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Athletes gather for ultimate test of fitness: CrossFit Games

July 28, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Athletes from around the world are gathering in Carson this weekend for what's being called the ultimate test of fitness: the 2011 CrossFit Games.

"The first year we had somewhere around 60 to 75 athletes. This year we had 26,000 starting," said Jimi Letchford, CrossFit chief marketing officer.

But unlike other competitions they have no clue what they will be doing, other than knowing it's tough.

"Picking things up, jumping on things, running, throwing, pushing, pulling, swinging. It's constantly varied, functional movement at high intensity," he described.

So who does CrossFit? Anyone wanting to be über fit.

"It's a humbling experience because you think you're really pushing yourself and you're giving it everything you got, then you go and look at the stats online and find out, wow, I've got some work to do," said Beau Raine of Mission Viejo.

Raine started when he was in the military. Now a policeman, he encouraged his wife Alex to get involved, who can do at least 12 pull-ups in a row.

"I went from being scared of weight, not wanting to touch a barbell to now I can move weight with confidence," said Alex Raine.

When the games started five years ago, they were held on a ranch in Santa Cruz. This year, the event is at the Home Depot Center in Carson and is sponsored by Reebok, which means money.

"We evolved from $500 cash prize in 2007 to giving the athletes a $1 million prize purse this year," said Letchford.

Top male and female athletes take home $250,000.

Tickets are $50 to see events Friday through Sunday. And it's more than just a weekend of watching; organizers want you to get involved. There's a coaches corner to help you with your workout, an electronic bull, a moon bounce for kids, and a spot for you to try CrossFit, where you might even be crowned the fittest spectator of the games.

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