Chan chasing Froning up the stairs.

2010 CrossFit Games Finals

Individual Event 4

Thorisdottir and Hackenbruck charge hard late in the evening.

The sandbag sprint in Aromas was brutal, and the 2010 CrossFit Games found competitors moving bags vertically again.

This time, they were moving 600/370 lb. of sandbags down a set of stairs, over a wall, into a wheelbarrow, across the stadium, over the wall and up the stairs. If CrossFit is about being able to do work, this event proved it.

While some of the smaller competitors struggled to get the weight over the wall, most competitors managed the task. A few dumped wheelbarrows sabotaged athletes, but most were able to move the weight with little difficulty, though some competitors took several trips across.

Heather Keenan Bergeron had the top time after Heat 3: 8:55.

“I followed the plan. We had a little plan worked out… We wanted to make as few trips as possible. I wanted to get it all over in one carry, so I just went slow. I didn’t run at all. Then it was just get as many as you can up in as few trips as possible.”

She also dumped her wheelbarrow at the end of her trip across the arena and believes it saved her a lot of unloading time.

In the final heat, Annie Thorisdottir smiled her way across the arena with a full wheelbarrow and a good lead. One of the taller athletes, the Icelander had no trouble getting the weight over the barrier. Kristan Clever had a disaster with the wheelbarrow and, despite her strength, is shorter and took more time at the wall.

Thorisdottir didn’t stop smiling as she raced up the stairs two at a time, and she was rewarded for her good spirits with the top time: a hot 8:04, 34 seconds than her closest competitor, Christy Phillips (8:38). Rebecca Voigt was third in 8:59.

Clever finished in 20th place (11:20), opening the door for Thorisdottir to jump atop the overall standings by three points.

Blair Morrison raced Moe Kelsey in the first men’s heat in an event that was up Morrison’s alley after he spent a year training with odd objects in strange places in Europe.

“I guess a little bit,” he said when asked if his hardcore training helped him. “Not enough, though. I couldn’t beat Moe. He was stronger. He carried more bags up.”

Kelsey, a firefighter, is used to carrying loads up and down stairs, and he set the best early time: 7:37.

Tommy Hackenbruck, a former construction worker, also used his work experience to crush the workout. He bested Kelsey’s time with 6:57 and was the first one under 7 minutes.

That time stood through Heat 3, withstanding a charge from Patrick Burke. Burke, who served in the Marines, said the workout was harder because of where it fell in the schedule.

“It’s just the end of the day,” he said. “Muscles are sore. You don’t want to warm up. It’s that whole mental thing.”

The final heat found Rich Froning Jr. out to a large lead, with Mikko Salo in hot pursuit. Behind them, Matt Chan had two spills with the wheelbarrow.

“I thought I had it stacked right both times! Fucking motherfucker!” Chan exclaimed on the steps after the event. Brandon Phillips also had two dumps and a broken wheelbarrow but persevered to finish the workout in one of the great moments of the Games.

Froning maintained his lead and took second overall with 7:14, then took a seat in Row S for a moment before heading down to encourage Phillips. Salo was third in 7:24.

Current results after four events:

Top 5 Men
1. Rich Froning Jr. (25)
2. Graham Holmberg (34)
3. Matt Chan (45)
4. Mikko Salo (48)
5. Patrick Burke (58)

Top 5 Women
1. Annie Thorisdottir (23)
2. Kristan Clever (26)
3. Christy Phillips (36)
4. Julie Foucher (38)
5. Valerie MacKenzie Voboril (41)

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Thorisdottir was all smiles. Hackenbruck continues his reputation as expert on the 'blue collar' workouts.
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21 comments on this entry

1. Jesus wrote...

Was Mikko Salo ok after the sandbag event? He seemed upset because he left to the stanging area right after he got done?

2. Nick G wrote...

Jesus- This debate has been going on the other thread. The sentiment is that a) he had to crap, b) pee, or c) wanted to get the hell out of there after a long day, eat, and go to sleep. I pick c. Some say bad sport, I say competitor who knows how important recovery is, and how much is still left out there. Mikko knows that nothing is over, so he's looking out for himself. He didn't fly from Finland to pat people on the back, He's a silent assassin...Respect his craft, ya know?

3. Diane wrote...

RubenRojas @crossfitgames SO THE FITTEST ON EARTH CAN NOT FINISH A WOD BUT BE THE FITTEST? I would love everyone to chime in........................I agree with Rojas twitter - there should have been a 20 to 25 point penalty for not completing the 1st WOD

4. Jesus wrote...

Good point Nick G. I guess we're so use to watching other athletes cheer on they're opponent after they get done.

5. Vitaly wrote...

@Nick G: You raise a great point. We shouldn't expect him to hang around and cheer everyone else on. But as on said on the other thread, that's such a great part of CrossFit competitions. But at the end of the day, he's there to win, so he's gotta look out for himself as you said.

6. Coach@ wrote...

I liked what Spealler said when interviewed at the end last night. He talked about how the competitors, as a group, were "good dudes," still encouraging and looking out for each other. As big as CrossFit is, and the games are, we all know it's going to be get much bigger. I don't want to be a pessimist, but I'm hoping the increased money and attention that's on the way doesn't lead to the "assassin" mentality. I still want to see images of Froning Jr going to the bottom of the stairs to encourage Brandon Phillips who got knocked out of the top 5 because of a faulty wheelbarrow.

One sport that started small and got HUGE is snowboarding. From humble beginnings to big money and the Olympics, these athletes are still seemingly in it for the love of the sport and are almost always enthusiastic and supportive of the other competitors, even if it means they'll finish below them. I'm hoping, like Spealler said, we can stay true to the sport and why we're doing it.

I love Mikko, and we have no idea what happened, but come on...

7. Jason wrote...

I am fairly new to CF and I've been overwhelmed by the support each athlete gives. I honestly expect people to do what Mikko did. I was surprised nor did I think it was odd. Like many have already said the guy has to do a lot and have done a lot, rest is super important. I am going to give him the benefit of the doubt if for no other reason, he can smash me like a bug.

8. Tony wrote...

Nice Job Tommy....I am glad to see all the training sessions at Gym Jones over the past couple months have paid off! Good job Mark and Maximus for getting Tommy ready. Tommy you are a beast....go get 'em

9. Jimmy wrote...

Just wanted to say that my wife and I could not stop laughing when the commentator said something very close to:
"Oh my, he just took a dump on the ground!!!". I don't know if anyone else noticed this comment, but I thought it was hilarious.

Maybe something like "the wheelbarrow TIPPED over" would have been more appropriate, but definitely not as funny!!

10. Anon wrote...

Did anyone notice that Heather Bergeron did NOT finish ahead of Rebecca Voight? It's right there on the video. I hope finish times and points are adjusted accordingly.

11. ImpartialFan wrote...

@Diane who the hell are you talking about? Mikko has yet to not finish a WOD

12. Pete S wrote...

Does anyone else find the mc's on the mic to be a little much at times? I appreciate the updates, and the play by play, but the commentary gets to be a little opiniated and unecessary at times.

I'm sure the athletes tune it out but I find that some of the comments don't need to be said over a mic and loud speaker. Updates are cool, but non-stop opinions get annoying. Crowd motivating and updates are cool. Personal opinions that can be distracting to athletes are unnecessary in my humble opinion. Its about the athletes and we are watching to see their performances.

By the way I'm not talking about the commentators or the interviewer. I think they were doing a great job. And the mc's are also working there asses off, I just wanted to give my honest thoughts. I am absolutely loving the events, the live feed, the quality picture and the interviews. The athletes are putting forth amazing performances that are inspiring and extremelly humbling.

13. Justin wrote...

#3 Diane - The "not complete a WOD" thing is kinda arbitrary. I can't remember with Clever finished event #3 in, but let's say it was 11:00. The cutoff time could very well have been 10:00, and she wouldn't have finished. I like the lack of a DNF this year.

14. DannyT wrote...

Jimmy - HAHA I did not notice the commentator saying that but I love that you posted it here. That had me cracking up this morning.

15. Anon wrote...

Faulty wheel barrow? Wow that sucks a lot.
Reminds me of Midwest Regionals... all Rogue equipment and the vests broke a lot and screwed people out of valuable time.

Also... Annie didn't finish WOD #1? but she is in first? Interesting.

Great effort by all the athletes... can't wait to see what comes of today!

16. Diane wrote...

To ImpartialFran, Justin and all - Annie could not complete the 1st WOD. Doesn't seem right that it did not carry a penalty - a hit of 20 or 25 points.

17. james wrote...

Testing the fittest is tricky. I love the events but it was frustrating when Brandon Phillip's wheelbarrow broke. If your barbell snapped on a power clean, would the judges just shrug?

18. Stefán Drengsson wrote...

The documentary of Anníe and Sveinbjörn at the CrossFit Games 2009 is now available for you to purchase and download at www.drengsson.net.

50 min film in HQ, that tells the story of two Icelanders that are new to CrossFit but qualified for the CrossFit Games 2009 where both of them made a huge impact on the whole competition.

The film tells the their whole story, from there first encounter of CrossFit in Iceland to their whole amazing journey to the CrossFit Games 2009.

The resolution of the film 1280*720 with the file size of

19. Paul wrote...

I am always impressed with Mikko, and know people will defend him walking out like he did, but not me. Yes in the end he has to worry about himself, but so does Froning and that didn't stop him from cheering people on. Everything that Mikko has gone through so have the rest of the competitors, stay....cheer them on....be supportive like everyone else is.

20. Carl wrote...

Who cares what everyone else is doing? Mikko is awesome.

21. Tim wrote...

In the end it comes down to being a poor sport or not. Mikko walked out when others were still competing in the event. I understand recovery but 3-4 extra minutes isnt gonna make a huge difference in these athletes. He should have stayed and shown good sportsmanship instead of storming off like he did, im sure if his wheelbarrow broke and he was frustrated he would have enjoyed the support of his fellow athletes. And if recovery mattered that much why didnt he beat rich overall??

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