Concept2 at the CrossFit Games: Surprise!

Aug 22, 2018

The first week in August found several members of the Concept2 team at the 12th annual CrossFit Games in Madison, Wisconsin, providing event support, giving tips and technique coaching on our equipment, catching up with old friends, and making new ones. Concept2 has a long history with the CrossFit community, and this year was an especially exciting one as we saw Concept2 equipment in more events than ever, including the much-discussed, first-ever-for-CrossFit marathon row. What an experience.

Short Notice Rowing Marathon!

In typical CrossFit Games fashion, there is an element of surprise to the workout announcements. The 79 Games individual athletes were told 48 hours ahead of time that the fourth and final Individual Event (IE4) of Day 1 would be a marathon row: 42,195 meters. This would be starting at the end of the day, after three other grueling events.

Despite fan feedback that this event might not be “fan friendly,” a strong crowd was present and cheering for the entire event, and tens of thousands watched online.

You couldn’t help but be impressed by the grit of these athletes, most whom had probably never contemplated a marathon row. Their sheer athleticism and obvious determination to row through everything made for a compelling spectator event.

We saw a lot of technique and pacing plans in action, and every athlete on the floor completed the row. We applaud each and every CrossFit individual competitor for truly outstanding performances. They really are trained for “the unknown and the unknowable.” The winners:

Women: Margaux Alvarez (US), age 33, 3:00:42
This puts Margaux in 2nd place so far this year on the worldwide Concept2 ranking for Heavyweight Women, age 30-39 (as of 8/22/2018).
(All-time women’s marathon record: 2:49:39.5)

Men: Lukas Esslinger (Switzerland), age 25, 2:43:50
Lukas currently ranks 1st in the worldwide Concept2 ranking for Heavyweight Men, age 19-29 (as of 8/22/2018).
(All-time men’s marathon record: 2:21:08.7)

A view of the CrossFit Games Marathon

Marathon row. Photo by Concept2.

Even the slowest (not slow!) times are impressive. The slowest time for the women was 3:34:22.0, and the slowest time for the men was 3:22:54.0. Again, congrats to all of the CrossFit marathon athletes!

Behind the Scenes

Like any big event, planning and running the marathon row took a village. The CrossFit team wanted to ensure not only a fantastic competition for the athletes, but an engaging event for spectators in person and online. Planned for 80 simultaneous athletes divided into two races (40 each in the men’s and women’s races), logistics, operations, and technology planning started weeks in advance.

Setting up race software for the CrossFit Games Marathon

Trevor from Concept2 working on the marathon setup. Photo by Concept2.

The teams at Rogue and CrossFit, including a huge volunteer squad, operate as a well-oiled machine, building the equipment and setting up the floor for this event. They easily added in our Concept2 technicians to their operations, as our team managed the race wiring and software, and helped out wherever we could.

Thanks, CrossFit, for an amazing Day 1.

Working that hard for that long (or longer) is a test of mental focus and physical endurance…are you ready to try it? #marathonrow

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