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Spartan Race To Support Gyms Worldwide

Morning Chalk Up

April 15


Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up. The Atlas Games announced that it would officially cancel its event for 2020, and it doing so, raised the question of how the seven remaining first-year Sanctionals will weather the COVID-19 financial storm. And, CrossFit HQ announced a deadline extension for its AGOQ video review. Today:

  • The Atlas Games postpones to 2021, what does that mean for other first-year Sanctionals.
  • CrossFit HQ bumped the AGOQ video deadline to April 29, the leaderboard should be finalized by May 11.
  • Spartan Race announces the Gym Protection Project.
  • CrossFit affiliate owners provide some real-life insight into surviving COVID-19.

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“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” – Gandalf


Atlas Games Postpones Indefinitely, Highlights Sanctionalss Predicament

  Atlas Games Postpones Indefinitely, Highlights Sanctionalss Predicament  

Another Sanctional is taking a potential pass on the 2020 season, as the Atlas Games provided an update today that indicated that they’ll be looking towards the 2021 season as the next time when they could host their event. The update comes on the heels of a tweet from the official CrossFit Games twitter account stating that “The Fittest on Earth will be crowned,” and three other Sanctional events changing course. The Lowlands and French Throwdown will be forgoing their 2020 events, while the Rogue Invitation will take place online, and none of them will not send an athlete or team to the Games this season.

A sign of the times: The Atlas Games were less than 24 hours away from the start of competition when the plug got pulled on their event. The heartbreaking turn soon snowballed into worldwide lockdowns and the postponement of nearly every Sanctional thereafter. The update they provided today gives a much bleaker outlook on the Atlas Games’ future beyond just this season, but they’re not alone. The details of the update are indicative of the various dilemmas that many events face regardless of what CrossFit HQ does with the Games.

Red tape restrictions: One of the key factors in the Atlas Games update was the recent development that the Quebec government is calling for all sporting events to be canceled until August 31. Unless something changes very quickly, this puts an end to the chances that the Atlas Games can take place this season.

  • Every Sanctional will have to deal with this, at least on some level whether it be at the city, state/provincial, or national level and it’s safe to say the concerns of each individual event aren’t high on the bureaucratic to-do list.
  • The remaining Sanctionals take place in 10 different countries, meaning 10 different sets of governments at a minimum that need to sign off before anything moves forward.
  • Even if the green light is given, there is still the question of what exactly will be allowable once things open up, and it’s more than likely there will be some restrictions on event size and spectator allowances.

The current financial burden is huge: The Atlas Games were in a particularly rough spot — the day the event had to shutter meant upwards of a $30,000 loss alone due to the costs associated with having already begun the setup and transport process onsite. But the financial strain of the postponements and cancellations are widespread across the board.


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CrossFit HQ Extends Video Review Process for AGOQ

  CrossFit HQ Extends Video Review Process for AGOQ  

CrossFit Headquarters announced in a Facebook post and in a release on their website that they would extend the review process for the Age Group Online Qualifier to April 29. The original deadline was set for 5:00 p.m. PT on Monday, April 13, to finalize the video review process and assess any penalties and scoring adjustments.

The bottom line: Citing that they were “focused on supporting CrossFit affiliates dealing with temporary closure”, HQ did not meet the deadline they originally published in the 2020 CrossFit Games Rulebook.

  • HQ announced that appeals of any penalties and scoring adjustments would now conclude on May 11.
  • They did not announce when and if Games invitations for the Age Group divisions would be sent out.
  • This marks the second time this season that HQ has missed a video review deadline. In December, HQ missed their self-imposed deadline to complete the video reviews and finalize the worldwide leaderboard of the Open.
  • According to a number of age-group athletes who the Morning Chalk Up contacted, HQ asked for two videos (AGOQ event one and six) from the top-25 athletes in each division.
  • The athletes said they had all received an email saying one of their video submissions (event six) was received and accepted within a week of submitting their videos.
  • This leaves one video from each of the 400 athletes who submitted their video yet to be reviewed.

Spartan Race To Support Gyms Worldwide

  Spartan Race To Support Gyms Worldwide  

All I remember was I couldn’t breathe, swam in 40-degree water, didn’t fail a single obstacle, met some cool folks. And now I have the worst Fran cough of my life.”

If that comment from Jacob Heppner — after taking part in the Spartan Race World Championships — didn’t spark your interest, organizers have now given CrossFitters a million more reasons to give obstacle racing a try.

Spartan is the latest organization to assist gyms struggling during the coronavirus pandemic with its Gym Protection Project (GPP) which will give away one million free races, to any gym member continuing to pay fees, despite mandated closures.

  • In a statement, the Spartan Team said: “Our goal at Spartan is to support you, your fitness business and your members by enhancing the value that you already provide, as well as, re-connect the culture you have worked so hard to create.”
  • “No gimmicks. No costs. This is simply our way of providing support for our passionate and purposeful friends doing everything possible to change lives through fitness,” the statement said.

The Spartan franchise has also been hit hard by COVID-19 with CEO Joe De Sena revealing 75 percent of staff have been placed on furlough leave.

  • He addressed the issue on Youtube, also announcing the brand’s COVID-19 policy to give racers a free entry for any race in 2020 that had to be moved or canceled.
  • “Everyone’s feeling it but that said, I’ve got to be proud of our team, everyone’s leaning in…There’s going to be a lot of companies that don’t come back,” he said.
  • That’s why the Spartan CEO is launching the GPP, for other brands and businesses in the industry in a similar situation.

How it works:

  • Anyone still paying fees to their gym or affiliate is eligible to enter any Spartan Race, Tough Mudder or DEKAFIT event in the 2020/2021 race season, free of charge. Most races usually cost upward of $100 USD.

“I was scared like a baby:” Florida Affiliate Owners Experience COVID-19 Firsthand

  “I was scared like a baby:” Florida Affiliate Owners Experience COVID-19 Firsthand  

Gabriel Fernandez calls his family’s recent battle with COVID-19 “one of the roughest times we have had as a family.”

  • “It was real fear. I tell people I was scared like a baby. It was really really hard,” said Fernandez, who owns Forever Young CrossFit in Orlando, Fla. with his wife Karol Costa.

Gabriel, 33, and Karol, 32, and their two-and-a-half-year-old son Martin Fernandez, all became ill and tested positive for the novel coronavirus in March. The illness took its toll physically, but also emotionally, Gabriel said.

It was so overwhelming and scary that when their friends and family reached out, they couldn’t even get themselves to reply, he explained.

  • “Emotionally, it just drained us. We felt bad but we weren’t able to talk to anybody,” he said.
  • “We just needed to step away (from loved ones) because it was a really emotional time.”

In an Instagram post two weeks ago, Karol wrote:

  • “I am sorry I haven’t posted all the healthy meals my child is eating during social distancing, or I haven’t posted emotional quotes especially during this tough time…The COVID-19 has taken my energy. Not only my physical energy, but mostly my emotional energy. I sometimes feel like the virus (has) brought (out) a different person inside me, the opposite of the person I know — someone vulnerable, pessimistic, anxious and depressed.”

It was such a stressful experience for the family that Gabriel lost 16 pounds in just three weeks.

Same Same, But Different

Through their sickness, Gabriel, Karol and Martin all experienced different symptoms.

Martin had a fever every single night for two weeks, and he lost his appetite and had less energy than usual. Gabriel, too, suffered from a fever and experienced utter exhaustion.




The Buttery Bros Hit United in Movement Workout Four and Check-In with Chandler Smith and Bethany Shadburne

In this episode, Heber Cannon and Marston Sawyers get some advice from Chandler Smith on how to attack United in Movement’s workout four. And, they check in with Games Athlete Bethany Shadburne who stores her kettlebells in her……bathroom?!

  Morning Chalk Up  


Reebok Gear

Today through April 24 Reebok is having a sitewide sale. Shop now and use the code “HOME” to pick up Reebok gear at up to 50% off including the Nano 9.

  Morning Chalk Up  


DIY Home Gym Projects with Kristi Eramo O’Connell

Take your garage gym to the next level with these DIY projects. Kristi Eramo O’Connell and Pat O’Connell add some cool implements to their home arsenal including a slosh pipe and a pulley system.

  Morning Chalk Up  



How To Become A Professional Nutrition Coach

Now might be the best time in history to start an online side hustle or full-on career. In a brand new 3-part video series Adee Cazayoux of Working Against Gravity will teach you how to do just that. She’ll teach you the keys to getting people great results as a nutrition coach, how to get your first 3 clients in 7 days without sleazy marketing tactics, and so much more. The best part is it’s completely FREE!

  Morning Chalk Up  


Turkey Meatballs in Tomato Basil Sauce with Burrata

Give this Italian inspired turkey meatballs recipe a try this week. They are simmered in a delicious, homemade spicy tomato basil sauce with creamy burrata cheese. These juicy turkey meatballs and sauce are savory, spicy, creamy and make a delicious weeknight dinner with your favorite pasta or even spaghetti squash.





Community Roundup: Online Competitions and More

Here are a few things we have our eyes on around the CrossFit community:

  • sheSTRONG noplacelikehome: Two of the co-owners of CrossFit Indestri in Collingwood, Ontario, Jennifer Nichol and Steph McKean have launched sheSTRONG a company based on the strength, health and empowerment of women, by women, for women. It will consist of workouts, workshops, events, competitions, retreats and an apparel line. They are hosting an online competition that begins this week called “noplacelikehome.” It will include four workouts over four weeks announced each Friday, and on Sundays they will host live virtual zoom classes where all the registered girls and women can come together to do the workout. The fourth and final live workout will take place on Sunday, May 10, Mother’s Day. 
  • Garage Gym Series: Girls Gone Rx is launching their annual Garage Gym series and registration opens up on April 15. The event will take place June 10-28 and is co-ed. There are two workouts per week, one strength and one conditioning, announced on Wednesdays and there is both a scaled and Rx division. Best of all, Morning Chalk Up readers can use the code “ChalkUp” for registration discount.  
  • #WerkFromHome: Three weeks ago, OUTWOD launched their #WerkFromHome daily online classes by and for the LGBTQ+ community. The first two weeks saw 8 LGBTQ+ instructors streaming to over 60 attendees and Week 3 is going to be even bigger with Games Athlete Meg Reardon on the schedule to teach a class. Registration is $7 per session and is a tax-deductible donation to The OUT Foundation. Each class is presented via Zoom and attendees will receive an access code via email 15 minutes prior to class. Meg Reardon’s class will be live on April 18 at 12pm est.
  • CrossFit Apex: On Saturday April 11, CrossFit Apex, owned by 2009 Fittest Woman Tanya Wagner, celebrated it’s 12th anniversary with 12-hour “VIRTebtration” on Zoom. Although members could join in the call at any time, the idea was for members to join in during the hour they started at Apex. Every hour included a CrossFit celebrity guest like Nicole Carroll, Chase Ingraham, Bill Grundler, Sean Woodland, Rory McKernen, Christy Adkins and Dave Castro. Every hour each member did 1-5 rounds of “Kelly” and every hour included an “Apex Give Away” where members donated canned goods, gloves, masks, and lunches to local hospitals. From all of us at the Morning Chalk Up, Congratulations on 12 years CrossFit Apex!
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