So I've got this idea....
That's pretty much how it starts every year, somewhere in April/May when the dust has settled from the previous SOS and thoughts turn to, 'what if...' The idea of having a Friday light nights event appealed and once the whole Murph/vest idea got thrown around it was 'simply' a question of how do we make this happen? Four months later we had some working vest prototypes and plate designs and away we go!
Next thing you know we have waves of 40 athletes and 20 judges per heat on the floor in sweltering heat, sporting weight vests, belting out SOS2017 WOD #1 'Kinda Like Murph', one of the longest WODs we have ever seen at a comp anywhere. As organisers it was simultaneously nerve racking, awe-inspiring and just epic to be part of - and to top it off we knew all the other 'surprises' we had in store for you across the weekend.
Sure enough, two and half days and 11 WODs later we were throwing out some high-fives and cracking open a few cold ones.
It really is a dance of many moving parts and one of the biggest cogs is you guys - The Athletes. Not just for handing over some hard earned cash and trusting that the organisers won't program stupid stuff, it's the effort, the heart and soul, the blood, sweat and tears you all poured out over and over as we threw the most diverse and challenging set of WODs we could devise in a bid to test 'broad time and modal domains'.
Hopefully you have had a chance to sift through the mountain of photos from Anthony and Craig and reflect on the amazing performances from each and every athlete. Be proud of the successes, the PRs and the surprises, learn from the hardships and setbacks and come back stronger!
(and for the record, when the recording for the thruster ladder failed and I called out 3..2..1 rest...3..2..1..Lift - I repeated it a total 196 times, in a row...PR)
Behind the curtain..
Santa might get all the shopping centre gigs and photos with the babies but it's the elves getting the real work done and a comp is no different. It simply doesn't happen without a small, dedicated, tireless army of volunteers behind the scenes who give up their time to judge, carry stuff, run errands, fix things, co-ordinate, unpack, pack up, lift, clean and just about everything else - from doing coffee runs to clearing port-a-loos.
We are blessed to have such an awesome community of people who give and give of themselves to allow the whole thing to come together. So to the judges, volunteers, the guys that spent days setting it all up and then days packing it all away again, the WOD testers (even if you didn't know it..) and our members for supporting a few timetable juggles over the weekend - thank you. From us as organisers and on behalf of the Athletes - thanks for giving so freely of yourselves for the benefit of the community.
A few people need a special mention for regularly going above and beyond.
Our photographers, Craig Homberg and Anthony Rogers - tireless, professional and incredibly generous with their work, thank you for giving our event and community an artistic record we can share and re-live the 'competitive exercising'
James Kruger - not just for the Milo and Otis outfit...but for competing and once again being the IT guru getting the scoreboards running so efficiently and ironing out every scoring wrinkle and query, It takes an huge load off our shoulders to know that that part of the comp is always in expert hands. Your feedback post-comp is always invaluable.
Diesel, Claire, Dylan, Mitch, Mark and Famous - set up doesn't happen overnight nor does packing it all away and without days of hard work from Dylan, Mark, Mitch and Famous it would have taken much longer. To Claire and Diesel for testing, chasing, sourcing, planning, organising equipment, marshalling athletes, rolling with alterations and challenges (mainly from me), pushing their own training aside and giving up days of work, all for a free t-shirt, heaps of stress and some high fives...
Everyone takes away something different from an event like this. Some of you will come away and review some weaknesses that may have shown up, some may have found a new love for 'fun runs', I know for a fact that as athletes you inspired a huge number of people in the crowd to start thinking (or acting ) on competing in 2017 at beginners and intermediate comps around the state. As organisers we are constantly learning as well, what worked, what didn't, what we would change, how can we go one better.
So keep competing, or judging, or helping out - every time you do you are not only strengthening our CrossFit community as a whole but you are inspiring others - from competitive athletes to mums and dads who start thinking 'I want to do that'.
Best of luck in 2017 - whether it's The Open, or any number of the comps around that traps that I know we will probably see you at. As Pat Sherwood says, '...get fit and make it the best part of your day, stay safe, turn up the music, high five some people and blow off some steam...relax, have fun, work out...'
As for SOS2018...well you just never know.
See you soon :)
Paul & Ilona.