Bringing Biathlon to the Rogue Invitational

May 23, 2019

This weekend the Rogue Invitational took place at Rogue’s headquarters in Columbus, Ohio. This was a CrossFit-sanctioned event, which means it is a way athletes can qualify for the CrossFit Games, August 1-4 in Madison, Wisconsin.

Concept2 was proud to be one of the official partners, with three events featuring our products. The first was an individual chipper that started off with a 100 Calorie row. Next was a team event with athletes working together to complete 200 Calories each on the BikeErg, SkiErg and RowErg. The third event was something new—the Concept2 Biathlon.

Biathlon can be summed up as bouts of intense aerobic work alternating with a task that demands calm, focus and precision. Traditionally, the work is cross-country skiing and the focus task is target shooting. CrossFit is about constantly varied, functional movements performed at high intensity. It demands hard work, both strength and metabolic conditioning, and the mental presence to maintain technique and pace. We brought the two together for this event!

The Concept2 Biathlon event format included four rounds of 40/30 Calories on the SkiErg for men and women, mixed with three rounds of shooting with an air rifle (prone, standing, then prone again for the final round), with five shots in each round. For each shot missed, the athlete had to run up the field to do three kettlebell thrusters before returning to the SkiErg.

To teach and coach the competitors before the event, Concept2 drew on the Biathlon program at Craftsbury Outdoor Center, which is close to us here in Vermont. Their Green Racing Project includes a number of Olympic and National team members who served as coaches and range officers for the competition.

We also brought former US Biathlete and Olympic Channel Biathlon Commentator Chad Salmela to help provide another perspective by providing live commentary, and we developed a live race scoring system so spectators could view the hits and misses in the stadium and on the live stream.

In a post-race interview, women’s Heat 1 winner, Margaux Alvarez, said, “This event in particular was really unique and different. It's the first time we've had any shooting in any regional or sanctional event and I loved that [Rogue] put it in."

The competitors did an impressive job learning and handling this new challenge. The final shooting stats show the women edging out the men for overall marksmanship. "What I like about this event for CrossFit is that it hits that part of which makes champions. A lot of people can do the physical and train, but when push comes to shove and you've got to perform, the mental ability comes in, and Mat Fraser clearly showed that," observed Chad.

Congratulations to all the athletes who competed throughout the weekend! You can check out the live stream of the event on YouTube.

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