Sixteen CrossFit Fort Vancouver Members Run a Marathon Using CrossFit to Prepare

October 12, 2023 by
Photo Credit: Adam Neiffer
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Adam Neiffer always tells his members the point of CrossFit isn’t to be good at CrossFit.

  • “I always encourage people to take their fitness outside of the gym,” said Neiffer, the 14-year owner of CrossFit Fort Vancouver in Vancouver, WA who also coaches two-time CrossFit Games champion Justin Medeiros.

This year his advice “kind of caught fire,” he explained, as three dozen of his members decided to run either a half or full marathon.

The result: In the last three weeks, 16 CrossFit Fort Vancouver members, including Neiffer, completed a full marathon—some did the Portland Marathon, others the Chicago Marathon and others did a local marathon in Vancouver, WA. Another 20 ran a half marathon.

  • His fastest athlete completed the marathon in three hours and 17 minutes, while Neiffer himself finished in three hours and 24 minutes. 

One big thing: Though some of those who ran the marathon “took it a little more seriously” and followed a bit of a structured running program, most trained for the half or full marathon simply by continuing to follow group class programming at CrossFit Fort Vancouver and adding in some additional runs two or three days a week. 

  • “We really didn’t follow a structured program in terms of a running training program…Most folks just continued to show up to the gym and work hard and ran a couple times a week. A lot of them ran together,” Neiffer said, adding that one of his members just added a jog to the end of the workout of the day three days a week.

To achieve his three hour and 24 minute marathon, Neiffer did the same as his members: “I did the CrossFit Fort Vancouver workout of the day three to five days a week, and I ran or cycled two or three times a week,” he said. 

Ultimately, what Neiffer thinks this shows is what he has known for a while: “CrossFit works,” and it works to produce “well rounded fitness” that “prepares us for a wide variety of tasks,” he explained. In some cases, this means helping your grandma move a refrigerator. In other cases, it means going for a long hike, and in this case it means running 26.2 miles.

The big picture: CrossFit Fort Vancouver’s recent effort is the perfect example of what CrossFit is all about: Using the fitness we gain from CrossFit in our everyday lives.

  • “I think it’s really important for CrossFitters to use their fitness in applications outside of the gym because it’s easy to settle into a routine where all you do is CrossFit, but it’s important to get outside of your comfort zone. CrossFit is awesome and it’s amazing at developing well-rounded fitness, but it wasn’t created so it’s all that you do,” Neiffer said. “One of our goals is (for our members) to have fitness that allows them to say yes to life. We don’t want their fitness to limit what they’re capable of doing outside the gym.

He added: “CrossFit puts us in a position where we can say yes to anything.”

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