“The buried talent is the sunken rock on which most lives strike and founder.”- Frederick William Faber
Five Outdoor Activities to do in Madison During the CrossFit Games
A core tenet of CrossFit is “using your fitness” in everyday life, and the week of the CrossFit Games is no different. With an abundance of ways to get a sweat at and around the venue (more on that soon), there’s also plenty of opportunities to get outside, stay active and soak in the Madison sunshine.
1. Bicycle the city
As the unofficial bike capital of the Midwest, there’s over 75-miles of off-road bike paths for exploring in Madison. You could rent a bike or hop on a Madison BCycle (electric bike) as your workout for the day, or pedal to the Games from your hotel to skip the parking chaos.
Pro tip: State Street, in the heart of downtown, is a great place to bicycle— no cars allowed!
2. Embrace the lakes
Fun fact: Madison is one of only two cities in the United States on an isthmus (between two bodies of water), with Seattle, WA being the other. Kayaks, canoes, stand-up paddle boards and power boats are all available for rent to take a spin on one of the city’s five lakes. To reserve a rental ahead of time, visit madisonboats.com.
3. Stroll through the Farmer’s Market
Located just outside the Wisconsin capitol building is a local favorite: “Shout out to the Saturday morning farmers’ market on the Capitol Square — it’s the largest producer-only farmers’ market in the U.S.,” said Rob Gard, Director of Communications, Destination Madison and Madison Area Sports Commission. The perfect place to grab treats, fresh produce and gifts, the market famously flows counterclockwise and is open 6:15am-1:45pm on Saturdays only. Address: 2 E. Main St. Madison, WI 53703.
And, if you decide you take a peek inside the 100+ year-old iconic heart of the city, go for it! The capitol building is free to walk through and public drop-in tours are available.
4. Go for a hike
With an average outdoor temperature of 78°F – 82°F, it’s the perfect time to soak in some vitamin D, get your steps in and see the city from a different view. Grab your pals and pick a trail; the City of Madison has a list of the best hikes to enjoy!
5. Get on the green
For traditional golf lovers, there are four city courses: Glenway Golf Course (9-holes), Monona Golf Course (9-holes), Odana Hills (18-holes) and Yahara Hills (36-holes). With clubs available for rent at each location, pack light and go take some swings!
As for disc golf enthusiasts (looking at you, Brian Friend), there are a handful of courses available: Elver Park (Madison’s largest), Hiestand Park, Token Creek County Park and Lake Farm County Park — all of which are 10-15 minutes away from the Games venue.
When you’re looking for a break from competition, there’s plenty of opportunities to embrace the fresh air and use your fitness. For more ideas and links to local attractions, go to visitmadison.com. See you outside!
In case you missed it: Lauren Kalil, the host of The Bottom Line, spoke to Adrian Conway and Jason Croxon about who is going to do better at the 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games, the rookies or the vets?
The Q is back: The online qualifier will go down August 26-28 for the 2022 Rogue Invitational.
They’re going!: CrossFit Nordic Original is going to the Games on short notice and can you tell they’re excited? 🥳
Local love: Great story on how Edmond box, CrossFit 822, will be working out to honor a fallen officer Sergeant C.J. Nelson.
CrossFit Semifinals Directors Talk Harsh Financial Realities of Running Events
In 2018, CrossFit founder and then owner Greg Glassman was frank about the financial truths of running Regional competitions.
“It’s extremely expensive. Look at the Brazil event. We’re at the venue where the Olympics were held. It cost me over a million dollars and what comes out of it is two people go to the Games,” Glassman said.
Four years later, Atlas Games Semifinal Co-Owner and Director Alexis Leblanc-Bazinet is facing a similar reality: He has discovered it’s challenging to even break even, let alone turn a Semifinals event into a profitable business.
Why this matters: Until 2019, CrossFit LLC incurred the costs and responsibilities of finding the fittest athletes to compete at the CrossFit Games. Glassman himself even said running Regional competitions was never a money-making endeavor for the company. That being said, we can speculate that CrossFit LLC was able to fund CrossFit competitions largely because of the revenue they generated from affiliation fees and Level 1 certifications.
But in 2019, CrossFit passed the financial burden—first via Sanctionals and now via Semifinals—to outside organizers like Leblanc-Bazinet, whose businesses don’t always have other revenue streams like CrossFit LLC does, and are now responsible for finding a way to do something CrossFit wasn’t able to do: Turn their events into profitable businesses.
“It was a business call (for CrossFit), and people jumped. We did. We jumped in with a plan where we could make money at the end of it if everything could go right,” said Leblanc-Bazinet, who is also a gym owner and works full-time as a website designer.
The Atlas Games Reality: Unfortunately, almost nothing has gone right for Semifinals organizers like Leblanc-Bazinet, who wasn’t able to host an in-person competition in either 2020 or 2021 due to the pandemic, which caused him to dive into his own wallet to stay afloat.
“I took most of the (financial) hit myself,” he said, adding that he has spent the last two years essentially volunteering countless hours of his time to keep the event alive.
“Depending on what you consider a loss…Is three year of salary a loss? I have been volunteering for three years,” he explained.
What about 2022? Though COVID-19 can arguably be blamed for the last two years, even when Leblanc-Bazinet raised his ticket prices for the recent Atlas Games held in Montreal, Quebec to CA$45 a day, or $115 for the weekend, the event was only able to turn a small profit, and Leblanc-Bazinet was able to take small stipend after three years of not paying himself.
Though grim from a business standpoint, Leblanc-Bazinet said he doesn’t blame CrossFit. “More sponsors would help, but I don’t have a lot of complaints (about CrossFit),” he said.
Emily Rolfe On Working Full-Time While Doing CrossFit: “I have to make it work for me, and make it an advantage”
Canadian Emily Rolfe, who will be competing in her third CrossFit Games next month, was on hand at the CanWest Games last weekend in Coquitlam, British Columbia, and took the time to chat with the Morning Chalk Up about the 2022 season.
Remind me: A quiet competitor, the 33-year-old former gymnast has placed in the top 20 both times she has competed at the Games—18th in 2019 and 15th in 2021—has had an event win on running-based workouts at both Games despite not having much of a running background, and said when it comes to endurance events, “the longer the better.”
Rolfe has competed as much as anyone leading up to this season—ninth at Wodapalooza, eighth at the Dubai CrossFit Championship and 16th at the Rogue Invitational—and has been working on her strength in hopes of reaching her “lofty goal” of being in the top 10 in Madison, WI this summer.
Q&A with Rolfe at the CanWest Games:
Morning Chalk Up: How are you such a good runner even though you were a high-level gymnast (until the age of 22) and don’t have a serious running background?
Rolfe: I don’t know if my technique is great, but I can go fast. I was the kid who won all those cross-country races in elementary school, and it was so stressful. By the time I got into Grade 8, I just had to win.
Adrian Bozman Announces Saturday Cuts, Live CBS Broadcast for 2022 CrossFit Games
On a short episode of Games Central with Sean Woodland earlier this week, Director of Competition, Adrian Bozman revealed some details about the 2022 CrossFit Games schedule, including a plan for athlete cuts, and a live coverage window on CBS.
One big thing: The individual fields will be cut from 40 athletes to 30 athletes at the end of the day on Saturday, while the team field will be cut from 38 to 20 teams at the same time.
Bozman: “It’s pretty straightforward; at the end of competition on Saturday night, we will cut down to the top 30 men and women and at the same time, we will cut down to the top 20 teams. That’s the only cut that is going to be there in this competition.”
“When we started to build the competition and I was getting the programming together,” Bozman continued, “my original intent was to organize the competition in a way that nobody had cuts so that’s the framework I went into when I was planning originally.”
Two factors impacted Bozman and the Games Team’s decision to include cuts again this year. First, in order to provide a robust test, Bozman noted that “as we started looking at the schedule and how massive it starts to become…we had to make some hard decisions.” He continued, “rather than cut away tests or change the nature of some of those tests, we decided that we would rather trim away some of the field at that point so that the test can still be robust.”
The second reason was related to the CBS live coverage schedule on Sunday. “We do have a live broadcast window on CBS which is really exciting and offers a ton of opportunity to showcase these athletes and their performances and to make that possible, to make it visibly possible to showcase some really cool stuff in that window we had to make some really hard decisions about the schedule and the cuts helped to facilitate that as well,” Bozman said.
One more thing: The CBS broadcast schedule was also the cause of another change to the schedule this year. The team competition will conclude the event for the first time instead of individuals.
Bozman explained: “This year, on site for those in attendance, the teams will be the last thing that you’ll see. Their final event is going to be placed after the individual final and there were a couple of reasons for this. Number one, we’ve never done it, so it’s kinda cool to highlight teams at the end of the comp and number two, we had a live broadcast window and that window was a little bit earlier than we’ve had in the past and so, in order to showcase the individual athletes, during that time, we made the decision to flip-flop the schedule a little bit and have the teams conclude.”
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