CocoPro ambassador Sophie Adams shares her recent account of competing in the Unite Fitness Festival; a two-day CrossFit competition where teams battled it out on one of the country’s most iconic venues, Fistral Beach. Sophie shares details of the workouts, the highs, lows and what continues to keep her motivated.
Unite Fitness Festival
On the weekend of 15–16th September, myself and some other awesome team members from CrossFit Shapesmiths headed down to Newquay to take on Unite; a two day CrossFit competition on the famous Fistral Beach! We knew activities such as running, swimming and pulling things awaited us, and hoped our previous efforts in the Summer Social Throwdown would hold us in good stead.
A fun-filled day, packed with some hearty workouts. The sun was shining and it soon became apparent that Fistral Beach was the perfect location for this event. We kicked off with Team Murph (a classic CrossFit workout). As a strong runner, I was keen to push the pace on the run and get cracking on the pull-ups to give us a bit of a head start. The twist in this workout was not only the team aspect, but also that the last run was along the sand carrying a log, which definitely added a new level to this.
What I liked about this competition was that the time between workouts wasn’t too long or too short and before we knew it event 2, The Atlas Stone Ladder, was kicking off. This certainly wasn’t going to be my forte, especially as I had never picked up an atlas stone in my life! I knew the boys would excel on this, so we planned that they would tackle more of the heavier stones and Ilaria (also in our team) and myself would work faster on the smaller ones.
Event 3 was a combination of ground to overhead work with plates and tyres, with an extra spicy element added in of a stretcher person carry between these. The final event of the day was a series of movements with the infamous team object – the worm. This was another first for me and, I have to say, it wasn’t as bad as I thought and I really enjoyed working with the team to move this 150kg beast.
With day 1 in the bag, we all opted for a little swim/paddle in the sea to help recover our legs and check out what Cornwall’s most famous beach was all about. We got back to the apartment and our crew had cooked up a storm for us and made sure we were fed and ready for the next day.
A groggier affair to start. The body felt fine apart from my quads that had become bricks. Dave (in our team) had arrived with us now and we decided to get him stuck in by letting him tackle the sea swim with Illaria first thing in event 1. The boys and I opted to take on the other element which was a sand dune run, including a sandbag carry back up the dune for time. Again, another great use of the location from the Unite team.
Following this was the chipper – one of my favourite events from the weekend. A three part workout consisting of a team relay, main chipper including double unders, toes to bar, wall balls, kettlebell swings, box jump overs and a row. This was a great opportunity to test my toes to bar after two months of taking a break from any kipping work, and also to test my double unders in a competition setting. We played to each other’s strengths and put the boys on the rower, with Ilaria and myself tackling the double unders and Ryan and I taking on the majority of the toes to bar. Communication was key for this event as it felt like total carnage with all three elements going on at the same time.
The final event for us was fast-paced, moving various objects back and forth over an a-frame, plus ourselves. Of course the heavens opened for the first time during this last workout, covering us all over in sand!
There was a fantastic mix of workouts over the weekend, covering every aspect from cardio, endurance, gymnastics and the pure shifting of objects and people.
I was impressed by all aspects of this event, plus the staff and judges were so accommodating and friendly. Everything ran without a hitch, workouts and timings were clearly explained and the scenery was just breathtaking. It’s safe to say this was my favourite competition I have tackled so far and I would love to go back next year. It feels so rare to find competitions that incorporate everything that Unite had to offer.
What did I learn from this trip?
Mainly to chill out. Ryan showed us all that not worrying about things was more often than not the right thing to do. From nearly missing trains, missing team members, he always seemed to be right.. From a workout perspective I felt strong in myself. The work I have been putting in with George is paying off and my gymnastics work felt good under competition fatigue, whilst moving weight felt more comfortable.
It is always inspiring to see the standard of other athletes and putting into perspective the level you are sitting at. It was also great to have the opportunity to work with objects I hadn’t before and also learn to work with changeable teammates over the weekend, and ultimately how communication is key.