Cold War 3 — My first Masters Crossfit Competition

Monday December 9, 2013

This past weekend, I participated in Cold War 3 — a team competition put on by Crossfit Liberation at South Run Rec Center in Springfield, VA. Last year, this event was my first ever Crossfit competition.  I was on a team in the RX division and it was pretty tough.  We didn’t finish very high, but it was a really fun time, so I was excited to come back and do it again.

This year, my 40th birthday fell just a few days before the event, so I decided to put together a Masters team.  Everyone had to be 40+ and I figured being the “young folks” in the “old geezer” division, we would be able to hang in a less challenging division than RX.


Team FFFF (pronounced “Pfffft”) —  “The Funky Fit Forty Foursome” aka The Fab Four:  Mark, me, Ken, & Jeannie.

So… how did The Fab Four do?  You’ll have to read my long-winded re-cap of this two day event to find out.


The first event was a swim event in the rec center and it was scheduled to start insanely early — 0630.  I was up at 4am and at the Field House by 5am.  It was COLD. DARK. and EARLY.


Part 1 WOD 1 (Part 1):  Mission X  aka the Swim WOD (10 min cap)

2 teammates each completed the following work:
Swim 200 meters (8 lengths)
80  lunges with plate overhead (Rx/Masters: 45/25; Scaled:  35/15)

One teammate swam while the other did lunges.  When the lunges AND swim were complete, teammates switched roles.

Jeannie & Mark performed this wod.  They did great — they finished first in our division with a time of 8:56!

WOD 1 (Part 2):  Hang Fire6 minute AMRAP

1 minute:  Hang Cleans for Reps (RX: 155/105;  Masters/Scaled: 135/95)
1 minute: Dead Hang Towel Pull-ups

Each athlete started on a different movement, then switched after 1 minute and did the other movement, then repeated this for a total of 4 minutes.

For the final 2 minutes,
One athlete  did max reps weighted ruck sack dead hang pull-ups (RX: 45/25;  Masters/Scaled: 35/20)
One athlete did max reps thrusters  (RX : 155/105;  Masters/Scaled:  135/95)

The teammates who did not compete in the first event had to do the second — so this one was for Ken and me.  I had never done towel pull-ups before — they were tough! I only got a couple the first round and none the second.  I decided to rest instead of struggling and save my energy for the cleans.  I did pretty well on the hang cleans, I forget what my number was, but that was a good movement for me.

For the final 2 movements, Ken did the weighted pull-ups and I did the thrusters (blech!).   I don’t remember how many thrusters I got, but it wasn’t a lot.  We finished last in this wod, with 104 reps, but only 4 reps shy of 4th place.

Mini-Event 1:  Strike Hard, Strike Fast – 3 Rounds for Time, (8 min cap)

 This wod was performed in pairs, simultaneously, on opposite sides of a wall. Each pair had to do the folowing:

1 athlete did 100 double-unders, while the other athlete did a weighted wall sit, with an  atlas stone in their lap.   DUs could only be done while the other athlete remained seated with the stone.

After 100 DUs, partners switched and the 2 second athlete performed 100 DUs while the other athlete sat.  Repeat this for a total of 3 rounds.

Atlas stone weights: RX/Masters:  145/95; Scaled:  115/75

The score is the slowest time, or pair that had the most DUs remaining.

Mark and Jeannie have strong DUs, but Ken and I are weak at this movement.  So we divided up:  Mark & Ken, and Jeannie & I.  Our strongest jumpers went first.   Mark & Jeannie both completed their first round of DUs, but Ken and I were still working on ours when time was called.  Ken got 90+ and I got 82. Sadly, this unimpressive finish put us in last place.  I  have to say — those stones are heavy!  It was really hard to keep them up and maintain the proper position.

After these first two/three events, I was pretty discouraged about my abilities and contributions to the team.  Body weight movements and double-unders are definitely areas of weakness for me.

WOD 2:  Renegade (8 min cap)

This wod involved all 4 members.   There were 4 stations, and each athlete worked at each station for 2 minutes, then rotated, with no transition time.  The movements were:

Row – for calories (any damper setting)
KB Swing (RX: 70/53;   Masters/Scaled: 53/35)
Power Snatch (RX/Masters:   135/95;    Scaled:  115/75)
Wall Balls , to a 10’/9′ target (RX/Masters:   30/20;  Scaled:  20/14)

Score is total combined reps

For this movement, the heavy power snatch was going to be a challenge for most of our team.  My 1RM snatch is 103, so I thought I could get, maybe 5 reps at 95#, but the other folks were not too confident on that move.  So I started on the snatch, so I could do my best while fresh.  I am extremely proud and pleased to say, I got 11 reps!   The other movements were ok, although the wall balls were heavy, and tricky — the “wall” was an iron truss that leaned out away from the wall, so the angle was different.   As a team, we amassed 364 points, which kept us in last place (but only by 3 reps!).

Despite our teams poor finish, I was very proud of my contribution on this event.

IMG_2675.JPG IMG_2700.JPG

Mini-Event 2:  Saboteur (10 min cap)

The was the last event of the day, and we were tired!   It was a division of labor:

For 7 minutes, 2 partners worked simultaneously doing Sandbag-Burpee-Thrusters for max reps.
(Sandbag weight 65/45 for Masters)

At the 7 minute mark, the remaining 2 teammates had 3 minutes to complete as many 15′ rope climbs as possible, one person on the rope at a time. 

Mark & Jeannie took on the burpee challenge, which looked brutal and awful.  I was so happy it wasn’t me.  Then, at the 7 minute mark, Ken jumped on the rope and he and I took turns climbing.   I felt pretty good and moved pretty well and together, we got 12 reps between us.  I was very happy with that and even happier that we completed 78 reps total and came in 3rd on this event (1 rep shy of second place!).

And with that, it was after 6pm and definitely time to go home for the night.


Sunday promised to be colder, with snow and icy sleet in the forecast.  Fun times.   I slept in til 5:30, and made it to South Run by 7am.   Soon it was time to get things started.

WOD 3:  Ambush (10 min cap)

This wod involved all 4 members, split into pairs.

The first pair worked for 5 minutes doing:

2 min Overhead Squat (RX:  135/95; Masters/Scaled:  115/75)
2 min Toes-To-Bar

After 2 minutes of one movement, partners switched and worked for 2 minutes on the other movement.   Then, for the final minute,

Both athletes shared one bar and worked to get max toes-to-bar, with only one athlete working at a time.

Then, at the 5 minute mark, the second pair started their portion:

2 min Jerks (RX: 185/125;   Masters/Scaled:  155/105)
2 min Ring Dips

After 2 minutes on one movement, the partners switched and performed the second movement.  Then, for the final minute, both athletes worked to get max # of ring dips, with only one athlete working at a time.

Score was total reps for both pairs.

Jeannie & Mark went first, working on OHS & TTB.  Then Ken & I went next.   I felt pretty good about the jerks — I got 20, but my ring dips were pitiful (6).  Ken rocked the ring dips and got almost 40 in his 2 minutes.   Our total rep count was 174, which put us in 3rd place for the event.  This was a good event for us, with Mark rocking the TTB and Ken cranking out the ring dips.


Mini-Event 3:  Commando (5 min AMRAP)

2 members of a team had 5 minutes to complete as many bar muscle-ups as possible  (one athlete worked at a time).

Score is Total Rep Count.

We were a bit rushed for this event because we had been outside doing our “extra credit WOD” (see below) so we weren’t feeling super fresh or ready for this one.  Only Ken & Mark have BMUs, so they were our go-to guys.  Ken got 3, but Mark was too wiped after having just finished the other mini-event.  Plus, the bar was rocking with all the athletes kipping and that added an extra degree of difficulty.   3 MUs was only good enough for last place, but it was all we had so what can you do.

Mini-Event 4 (Extra-Credit WOD):  Extraction 

This mini-event was designed to run concurrent to the WODs going on in the field house.  Basically, you came over to a table to sign-up and performed this WOD in between your other events.

Each team member was pre-assigned numbers 1-4, and then, based on the number you had, your role in this wod was pre-determined.  For us, this meant that Ken, our heavy guy, was going to be deadweight in this wod.  Lucky for us, he’s not too heavy.   He had to lay in a stretcher while the rest of us completed a bunch of work.  If I remember correctly we did the following:

Each of 3 active members did 10 burpee “under/overs” with the stretcher.  One athlete did a burpee, the other 2 members picked up the stretcher with Ken in it, and the athelete rolled under, completed another burpee, and then jumped over the stretcher.   The working athlete had to complete 10 of this movement, then rotate to another active member until all 3 had completed 10 burpees each.

After that, active members put on weighted ruck sacks (45#/25#) and  two carried the stretcher, while the 3rd person carried an “odd object”  (6×6 post) ~25 yards.  Then the working members had to do 30 synchronized air squats (w/rucks), then we had to carry the stretcher back while the 3rd person performed tire flips the same distance.  Mark & I took turns doing the tire flips.

Next, two members (Mark & I) had to do 15 hand-release push-ups (with rucks on).  And finally, Mark and I had to  fireman carry  (Ken & Jeannie) the length of the field on last time.

We finished in 9:12, which was the best time of our division.   This was actually a fun WOD, even tho it was cold and snowy, and left Mark fatigued for Mini-Event 3.

WOD 4:  Freedom Fighter (15 min cap)


This wod was for two partners, male/female.


Front Squats/Power Cleans  (RX/Masters:   155/105;   Scaled: 135/95)
Box Jump Overs (RX/Masters:   30”/24”;  Scaled: 24”/20”)
Dumbbell Snatches (RX/Masters:  65/45;  Scaled:  45/25)

For the Round of 21 Reps, one athlete started on Front Squats, and the other on Power Cleans.

When BOTH athletes finished all movements of the 21 rep cycle, then they both started on the 15 cycle, but switched barbell movements.

When both completed the 15 cycle, then they started the round of 9, switching back to their original barbell movement.

Score was time when both athletes finish.

Ken & I did this one — I started on Power Cleans, and he started with Front Squats.   This was supposed to be a sprint, but it was pretty grueling.  I wanted to quit about half through the first round.   But we toughed it out and finished in 13:37, which gave us a 3rd place finish!   I was utterly wiped after this event — but happy with my performance.

Finale WOD:  Divide and Conquer 

The final WOD was only for the top 5 finishers in each division.   Luckily, or unluckily, for us, there were only 5 teams in our division, so we stuck around for the grand finale.   We  were in 4th place overall going into this final wod, by a very small margin  (2 points away from 3rd place, and 3 points ahead of 5th place).

The last event was a 25 minute chipper with a series of movements.   Each movement had to be completed by each individual before anyone could advance to the next movement, and the order of athletes had to be male members first, then female.   Here’s the work each athlete had to perform:

20 deadlifts at 315/205.
1 armed sled pull ~25′ — I forget the weights
Walking lunges with barbell in the front rack (135/95)
Yoke carry barbell back to start line
5 rounds of a barbell complex:  5 hang cleans, then 3 push presses (135/95)

When we heard the weight requirements, we pretty much knew we were sunk.  315 was Mark’s one rep max, and Jeannie wasn’t sure if she’d ever pulled 205 before.  I was tempted to pack it in and call it a day, but we went ahead and gave it a shot.

Ken started us off and got his 20 deadlifts, one at a time.  Then it was Mark’s turn.   315 might have been his *previous* 1RM, but he can now say it is his 6RM.  He did an incredible job pulling 2.5xs his body weight off the floor 6 times.  He gave it his all, and that was all he had, so that is where we finished.

I went ahead and did my deadlifts because I wanted to do something in this final wod and deadlifts are my favorite movement.  I got my 20 pretty easily — a set of 10, then 5, then 5.  But the rest of the work, I was more than happy to skip.

So, our poor finish in this event knocked us back down to 5th place, and our overall finish was last place.

It’s disappointing to know we came in last overall, but I was really proud of our team.   Except for two of the WODs, we were competitive and in contention for placing higher.  The team that came in first had at least one member who was a previous Games competitor, so I didn’t feel back losing to them ;).

Overall — it seemed like the programming, both for masters and the other divisions was REALLY HEAVY.  I didn’t expect Masters to be a cakewalk, but was hoping it would have been more within the capabilities of our team.

Despite that, we had a fun time and and I was so proud of my teammates for all the work and great attitudes.


Cold War definitely lived up to its name — it was COLD!  But it was a really fun time and a good way to spend a cold weekend!

I only got a few photos from the weekend, but if you want to see some excellent photos, check out Chris Nolan’s coverage.  He is a gifted photog and got some amazing shots:

Met Con Photos – Cold War 3


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