This is probably the most drawn out event recap of all time but I have enjoyed writing it almost as much as I enjoyed watching it. 10 days out from the competition I still get excited thinking about the events and the athletes as they fought for top honors through 5 challenging tests.
Individual Event 4
7 deadlifts 110kg
15 pull ups
3 rouns for time
Leading up to Beast Fest this event went through the greatest number of iterations. More rowing, heavier deadlifts, chest to bar pull ups, all of the rowing at once, all of the pull ups at once, more reps, less reps until finally we arrived at what I think is a well balanced triplet in the spirit of CrossFit that exposes the preparedness of the athletes taking it on. Everyone came out swinging on this one. The first set of deads and the row were a breeze and almost every athlete did their first set of pull ups unbroken. Round 2 started to show the cracks on a few athletes. Deadlift sets weren’t nearly as fast as round 1. These boys dug in on the row and the pull ups showed us who came to win and who just came to play.
Only a few athletes hit their second set unbroken though solid, fast butterfly pull ups were seen around the room. Round 3 in both heats saw 1 or two athletes pull away. At the end of event 4 though it was Connor Nelson and Mark Buskas doing battle for the top spot on the podium. Going into event 4 Connor was ahead by only 2 points. He was going to have to work hard to hold off Buskas and it was still too early to count out Chris Exarhos and Chris Turnbull who were making sure they weren’t getting left far behind. Connor pulled out another first place finish on event 4 finishing with an unbroken set of pull ups just seconds ahead of the Chrises who tied for 2nd on that event.
Connor received 4 “no reps” on the last set of pull ups and still managed to get 15 unbroken.
Individual Event 5
10 Thrusters 60kg
Run up and back down the harbor steps
3 rounds for time
This one was probably the most unique event of the day. It was nice to be able to use a geographically significant Seattle landmark as part of our event. A depressing set of stairs in front of you and the waterfront Ferris wheel behind you was an amazing stage for the final individual event. Connor Nelson was holding the first place position but it wasn’t in the bag. The Chrises were hungry. Mark Buskas wasn’t going down without a fight.
First time competitor Charles Mount was hanging in there and had a shot at a podium spot. He was apparently quite a hill runner at some point prior to being strong so it was anybodies game. Andrew Tucker destroyed the field in the first heat putting up a time of just over five and a half minutes. He put on quite a show but it was apparent that he dug deep to pull that one off. Up and down the steps athletes could be seen walking for stretches during rounds two and three. The final heat of the day was quite a showdown. The athletes blazed through the thrusters and took off up the stairs at an amazing pace. No walking in this heat. Certainly not if you wanted to beat Tucker’s incredible time. Round two saw a bit of slowing on the thrusters but we still saw most of the athletes go unbroken. Charles Mount had to break up his second set. He reported later that he left too much on the first set of stairs trying to stay in the pack. He should have listened to his body a little more and hung back a bit. Nelson, Buskas, and Exarhos were still neck and neck through round two. The third set of thrusters were fast and unbroken for all three and they hit the stairs less than a second apart.
Connor was in the lead going up with Mark right at his heals and Chris Exarhos just a few steps behind them.
Exarhos apparently made his move near the top of the steps because when the athletes came back into view it was Exarhos out front with Nelson working hard to keep up and Buskas in 3rd. All three athletes came down the steps at an alarming pace with Exarhos hitting his mat at 5:03 taking a first in the heat and locking up a 3rd place finish overall. Connor took second in the heat which was good enough to lock up first place overall and secure him the 1000 dollar prize for the top spot in his division.