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FitFest UK 2023 Prepares to Bring Elite Athletes and Everyday CrossFitters Together

Morning Chalk Up

November 14   |   POWERED BY

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Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • FitFest UK 2023 gears up for exciting Pro Athlete Showcase and much more
  • Off-Season Thought: What makes a top-five Games athlete?
  • The Weekly Buzz is coming in hot with sports and affiliate news updates
  • 23 Questions with Rogue Invitational Winner and Second Fittest Man, Patrick Vellner

Don’t forget to hit us up with story tips, highlights, quotes of the day and more.

‘Tis the season to check out Morning Chalk Up’s Black Friday | Cyber Monday Buyers Guide.

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“A man who is a master of patience is master of everything else.” - George Savile

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

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

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.

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Pregnancy and Athletic Performance in CrossFit: At the 2023 NOBULL Crossfit Games, Dr. Allison Strnad, M.D., Dr. Jaime Seeman, M.D., and CrossFit’s Nicole Christensen (CF-L4) joined moderator Mike Giardina (CF-L4) to discuss topics surrounding safety and training while pregnant. Check out the recording of their talk now.

The Down Under Championship released the schedule for its event, coming December 1-3.

🚨🚨 The WOD Life x Wanderlust Fitness Retreats: Enter now to win a Bali Fitness Retreat from The WOD Life and Wanderlust Fitness Retreats. One lucky person will win a seven-day fitness retreat at CrossFit Wanderlust, Bali’s largest elite training center, plus roundtrip airfare form anywhere in the world.

💪🔥 FitFest 2023 VIP Events: The Birmingham, UK event featuring a Pro CrossFit Athlete showcase with some amazingly stacked teams announced a series of VIP events including workshops, Q&As with athletes, and a special elite workout on Friday, December 8. Learn more and get your tickets now.

One Hour to Go All In: The Gauntlet at TYR Wodapalooza is open for registration now. If you haven’t experienced it, The Gauntlet is a way for spectators to throw down in front of the crowds at TYR WZA and compete in some seriously tough workouts. Check out the divisions and register for a time slot now. 

ICYMI: WheelWOD looks optimistically to 2024 season.

  Post-Rogue Invitational Thought: Are the Top Five Fittest Men and Women Untouchable?  


Post-Rogue Invitational Thought: Are the Top Five Fittest Men and Women Untouchable?

If you watched the Rogue Invitational last month, you probably noticed the final leaderboard was eerily similar to that of last summer’s 2023 NOBULL CrossFit Games.

In fact, the top four men from the Games were the exact same as the top four at the Rogue Invitational: Pat Vellner, Jeff Adler, Roman Khrennikov and Brent Fikowski. And the fifth-place man at the Rogue Invitational, Ricky Garard, withdrew from the Games season because of a shoulder injury. Had he been healthy, it’s possible the top five would have been identical at both competitions.

Continue Reading...
  Post-Rogue Invitational Thought: Are the Top Five Fittest Men and Women Untouchable?  

The Weekly Buzz: Week in Review 11/13/23

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  23 Questions with Rogue Invitational Champion Patrick Vellner  

23 Questions with Rogue Invitational Champion Patrick Vellner

Last month, Patrick Vellner took home his second Rogue Invitational crown. After a weekend of fierce competition, 2023’s Second Fittest Man on Earth bested fellow Canadian and Fittest Man on Earth Jeffrey Adler to take home first overall.

At 33 years old, Patrick Vellner is one of Canada’s (and the world’s) most decorated CrossFit athletes. Since his first individual Games appearance in 2016, Vellner has stood on the podium five times and only placed outside the top ten once in his eight consecutive appearances.

But beyond his CrossFit career, Vellner is a husband, a father (soon-to-be father of two), and a chiropractor. This week, we sat down with Patrick Vellner to continue our 23 Questions series and learn more about one of CrossFit’s favorite Canadians.

1. What’s your favorite time of day?

Patrick Vellner: Early Morning. I wake up earlier than everyone in my family so that’s my personal time. Everything is quiet and I get to space out or do any tasks that need doing without interruption.

2. What are you most excited about these days?

PV: I’m looking forward to the winter season. We have a couple of trips planned and holiday seasons with young kids are so fun.

3. What’s one thing people don’t know about you?

PV: People always seem very surprised to learn that I speak French. Both my wife and I are bilingual.

Continue Reading...


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Read up on all your favorite deals coming up for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Brands like 2POOD, Spacer Mobility, Beam and more are preparing for some big sales that you won't want to miss.


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