Good morning and welcome to the weekend edition of the Morning Chalk Up. Memorial Day weekend in the United States is one of the peak moments on the calendar for the CrossFit community and we’ve got a ton of “Murph”-centric coverage. Plus, Down Under, a beloved Games veteran’s daughter turns one-year-old and receives a pretty amazing gift. Today:
Should you take on “Murph” this weekend? Brittney Kleyn asks elite CrossFit coaches and programmers for their advice.
If you do take on “Murph” how should you socially distance during the bookend one-mile runs. Emily Beers and endurance coach Chris Hinshaw review the literature.
Patrick Clark profiles 2019 CrossFit Games Wildcard Athlete Hunter McIntyre’s plan to break the “Murph” record.
Scotti Saunders turns one and Alphafit gave her a super cool gift.
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“The world is the great gymnasium where we come to make ourselves strong.”– Vivekananda
Should You Be Doing Murph On Memorial Day?
It’s almost Memorial Day and that means one thing for CrossFitters in the United States: “Murph.”
The traditional Hero Workout completed by CrossFitters on the last Monday of May has been the cause of much debate amid recent gym closures and reopenings due to the spread of the coronavirus. Many athletes have been stuck at home with very little chance to condition for the workload required.
A test for the Fittest: “Murph,” completed to honor Naval Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy, is arguably one of the most famous CrossFit workouts.
1-mile run 100 pullups 200 pushups 300 squats 1-mile run
The workout — to be completed wearing a weight vest — made its first appearance on CrossFit’s main site on August 28, 2005. It took hold as a Memorial Day tradition in the following years and was again made famous at the 2015 CrossFit Games. There, under the midday sun, several athletes, including Annie Thorisdottir and Kara Saunders (then Webb) suffering heat stroke or heat exhaustion. The workout was then repeated at the Games in 2016.
“Irresponsible at best.”: That’s how CrossFit Games Athlete and Coach Dex Hopkins described any affiliate or coach not considering the consequences of programming Murph during a time when many gyms remain closed and others are in the early stages of reopening.
“We value and are entrusted with directing the health and wellness of our members, and to take you from a minimal equipment, limited movement environment, and throwing you into a massive amount of intensity and volume seems irresponsible at best,” he said.
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When it Comes to Walking and Running, Six Feet of Distance Might Not be Enough
In recent weeks, experts around the world have suggested six feet (1.5 meters) as the magic distance in order for people to space themselves apart to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus. Some countries have even put it into law.
However, a Belgian-Dutch Study published as a white paper in April discovered when it comes to running and walking, six feet between people isn’t far enough.
Understanding micro-droplets: Recent COVID-19 research has shown that the virus can spread through our saliva.
When we cough, sneeze or exhale from a breath, we release droplets, or sometimes micro-droplets that are too small to see. If we’re infected with the virus, these droplets can infect a person who inhales them, or gets them on their hands and then touches their face.
Luckily, these micro-droplets fall to the ground or evaporate within six feet (1.5 meters). At least, this is the case when we’re standing still.
When we’re moving, via walking, running, and cycling it’s a whole other ball game, explained Chris Hinshaw, the world-renowned endurance coach who has coached dozens of CrossFit Games athletes.
Hinshaw has digested the April white paper in depth in order to provide advice to his athletes about how to stay virus-free and continue to run outside. He offered Morning Chalk Up some key takeaways to “inform and minimize potential risk” to runners, or even walkers.
Walking versus running safe distances: If you’re walking, the study recommends keeping 15 feet (five meters) of space between you and another walker. And if you’re running, 30 feet (ten meters) is recommended. The Belgian-Dutch research team discovered thisby assessing the rate a person is moving and how it affects the flow of the airborne particulates.
Hunter McIntyre Partners Up With Team RWB to Host Memorial Day Murph Fundraiser
Hunter McIntyre looks to make history this coming Memorial Day as he attempts to set a new world record in the “Murph” Hero WOD while helping Team RWB raise awareness and money for transitioning active-duty US military service members.
The details: McIntyre will attempt to break Björgvin Karl Guðmundsson’s unpartitioned “Murph” time of 38:36.21 set during the 2015 CrossFit Games. That time is considered the world record by the CrossFit community.
The attempt begins at 6:30am EST on May 23. McIntyre will be streaming live on his Instagram account and Obstacle Racing Media will also be streaming live on their YouTube channel.
Evolution Athletics in West End, NC will host McIntyre and Team RWB.
Fort Bragg, home of the US Army’s Special Operations Command, and the 75th Ranger Regiment is nearby. Team RWB has invited many veterans and active-duty soldiers to participate in the Hero WOD.
Games athletes like Jacob Heppner, Will Moorad, Dani Speegle and Chandler Smith were scheduled to join McIntyre, but due to various factors they can’t attend. Games veterans Lindsay Schutlzer and Alan Dunlap will be in attendance and participating.
Team RWB has a goal of raising $50,000 to assist veterans and transitioning service members.
“Originally I wanted to do this with my CrossFit friends like Noah (Ohlsen), Heppner and Chandler (Smith),” said McIntyre. “Then the pandemic happens and it altered our plans but then Chandler mentioned he knew Mike Erwin, the founder of Team RWB, and suggested we all get involved with his organization and help out those heroes that serve our country.”
AlphaFit Equipment and Apparel, one of CrossFit Games athlete Kara Saunders’ sponsors, celebrated her daughter Scotti’s first birthday with what will likely be the envy of all CrossFit parents and kids alike.
Alphafit’s Jamie Montesalvo manufactured the pint-sized squat rack and barbell especially for Scotti Saunders on her first birthday, Friday May 22.
The squat rack is equipped with all the same features as the brand’s full-sized racks and cages, including j-hooks and a pull-up bar with a powder coat finish.
The brand even matched the color scheme to that of Kara’s affiliate CrossFit Kova in Brisbane, Australia. Take a look at the comparison.
Scotti was also given her very first powder-coated barbell in pink, weighing in at 2.2kg/1 pound and 1140mm/45 inches long.
Kara took to her Instagram on Friday morning (AEST) to film the surprise unboxing and an adorable Scotti in her pajamas, looking right at home with the miniature barbell in her hands.
The gift that keeps on giving: The savvy marketing team at Alphafit knew once Kara posted images to her 529k followers on Instagram, they’d be inundated with inquiries.
While the setup may be pint-sized, the manufacturing quality is on par with Alphafit’s adult-sized products, so expect to pay a similar price tag. The custom made squat racks start at $945 AUD ($745 USD) and barbell at $175 AUD ($115 USD).
Saunders, a 2020 Games qualifier, has closely documented her postpartum comeback,including her training for this summer’s CrossFit Games. Scotti is clearly her number one fan.
Recently Kara posted Scotti’s attempts to mirror her mom in training: “My almost one year old trying to do handstands on her own. She did it for a solid 10 minutes and looked up at me for praise like I had asked of her just minutes ago,” she wrote.
Happy Birthday Scotti from the team here at the Morning Chalk Up. And here’s hoping travel restrictions permitting, we catch you and mom in Aromas, CA later this year.
The Buttery Bros Gain 18 Pounds in 10 Hours
In this episode, Marston Sawyers and Heber Cannon take on “Murph” and post some pretty nice times (Marz is only a few weeks out of knee surgery too!). And, the boys take on a ten-hour weight gain challenge.
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How Justin LoFranco’s Friends and Family Reacted to his Morning Chalk Up Idea
On the BarBend podcast this week, Editor-in-Chief of the Morning Chalk Up, Justin LoFranco, talks with host David Tao about his background on Capitol Hill, the schisms within the CrossFit community and how his friends and family reacted when he gave up a promising career in politics to focus on a niche sport.
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