FitFest Brings Fittest in the World and Thousands of Everyday CrossFit Athletes to the UK this December

November 13, 2023 by
Photo Credit: FitFest
Enjoying Morning Chalk Up? Access additional exclusive interviews, analyses, and stories with an Rx membership.

There’s a new fitness festival making big waves in the CrossFit community. Its name is FitFest, it’s coming to Birmingham, England this December, and it has attracted some of the fittest athletes in the world, including CrossFit Games medalists Emma Lawson, Brent Fikowski, Arielle Loewen, Pat Vellner and Bjorgvin Karl Gudmundsson.

The details: The event—which is a result of a merge between Strength in Depth, the UK’s biggest CrossFit competition, and the National Fitness Games, a popular functional fitness competition in the UK—will also feature a competition for everyday CrossFit athletes, as well as a functional fitness competition.

  • Strength in Depth Triple Threat is the two-day CrossFit competition at FitFest, where 1,000 CrossFit athletes (already sold out) of all different ages and abilities will compete in same-sex teams of three. 
  • The ATHX Games is a functional fitness competition designed, not specifically for CrossFit athletes, but for fitness enthusiasts in general. As a result, it’s less technical than a CrossFit competition and involves teams of two (both same-sex and mixed pairs), who will compete in three workouts—one strength workout, one endurance and one metabolic conditioning workout—over the course of just two-and-a-half hours. The ATHX Open will take place on Saturday at FitFest and the ATHX National Finals on Sunday.
  • Further, the British Indoor Rowing Championships and the England Weightlifting Championships will round out FitFest’s competitive activities that run from December 8 to 10th.

But the premier event of the weekend is the Pro Athlete Showcase, set to include three all-stars teams of six elite CrossFit athletes, who were selected in a draft by team captains, 2023 CrossFit Games silver medalist Emma Lawson, five-time Games athlete Danielle Brandon and 2023 rookie Ella Wunger. Check out the full team rosters here.

  • They will go through seven to eight workouts over the course of the three days that will be designed to “showcase their ability, their skills and their attributes,” explained organizer Mark Hartnett-Morgan, the founder of the National Fitness Games.
  • “We’re not looking to flog them or beast them completely,” he said. Instead, the events will be designed for them to “show off in front of the UK fans.”

Ultimately, introducing some of the best CrossFit athletes in the world to the British CrossFit community is one of Hartnett-Morgan’s biggest goals for the event, he explained. 

In light of this, the first night will include a VIP event involving CrossFit-themed workshops run by the pro athletes, followed by a Q-and-A session and photo opportunities, with the final activity of the evening being the first workout of the competition.

  • “The European fans are very much starved of access to the (elite CrossFit) athletes outside of Europe,” Hartnett-Morgan said, and he’s hoping FitFest will change this.

The big picture: After building the National Fitness Games over the course of the last seven years, Hartnett-Morgan is hoping merging with Strength in Depth will pay off in turning FitFest into the “big out-of-season competition (in Europe) that athletes are desperate to come over for,” Hartnett-Morgan said, but also provide a competition experience for everyday CrossFit athletes and fitness enthusiasts of all kinds. 

“What we want to really make sure is no matter what your age, no matter what your ability, you can come and have a Strength in Depth experience…I don’t want it just to be something that only the elite can experience. I want it to be everybody,” he added.

Get the Newsletter

For a daily digest of all things CrossFit. Community, Competitions, Athletes, Tips, Recipes, Deals and more.

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.