Competition

TYR Wodapalooza 2024 Programming Preview with Competition Director Joaquin Pérez Borrego

December 5, 2023 by
Photo Credit: Ava Kitzi
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What better way to ring in the new year than a friendly competition under the Miami sun? The self-proclaimed fitness festival, TYR Wodapalooza, is entering its 12th year, and it’s known to bring in everyone from elite athletes to hundreds of community members vying for a spot on the podium in one of the many Rx and scaled divisions.

The four-day competition takes a lot of coordination and planning up until and throughout the entire event. Director of Competition Joaquin Pérez Borrego takes us through what the team behind TYR Wodapalooza has been working on and what we can expect to see come January. 

Remind me: The event goes from Thursday, January 11, through Sunday, January 14, at Bayfront Park in Miami, FL. Athletes looking to compete had to do an online qualifier, which included five workouts and varied depending on which division they chose to do.

The divisions include individual, team (composed of three men or three women), teens, masters, and adaptive. Invitations to select elites were also sent out. 

Bayfront Park is an all-outdoor facility, making it a bit tricky when it comes to programming and trying to keep things new every year. Uncontrollable factors like weather also have to be taken into account.

  • “In the past, we have had partners that helped us on this side of the programming. This past year, we did it with several training camps like HWPO and PRVN, which was great. But this year, we did it ourselves,” Borrego says. 
  • Athletes and members of the TYR Wodapalooza event team met in Mexico to test workouts and strategize the programming for the 2024 event. 
  • The programming starts with the individuals and then shifts to teams: “We start with the elites, and then from there, we start scaling down the other divisions.” 
  • Borrego says he gets inspiration from team members and from other competitions, but TYR Wodapalooza consists of some specific challenges. “[It’s] a completely unique different environment, such as outdoors, the water, you have heat sometimes, you have rain, cold, so you need to be prepared for all those scenarios,” Borrego explains.

For 2024, unlike previous years, athletes in the individual and team divisions did the same workouts no matter what division they planned to compete under (elite, Rx, intermediate). In other words, it was an open leaderboard. On the individual side, the top 20 qualifiers landed in elite, the next 20 landed in Rx, and the remainder of the athletes could try to get in through the Open division, which is similar to a lottery system and awards 40 spots per gender. 

This change came after feedback from the community regarding fairness and an aim to keep a level playing field. 

  • “We try hard to keep everybody happy. We’re never going to land that plane, and that’s something that we’re going to have to live with,” Borrego says. 
  • “We always try to do our best to make most of the people happy, and those that are not that happy, we always try to be responsive to them. Have a one-on-one call with them to see what their needs are so we can have that feedback and try to improve the next year.” 
  • “Even after all these years, we are still learning, and we are trying our best to make it better for everybody.”
  • The LatAm Cup is a new addition to the competition. It brings together 20 athletes from at least seven Latin American countries to compete at TYR Wodapalooza in their own division.

Borrego wouldn’t share exact movements or workouts, but he hinted that there are two “important things” from the past that he’s excited to see returning to the competition.

“When this comes to life, it’s going to blow people’s minds because it is a blast from the past,” he says. “We’re bringing back things that are very important for us and for the community. And, we’re putting new equipment in. So it’s going to be good.”

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