Its been 2 days since 300 of the worlds fittest men and women took to the stage in the Copper Box Arena in Stratford, London, and despite the time that has passed, the hype from the event remains almost tangible! What made the Battle of London so exhilarating to be a part of was the exhibition of competitiveness, relentless drive and determination, seamlessly merged with consideration, comradery and mutual respect. There is absolute reverence for their fellow warriors because there is no grey areas in Crossfit, you’re either fit enough, or you’re not, you’re either strong enough, or you’re not. If you can stay fit for long enough, master the technique and concomitantly apply strength, technique and steely guts and determination whilst your rivals can’t, then you deserve to walk away with the title! Each and every competitor knows it, they’re out there competing on their own and want nothing more than to win, but when the juice runs dry and you’ve got nothing left in the tank the only person you can blame is yourself.
In the presence of absolute fitness
Every single athlete in that arena over the course of the 18th and 19th of January, 2014 deserved to be there. The three qualifying rounds in the months leading up to the showdown sifted out thousands of hopefuls to leave only the crème de la crème! It was apparent from the word go (at the bright and early time of 8.30am) that we as spectators were witnessing masters of their craft, you just had to look at the guys and girls physiques to know that these people were the real deal…and it translated into exceptional performances too!
You’ve just got to jump onto the Battle of London’s official website to see the timetable and how demanding it really was. Just 1 WOD would be enough for most for one day, but to have to then compete again and again all in the same day proved tough for even these brutes! It became apparent that even the athletes themselves weren’t all seasoned to the intensity of the schedules, many had never competed over a full 2 days and found the delicate balance of nutrition and exercise difficult to manage. Post WOD interviews shed some light on this matter with some athletes stating they felt particularly sapped from the morning WODs and felt their diet was to blame. I would naturally concur seeing as some athletes were rumoured to have got by on little more than dried fruit! The schedule commenced from 8.30am and finished around 6pm that evening, granted the athletes were not competing the whole time, in fact their individual WODs only last for around 12mins a time, but the athletes still had to compete in several WODs a day and take it from me…those WODs were intense!
The arena floor felt the athletes fury!
The clattering of weight plates bouncing off the protective flooring is synonymous to Crossfit, and believe me there was some serious weight being thrown around in there. Safety was paramount over the 2 days, (especially considering the tragic accident suffered by Kevin Ogar in the days building up to the event), and was impeccably governed by the judging staff and organisers…but I think it’s fair to say that what was later publicised a few days after the event, was not expected by anybody. The shear weight and speed at which these weights were dropped to the floor had severely affected the structural integrity of the Copper Box’s playing surface, consequently the impending Netball match due to be played between England & New Zealand had to be cancelled! England Netball are having to refund up to £50,000 worth of tickets after the Copper Box Arena Management Company rendered the surface unplayable. This was a big shame, but the message there is DO NOT take Crossfit for granted, it’ll leave you AND the floor in pieces!! BOOM!