A gritty competition involving 106 Crossfit athletes raised $2,000 along with 633 can goods for the Warren County Food Bank last Saturday.
Presented by Highland Rim CrossFit for the third year in a row, Battle of the Badges attracts a wide range of people from all fitness levels - some competing for the first time, others world-class athletes who’ve qualified for the CrossFit Games.
Held at the WCHS indoor facility, the event had 53 teams, which competed for titles in male, female and mixed divisions. Top teams were awarded in two categories: RX, for athletes who performed all workouts using determined weights and reps, and scaled for athletes who did workouts meeting their fitness level.
Top teams in the RX divisions were The Teen and the Masters Athlete (female), Cumberland Athletics (male) and Breakthrough (mixed). Winners in the scaled divisions were Two Blondes Walk Up to a Barbell (female), Edge Fitness Performance (male) and Fat and Flexy (mixed).
As for local teams, Terry Allen and Aaron Roberts, who formed The Creatine Cartel, placed second in men’s scaled while Micah Carr and Pete Geesling - team Is It Over Yet - placed third.
Enjoying the comradery and supporting a good cause drew Allen to the event.
“It’s fun just to compete with a friend,” said Allen. “It pushes you a little harder knowing you have someone depending on you.”
Shellie Browning, who was on Boss Babes in the scaled female division, was motivated to participate because of her partner – 15-year-old Reagan Miller.
“She’s young and new to the sport and wanted to compete so I agreed to be her partner,” said Browning. “We decided to eat big, fat cheeseburgers at Smooth Rapids after the competition so the thought of that was great inspiration after six weeks of meal prepping.”
Added Miller, “I was nervous, but I felt strong. I loved the competitiveness of the day and watching and meeting other athletes. It has made me want to RX.”
Athletes were tested in a variety of ways, with the competition split into six divisions.
The Strong and Gymnasty workout was tough on everyone. Teams had to complete a series of pull-ups, chest to bar pull-ups, bar muscle-ups as well as an ascending ladder of clean and jerks up to 225 pounds.
A unique event in this competition was the O Course designed and run by the Warren County JROTC. The course included wall climbs, low crawl, partner carry, tire flips and a short ruck run. According to Highland Rim Crossfit operator and organizer John Upchurch, most venues don’t have access to a course like that.
“It was the most fun, but challenging,” explained Upchurch. “CrossFit trains you to be prepared for the unknown and it wasn’t announced. A lot of people are blown away and happy that a small town like McMinnville can host a big event like this.”
As for Battle of the Badges, Upchurch says next year will be bigger and better.