Gareth George put up 85kg and 135kg respectively for the heaviest lifts in the first heat. It became apparent that the team were not planning to be in the first heat on day two.
Nerves out the way, and with a pit stop of food and coffee the team began their warm up for event two: 3 laps of a 1.3km course with a 20kg Sandbag, after each lap the team left four athletes at the finish pen leaving just four out on the final 1.3km lap. Ultimately the team knew running was not going to give them the best result, but as in workout 1, some serious strategy work in advance set the team up well. Sam Leachman took charge on the event and worked well with Sian Peters to lift the team across three laps to finish 44th.
Workouts 3 and 4 saw the team split into two teams of 6. Lianne Griffiths showed some prowess in the pool, leading the team to a 29th place finish. The workout consisting of swimming, air squats and climbing in and out of the pool. For a full breakdown on how hard that can be just catch up with Sam L or Rickie Lovell when you next see them in the gym; ask them how Sam OC got on with jumping into a pool.
Simultaneously Gareth Wayt was making friends with the Assault Bike, working in pairs the remainder of team SCCF Red worked through Dumbbell Cleans and Down ups before smashing through 60 calories on the assault bike. The team managed to win the heat and claim 21st on the workout.
Day one ended with heavy, very heavy and ridiculously heavy thrusters, handstand walking and some rope climbs or muscle ups. Mike Holmes, walking more comfortably on his hands than most people do on their feet, taking over from Charlee’s 10 unbroken thrusters at 60kg, scampered up and down a rope and back to the start mat on his hands to take the heat and 21st in the workout to wrap up day one. A leaderboard check after eating virtually all the food available showed the team had pulled themselves out of heat one and into 30th position. They would be taking down day 2 from heat 3.
Arriving on day two, the team faced an unknown event, a 400m obstacle course featuring an 8ft high inverted wall. Fortunately for the team the military experience of Hannah Lewis as well as Sian, Marcus and Sam L more than made up for their distaste for running. Following the change of clothes required after the water obstacle the team notched up a 32nd place finish. Not the perfect start to day two, but by far from the perfect workout. They team went into the next workout with something to prove.
Workout 7: in sub teams of 3, 75 Wall balls, 50 Toes to bar, 200 Double Unders, 50 Overhead Squats. Some magic from Dre Wesley, who pulled out 130 double unders unbroken and Marcus with 75 Wall balls unbroken helped the team to 17th place.
The 17th place in workout 7 left the team on a big high and ready to go for event 8: The snatch ladder. Hannah Lewis moved a bar faster than anyone else that weekend, and the team pulled off their plan perfectly: moving through ever decreasing reps at increasingly heavier loads. Rickie putting in the same consistent performance he did across the weekend to set Mike and Gareth up for snatches at 100kg, the men took 5th place. The girls followed and another seamless team performance took 13th in the workout. The team won the heat and left the platform with nothing else to prove.
Second City CrossFit took a group of members to that competition with something to prove, that they were better than 49th. What they actually did was show that a group of people, working hard for each other and believing in one another is worth more than the sum of its parts. There were no super star athletes on this team- but there was a team, and that is worth more than any individual contribution over the weekend.
SCCF Red: 21st. Strength in Depth 2017.