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Meet The Iron Cowboy

Morning Chalk Up

July 17   |   POWERED BY


Happy Saturday Morning Chalk Up readers!

In today’s edition:

  • Top Russian athletes not able to make the CrossFit Games.
  • The history of sprint events at the Games.
  • Introducing the “Iron Cowboy.”

“The inclusion of a sprint test in the Games had drastically different effects on the leaderboard for men and women.” – Tommy Marquez in regards to the 2013 ZigZag Sprint event.

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“Always make a total effort, even when the odds are against you.” - Arnold Palmer

  Asian Semifinalist Champions Kubyshkina, Solodov Will Not Travel to Madison for the Games 

Asian Semifinalist Champions Kubyshkina, Solodov Will Not Travel to Madison for the Games

Both champions from the Asia Semifinal, Russians Svetlana Kubyshkina and Stas Solodov, will not be making the trip to the 2021 CrossFit Games, citing visa issues. This comes on the heels of news that the first Russian team to ever qualify for the Games is also facing visa issues.

  • Stas Solodov: “It would be nice, but unfortunately it is not possible. I could not get a visa.”
  • Svetlana Kubyshikna: “No, next year it will definitely happen!”

One big thing: As CrossFit Games staff recently stated in an email, “At this point [CrossFit] will not be backfilling any further if athletes are unable to make it to the Games,” so it means only 39 women and 39 men will take the Games field.

  • Roman Khrennikov’s name could also be added to the list of no-shows if he’s also unable to secure a visa, bringing the total to 38 male competitors.
  • CrossFit Games staff even went so far as to write a letter recommending that Svetlana be granted a visa to compete (slide 2).

The big picture: Outside of 2019 and 2020, it’s relatively uncommon but not unprecedented for individual men and women divisions not to field a full roster of forty.

  • In 2018 and 2017, only 39 men took the field.
  • In 2015, only 39 women.

It is worth noting that Aleksandar Ilin, also from Russia who finished second in the Asian Semifinal, was able to procure everything needed to make the trip and intends on arriving in Madison on Saturday, July 24. This will be his second appearance at the CrossFit Games.

Always Have a FITAID in Your Pocket

Always Have a FITAID in Your Pocket

Is it just us? Or does every run, bike ride, and hike have a point where you would kill for a refreshing FITAID?

But lugging a can around…not the best way to set a new PR.

The crew at FITAID has you covered though. They’ve taken all the good stuff that goes into their cans and created FITAID GO. A handy packet of goodness you can keep in your pocket for those FITAID emergencies.

You can stock up on their full range of LIFEAID GO products today with 20% off using code “20LETSGO”.



  • Team Events announced: Dave Castro gave us a preview of what Team Event 1-4 will look like at the CrossFit Games.
  • CrossFit Games Demo Team: With Alison Scudds as team captain, Chyna Cho, Christine Kole, Khan Porter, James Newbury, and Tola Morakinyo will make up this year’s CrossFit Games Demo Team.
  • United States bound: Games athlete Emilia Leppanen is officially on her way to Madison, WI, from Finland.
  • Four contenders for the crown: Mat Fraser is out, and the men are hungry for that coveted “Fittest on Earth” title at the CrossFit Games. But although the number one spot is open, there seem to be only four serious contenders based on recent and past in-person performances.
    • Veterans: Patrick Vellner and Brent Fikowski.
    • Young guns: Justin Medeiros and Jayson Hopper.
  • April July Fools: CrossFit Mayhem Games athlete Samuel Cournoyer gave us a mild heart attack yesterday afternoon. In a post labeled “breaking news, Cournoyer Games appearance in jeopardy. Sam was detained at the US/Canadian border for transporting unregistered weapons (guns).
    • Swipe left, phew. Crisis averted. It’s just him flexing his biceps.
  • SOS! Annie Thorisdottir is looking for anyone with a connection to the Department of Homeland Security to get one more person to the US for the Games.
    • Thorisdottir, her coach, and baby Freyja were approved for travel, but she needs one more person to come along as a babysitter for Freyja while she competes.


  • Join Team WIT at the Games: WIT Fitness is looking for people to help work in Vendor Village at the CrossFit Games. Sign up now if you want to model their clothes and talk about the latest gear.
  • Guessing Games is back: Got the winners already picked out? Reckon it’s someone’s breakout season? Think our experts have missed something? Prove it. Enter our Guessing Games competition by predicting the top five male and female athletes for a chance to win some epic prizes.
  Tommy Tackles the History of Sprint Events 


Tommy Tackles the History of Sprint Events

We are just over a week out from the official kick off of “Games week,” and clues and reveals for CrossFit Games events are rolling out like audience gifts at a taping of the Oprah Winfrey show.

In one week’s span we got three announcements revealed in a multitude of ways. Hollywood star Max Greenfield method acted his way to announcing details for individual event 2. Demo Team captain Allison Scudds (alongside fellow Santa Cruz-ian Kelly Clark) revealed individual event 3 as they sprinted the road in front of the Ranch.

  • Thursday afternoon Dave Castro gave us an ASMR worthy announcement, revealing the details of individual event 5 with an intimate scribbling of the test on a crisp, yellow legal pad with a freshly opened sharpie.

I am particularly intrigued by the sprint event for event 3, and for this week’s column I will be diving into the history of sprint events at the Games. By sprint events I mean a pure sprint event.

Continue Reading...
  Meet the “Iron Cowboy”: 101 Triathlons in 101 Days 

Meet the “Iron Cowboy”: 101 Triathlons in 101 Days

Finding someone who has done an Ironman distance triathlon (2.4 mile/3.9km swim, 112 mile/180.2km bike, 26.2 mile/42km run) is rare. So rare, that only about one in 1,000 people in the US have completed one. But James Lawrence is that .1%.

  • Since March, Lawrence has completed 101 triathlons.
  • That’s over 14,060 miles of triathlon racing.
  • Over 2,620 miles of running, 240 miles of swimming, and 11,200 miles of biking across a fourteen-week period.

How to train for 14,000 miles: On social media, people know Lawrence as “Iron Cowboy.” If you take a look at his accomplishments, the name seems pretty fitting.

  • From March 1st-June 9th, Lawrence swam from 5:30 in the morning until 7:30 at night.
  • But other than that, there really wasn’t much pre-planning.
  • In an interview with Lawrence said, “there’s no such thing as training for 101 successive 140.6-mile long triathlons.”

It takes a team: Over the course of the 101 days, Lawrence wasn’t alone in the pool or on the trails. He had an entire team helping him through each event as well as several athletes who traveled in to spend the day racing with him.

  • Even the CrossFit community’s own Heber Cannon decided to jump in on a whim, giving himself just eight hours of prep time.
  • “I’m blown away by the accomplishment of 101 full-length triathlons in 101 days. I’m equally impressed by the community that came out to support,” said Cannon in an Instagram post.
  • “Literally nationwide, people rallied behind the endeavor. Locally, it was almost a madhouse of supporting people who were engaged in all different elements of the conquer 100 experience,” he concluded.

Reflections on the event: Completing just one Ironman distance triathlon is a feat in itself but completing 101 in 101 days is superhuman.

  • “I believe we reset history, made sports endurance history, and completely defied logic. A new bar has been set to what the mind, body and spirit can accomplish,” Lawrence said.
  • His 101st day was not what he originally set out to do. In fact, the final day of racing was something that Lawrence added on.
  • “I love the fact that after reaching 100 completions, I threw down one more on my terms,” he said in an interview with
  This Week in CrossFit 

This Week in CrossFit

If you thought the weeks leading up to the CrossFit Games would be slow, you my friend were mistaken…you and us both. It was a non-stop week of leaderboard shake-ups due to a handful of positive drug tests, and Dave Castro teasing a couple of more Games Events. Let’s dive right in…

Three teams failed drug tests, new teams are being called up to compete at the Games:

We won’t get into the nitty-gritty details here, as each situation is very different. But here is who’s invites have been revoked and which teams will now head to Madison:

CrossFit Games Individual Events 3 and 5 announced:

  • IE3: 550-yard sprint
  • IE5: 4 rounds for time
    • 4 rope climbs
    • 500/400 meter ski erg
    • Sand bag carry
  • We clearly don’t have all the details just yet, but some nice teasers to mull over for the next week and a half.
Continue Reading...


Should You Be Taking Pre-Workout?

Some swear by it, some claim it gives them the jitters, and some think it's a complete placebo. But what is the truth behind pre-workout supplements? And should you be taking one before your workout?




A Free Ascent Blender Bottle

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Jacob Heppner Getting Hit in the Face

The big fight against Josh Bridges is coming up fast, and training is intensifying in the Heppner camp. Get a peek behind the scenes during his first sparring match and see some punches thrown (and taken).



A Free Steak and Lobster Dinner

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Making Green Rice

Just to be clear, this is not rice that has gone bad. This is rice made green with fresh herbs, flavorful spices, and a kick of heat from a few jalapeños. Perfect side dish for any protein and also a great grain to add to bowls.


Chalk Up Highlights is our section dedicated to celebrating our community’s wins in the gym. Follow @ChalkUpHighlights and submit your highlights to [email protected] to be featured.

2/4: Valentine’s Day Massacre (Tucson, AZ)
2/4: The 2023 Winter Classic (Danbury, CT)
2/4: GOAT Youth/Teen Fitness Competition: Individual, Age Groups 10-17 (Olyphant, PA)
2/4 - 2/5: Modena Challenge: Intermediate and Rx (Modena, Italy)
2/10 - 2/12: Fittest if the Coast Championship (Charleston, SC)
2/11: Cupid’s Clash (co-ed pairs) (Staten Island, NY)
2/11: The Big Chill (Chillicothe, OH)
2/11: Cupid’s Clash at THRIVE CrossFit 103 (Staten Island, NY)
2/11: Valentine’s Day Crush (North Hollywood, CA)
2/11: The Big Chill (Chillicothe, OH)
2/12: The 2023 RCF Winter War (Londonderry, NH)
2/18: Moultrie South Georgia Classic (Norman Park, GA)
3/1 - 3/31: Barbells For Bullies: Sit Ups For Pups (Online Event, United States)
3/3 - 3/5: CrossFit Loop Goggins 4x4x48 (Castle Rock, CO)
3/11 - 3/12: Battle Of The Mood 2k23 (Genova, Italy)
3/18 - 3/19: Okanagan Valley Throwdown (Penticton, Canada)
3/25 - 3/26: Costa Dorada Fitness Challenge (Tamarit, Tarragona, Spain)
3/25: No Weak Links (Marcy, NY)
3/25 - 3/26: Beach Brawl – Spring (Pensacola Beach, FL)
3/30 - 4/8: Nine27 Athletics Spring Showdown (Online, Virtual)
4/1: 2023 Cougars & Cradle Robbers Throwdown (Salem, MA)
4/2: CFC Clash (Tallahassee, FL)

See all upcoming events

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