It all began with Plan C on Sunday 11th March. Plan B was put on hold due to uncertainty about the weather. So Plan C was devised and a session titled “The Hills Have Eyes” was born. Each Team was given a clue which lead them to one of our many hill runs. A Hill in every direction N, E, S, W with one of our Trainers on each hill to give them a clue to their next destination. The catch was though you had to run as a Team, together on your Team Rope. At their last hill all four Teams would find their missing Trainer and then a sprint finish was on. BLUE fired a warning shot finishing first with RED second and GREEN and YELLOW sprinting home for third and fourth respectively. Challenge Week Series IV was underway!
So 6am Monday rolls around. We held a Boxing Boot Camp over at Black Beach and the Teams started racking up the numbers. There were high scores, big hits and intensity all round. BLUE stretched their lead a little further with a bunch of new recruits learning the BLUE work ethic very quickly.
The 9.30 Power Yoga sessions had 26 particpants loosening up to perform their Warriors, Trees and Dancer’s Poses. GREEN won their first session despite lower numbers but BLUEs still maintained the top position.
6pm was the famous “Monday night Muscular Mission”. An upper body circuit with shoulder presses, push ups, dips and everything else to drain the chest, shoulders and triceps. Then the tough old challenge of Push Ups to the Death. A strong TEAM performance saw GREEN take out 1st 2nd and 3rd whilst BLUE finished 4th thanks to Hayden Bombacci doing his best solo.
6am Tuesday was a Switch up with the “Superset Smash session”. The Teams performed a short circuit incorporating 10 sec of STRENGTH work on the CORE, 5 sec rest then repeat for 10 consecutive sets. After four rounds it was time for our Side Plank challenge, normally reserved for Thursday mornings. This time it was BLUE who were dominant taking out 1st and 2nd place. The challenge was side plank for one minute, then on the minute, change sides without falling down. It lasted 21 minutes before Holly Fogarty claimed the win.
9.30 Interval Run was titled “Schoolyard Smash” with some old fashioned running games coming into it. There was an “Egg & Spoon” race with some questionable tactics and changeovers. REDs made the most of their small numbers to claim victory but they suffered during their second challenge in a game called “Chains” which was a friendlier version of British Bulldogs. All in all it was a good laugh although the other Teams might not have been laughing at yet another BLUE win.
6pm was the “Rumble in the Jungle” Boxing session with all four Teams smashing out the most energetic Boxing class I have ever instructed in the last 11 years. The atmosphere was electric and they went to another level for a “Line of Fire” that included 28 pad holders. Every participant left exhausted but pumped up for more challenge week torture.
Wed 6am was our famous “Team Rope Relay”. Advanced runners did the 2km trek around the Ligthouse before collecting the Intermediates on the 1km mark and the Beginners at the 500 m line. All Teams had to finish on the Rope together over the finish line. It was closely contested with three Teams sprinting for 1st place. But something happened. No points were awarded to anyone in the end. And that is all I have to say about that…
The “Pheasant Point Phinish” is an energetic free for all where it’s everyone for themselves. It’s always interesting to watch the Teams go aobut their tactics on this one. Should I run to the top of the hill and get 5 points or do I run to the 3 point line but get more of them? The running REDs won their first session after an emotion charged morning.
9.30 STRENGTH is called “Adrenaline Abs” and participants had a circuit alternating lower body exercises and core work for 10 seconds a piece. It was just enough to tire the legs for the Squat Hold challenge afterwards. The finalists were given a depth gauge and after the sound of broken plastic, GREEN were left standing or squatting to be precise.
6pm STRENGTH was called “Afterburn” due to the burning in the arms and the rope burn from Tug O War. The GREEN Team were always going to dominate the rope with superior attendance numbers but they took up the challenge of their best 10 participants vs the 10 best from the other Teams and were awarded a legitimate first place for the challenge.
Thursday’s 6am session was the “Power Hour” up at Kiama Pavillion. They found skipping ropes, tractor tyres and some power based exercises throughout the session. Then it was challenge time with not one, not two but three challenges. Judy Franklin won her fourth straight Plank title in another dominant GREEN performance. BLUE won the “Skip a heartbeat” with some rapid rope speeds and Mark Burns again showed the cyclone ball who’s boss, belting the ball and wall apart.
9.30 “Fight Club” is always popular because participants get an opportunity to belt me personally for a round. They signed up in droves and belted me to all corners of the stage but Anthony Langlois from YELLOW claimed the victory while I went home to ice my upper body from 11 straight beatings.
The 6pm “Kendalls Killer” obstacle course always puts people to the test. We had 1 point on offer for every lap of the course, 2 points if you carried the 2kg medicine ball through it and 5 points if you carried the 5kg med ball. So down the grass over the hurdles through the tyres, sidestep the agility poles and then the climb up the 91 steps of the Kendalls staircase. Plus the time limit was made longer this year with 25 mintues of torture compared to the usual 20. By this stage of the week, 5 extra minutes was a looooong time. The running REDs did it again, living up to their name.
Friday 6am stretch is called “Reach & Recover”. Stretches, tennis balls, foam rollers and massage were the order for the day. It’s just the tonic at this point of the week. The only challenge was the Sit & Reach box, which is easier said than done after 6 days of intense exercise. GREEN’s stretched so far that three people broke the Sit & Reach box culminating in a high average score and a win to keep those BLUEs honest.
9.30am STRENGTH was all about “The Leap”. Team Yellow had the lowest numbers but the best standing long jump and highest vertical leap. They used their rocket shoes to record a victory and stay within sight of the second placed GREENs.
The Saturday session is always a mystery Finale. We turned up at Kiama Sporting Complex in the dark and rain and it was one of the highest attendance rates of the week. The challenge was Survival for the Fittest in the “Oxygen Crossfit Games”. Everyone in for Round one. Top 20 women and Top 12 men in Round two. Gradually we kept knocking people out until we had a final of 12 females and 6 males. Hayden Bombacci took home the mens prize while Amanda Ryman surprised many taking out the womens. There was lots of tallying and points to add but when everyone turned up at the Blue Diamond Bar that night it was BLUE that emerged victorious after a consistent week.
Well done to all the Challengers. It was another great week. Now we’ve had four series and four winners.
Series V starts Sunday October 7th with Australia’s Toughest Fun Run – Saddleback Smash.
You know it’s gunna be another super competitive week!