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 Laura Horvath and Patrick Vellner Take 2023 Rogue Invitational

Morning Chalk Up

October 30   |   POWERED BY


Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up premium subscriber edition.

In today’s edition:

  • Get caught up on the action from the 2023 Rogue Invitational
  • Worried about binging on Halloween candy and ruining your gains? Check out Training Think Tank nutrition coach Tracy Tucker’s advice
  • Chicago police officer and CrossFitter, James Mendoza, runs marathon in full tactical gear to raise money for fallen LEOs
  • And, YouTube’s most watched CrossFit video: Tabata Songs

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

QUOTE OF THE DAY + Send us a Quote

“It means a lot, because to be honest, after the Games everyone said 'because Tia was not there was the only reason I won,' this means a lot that I can prove to myself and everyone out there that I won because I deserved to be on the podium. So, it means a lot.” - 2023 Rogue Invitational champion, Laura Horvath, discussing what the win meant to her


2023 Rogue Invitational Round-Up

In case you missed any of the action at the 2023 Rogue Invitational over the weekend, here are some resources to get caught up:

Top stories:

  • Tia-Clair Toomey-Orr and Jeffrey Adler won Event 1 at the Rogue Invitational on Thursday night and held the lead on day one.
  • It took two events on Friday for Laura Horvath and Roman Khrennikov to steal the top spots on day two.
  • Tia-Clair Toomey-Orr and Laura Horvath went back and forth battling for the top spot on the leaderboard all day Saturday.
  • Day three at the Rogue Invitational ended with Toomey-Orr holding the top spot while Patrick Vellner vaulted up the leaderboard to a 90-point lead.
  • Patrick Vellner hangs on and Laura Horvath makes her move; both take top prize at 2023 Rogue Invitational.
  • ICYMI: CrossFit’s new VP for Affiliates and Operations, Jay DeCoons responded to questions about statements he made in 2018 about CrossFit and safety, and about his experience in and around the affiliate community. 

Final Leaderboard:

  1. Patrick Vellner 660 |  Laura Horvath 780
  2. Jeffrey Adler 640 | Tia-Clair Toomey-Orr 770
  3. Roman Khrennikov 610 | Emma Lawson 650
  4. Brent Fikowski 610 | Gabriela Migala 630
  5. Ricky Garard 565 |  Alex Gazan 590
  6. Travis Mayer 555 | Emma Cary  550
  7. Jayson Hopper  545 | Danielle Brandon 540
  8. Dallin Pepper 545 | Arielle Loewen 510
  9. Jay Crouch 540 | Dani Speegle 505
  10. Noah Ohlsen 530 |  Manon Angonese 460

Nerd out with us:

Podium Picks and Dark Horses: How did we do? Analyst Austin Heaton made his podium picks and dark horse predictions before the workouts were announced. Let’s take a look at his results:

Women’s Podium Picks:

  • Laura Horvath ✅ (1st place)
  • Tia-Clair Toomey ✅ (2nd place)
  • Emma Lawson ✅ (3rd place)
  • Gabi Migala ❌ (4th place)
  • Annie Thorisdottir ❌ (withdrew prior to the event due to pregnancy)

Women’s Dark Horses (top five):

  • Alex Gazan ✅ (5th place)
  • Danielle Brandon ❌ (7th place)
  • Arielle Loewen ❌ (8th place)

Men’s Podium Picks:

  • Patrick Vellner ✅ (1st place)
  • Jeffrey Adler ✅ (2nd place)
  • Roman Khrennikov ✅ (3rd place)
  • Ricky Garard ❌ (5th place)

Men’s Dark Horses (top five):

  • Brent Fikowski ✅ (4th place)
  • Chandler Smith ❌ (13th place)
  • Bjorgvin Karl Gudmundsson ❌ (12th place)
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  Always Binging on Halloween Candy? Try This Instead!  


Always Binging on Halloween Candy? Try This Instead!

It’s October and Halloween is tomorrow. Regardless if you’re a parent with kids excited to trick or treat or you’re single in an apartment, there is a high chance you’re going to have some candy around in your near future!

Are you someone who consistently struggles with over-eating on Halloween candy that night? Maybe because you’re handing it out to trick or treaters? Or maybe because your kids come home with a huge bag full of it? Or maybe because you never have it at all, so you think this “one night” won’t be so bad. What ever the case may be, we want to help you manage those feelings better.

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  Chicago Police Officer Runs Marathon in Full Tactical Gear, Raises Money for the Chicago Police Memorial Fund  

Chicago Police Officer Runs Marathon in Full Tactical Gear, Raises Money for the Chicago Police Memorial Fund

October 8th marked the 43rd year of the Chicago Marathon, with a course winding through the streets of the Windy City, hosting 47,000 participants, which set an all-time record for registrants of the event. One man, amongst the sea of runners, was Chicago Police Officer James Mendoza, who ran the entire length of the race, 26.2 miles, in 30 pounds of tactical gear.

Some background: As a veteran of the US Navy, Mendoza has been an officer of the Chicago Police Department for eight years. He says that after serving his country in the Navy, it was an organic and natural transition to continue serving, by protecting and representing his hometown of Chicago. As an avid runner and CrossFitter, he admits that with a very challenging and demanding schedule, Mendoza had to force training sessions in between shifts and at odd hours.

While he belongs to multiple gyms, he trains mostly on his own, completing Hero WODs at the police station. He trains with body armor on a regular basis and it dawned on him recently that while running a full marathon in tactical gear would seem outlandish and unattainable for some, it was quite possible for him.

  • “I train a lot like this, I do a lot of CrossFit, and I run …I’m always in my tactical gear, so I wanted to do this, and I knew I could,” said Mendoza.
  • “Let me tell you, there’s no way I could have done this without CrossFit. CrossFit is what prepared me for this more than anything,” Mendoza continued.

His inspiration: While Mendoza looked at the marathon as a personal challenge, there was larger motivation at play. The Chicago Police Memorial Fund is one that gives aid to families of first responders and officers that have died or been injured in the line of duty. While Mendoza was the only one in uniform and tactical gear, he was joined by 80 other individuals running to raise money and awareness for the foundation, which in turn led to $160,000 donated for the nonprofit.

Race day: At the start of the race, Mendoza was full of emotion and excitement. He was anxious to test his training, to see if he had sufficiently prepared physically as well as mentally.

  • “I had so many emotions going through my head. I was so excited and it just meant so much to me that I was able to honor (the Chicago Police Memorial Fund) by doing this.” said Mendoza.

As the race carried on, Mendoza reached a dark place, where he forced himself to soldier on and push forward, despite major discomfort and minor discouragement.

  • “The first 13 miles were great, but the second half… my feet started hurting so bad at mile 22. It was so painful. I just felt… numb. I just stopped feeling… I had to in order to finish. I thought, I just have to finish this. I’m not here for me. I’m here to honor someone else.
  • “I just went into the zone. I forgot I was in pain. The crowd was amazing, and my family helped so much. They were a huge motivation for me and they ran the last mile with me. It meant so much that they were there.”

When asked if he would tackle something like this again, the avid runner agreed that he would love to run another marathon or perhaps participate in a triathlon, sans the added weight. Although that’s not completely off the table.

Mendoza: “It takes so much to prepare for something like this. So much mental energy, so much time, on top of my job. But I wouldn’t say that I would never do it again… I would say… maybe…we’ll see.”

  Tabata Songs: YouTube’s Most Viewed CrossFit Video Ever  

Tabata Songs: YouTube’s Most Viewed CrossFit Video Ever

“Welcome to Tabata!” Does that line ring a bell? If you haven’t heard it during a Tabata wod at your CrossFit affiliate, chances are you have probably heard it in a past YouTube video with Mat Fraser or other Games athletes.

Or perhaps you are one of many who know exactly what it is from–Tabata Songs–The team that creates music specifically for Tabata workouts.

If you have ever stared at the clock while performing a Tabata and wondered “how can 20 seconds possibly feel so long?”…you are not alone. Tabata is one of the best ways to improve your fitness, but it can be tough to lead a full class through it all while coaching movement and making adjustments.

Enter Jay Driscoll. Driscoll was a musician by job and a CrossFitter by hobby and was part of a touring band in 2011. He and bandmate John Wayno worked to stay fit while on the road in between performances.

  • Driscoll: “While we were touring, Wayno and I would do a lot of workouts together. He was training for a marathon at the time, and I was just getting interested in CrossFit and functional fitness in general. We were doing a lot of hotel room workouts and parking lot sprints.”

Driscoll found that Tabata was one of the protocols that would pop up and be perfect for them – they would do a four-minute workout with a couple of different movements and then do a few sets of that, varying the movements.

  • “One time in particular, we were alternating Tabata intervals of sprints and push-ups.  I remember trying to look at my watch while doing push-ups, then on a full sprint in a parking lot, which was a really bad idea.”
  • The idea for the music came from the fact that we were doing these movements, but we didn’t have anything to effectively time them with.”

Driscoll thought it would be cool to have some sort of a timer that had music built in because he always liked to sprint during a chorus of a song and jog during the verse. At that point in CrossFit, there were some timers on the market, and there were timer apps available, but nothing that combined music with a coach’s voice to guide the athlete through the Tabata.

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Banana Protein Oat Breakfast

Check out this recipe by Functional Eating: the perfect fall breakfast, snack or dessert and one you can make ahead of time for the whole family.




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Catch Up on The Rogue Invitational

The Rogue Invitational went down this last weekend in Round Rock, Texas, and with it brought lots of excitement, photo finishes and heavy lifts. If you missed it, make sure you go back and watch the action.



Reebok's Exclusive 60% Seasonal Steals

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Joe Linton on the HerdFit Podcast

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