The Battle of London was an epic weekend exhibiting some of the worlds finest all round athletes at the peak of conditioning, so to highlight the ‘best bits’ per se is no easy task. Perhaps the most prominent memory in my mind was the comradery on display at the Copper Box arena, myself and Scott have both alluded to this in previous Crossfit posts and it certainly tops my ‘best bits’ list.
A WOD to remember!
The athletes performed a variety of brutal WODs (Workout of the Day), each pushing them to their absolute limits, but one WOD stands out in my mind…the ‘Fat Fran’. The ‘Fat Fran’ required the athletes to complete 2 laps of the Copper Box Arena before entering back into their lane and performing 21 Kettle Bell Swings. From here they moved on to the pull up rig for 12 Chest to Bar Pull Ups, and upon finishing this they then had to complete 2 more rounds, and this proved to be very, very demanding! The reason the ‘Fat Fran’ stands out as a ‘best bit’ for me is the incredible roar that pushed the final athlete around the arena when performing their final lap. The crowd made a massive difference to the athletes overall performance, but it was the fellow athletes that picked the man up and shook his hand once they had finished. Never have I seen such competitiveness so quickly and selflessly followed by such comradary, it really was a sight to behold!
The amazing crowd!
Irrespective of who they were supporting, the crowd were right behind the athletes from start to finish, this in itself was a highlight for me, but it’s amazing how relatively simple things can make a lasting impression. If you’ve ever been to a live match of some sort be it football, rugby or even tennis, you’ve probably witnessed or participated in a Mexican wave. The Mexican wave is a phenomenon that has become synonymous to large crowds at sporting events, and the Battle of London was no exception. I find it amazing how 3000 people can orchestrate such an act of unity, so the buzz that followed the Mexican wave in he Copper Box made for a definite ‘best bit’ for me (it’s the simple things haha)!
A salute to those that went above and beyond expectation
At around 0.50 secs and 1:09 secs on the video respectively you’ll notice a single athlete performing over the bar burpees, this was during the most gruelling of all the Battle of London WODs…’Death by bar jumping burpees’! At the call of 3-2-1-GO the athlete will start doing bar jumping burpees on the designated station with an increase of 3 reps per station. The burpee starts with the athlete standing fully upright he/she then will go down on the floor with chest and thighs touching at the same time. Sounds easy right, wrong, the athlete only has 60 seconds per station so the faster the reps the more rest they get. He/she then moves onto the next station where they have to perform 6 reps, then onto the next for 9 reps and so on! See below for the station breakdown:
Station 1: 3 reps
Station 2: 6 reps
Station 3: 9 reps
Station 4: 12 reps
Station 9: 27 reps
Station 10: Max reps (aka AMRAP)
The guy at 0.50 secs was the first person to reach the final AMRAP station, this was a spectacular achievement because many men before him had tried and failed! The absolute standout moment for me over the 2 days was when the fellow competitors, as well as all of the judging staff gathered around the athlete to spur him on to completion! Although we couldn’t see the athlete performing because of the crowd (which I have to confess was initially frustrating), in honesty you didn’t really need to because the small gathering on the floor were pretty much spelling it out with their responses!
To try to summarise the whole 2 days and pick out lots of key moments is a subjective task because we all take something from different things. I personally loved the unity and perseverance that these people displayed, I could see the journey of getting up early in the morning, training to the absolute limit, eating, drinking and maltadextrinto the plan, and never relenting in their pursuit of absolute fitness and conditioning shining through during the WODs. Each and every competitor out there knew the other man/women’s story to some extent, and this (in my opinion) is why the comradary is so damn strong in Crossfit, that for me is exactly what made the Battle of London one of the most awe inspiring events I have ever experienced.