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Sunday 27th of July saw Letterkenny hosts its first ever CrossFit competition at Fit-Hub/CrossFit Letterkenny.

Over 70 athletes (novice and elite) took part in what was a cauldron of loud music, sweaty athletes, and highly skilled movements all mixed together in an electric atmosphere. What had started as a friendly invite to CrossFit Derry to come along for a free fun day of competing soon became a full blown Throwdown between the top CrossFitters from Derry, Downpatrick, Coleraine, Omagh, and Letterkenny.

The result was a collection of some of the fittest individuals from the North of Ireland and Donegal leaving every ounce of their energy behind to be crowned fittest male and female in the Northwest.

Proceedings began at 8.30am with the arrival of the athletes, a briefing of the judges by owner, lecturer, and head coach Neil Barrett MSc., and the beginning of the first workout.

Not content with having just elite athletes compete, Neil decided to make it all inclusive for every level of athlete with a scaled (simplified) version of the workouts for the novice CrossFitter. Each athlete competed in 2 workouts until the large number had been whittled down to 10 from each category (elite male, elite female, scaled male, and scaled female). These competitors competed in a semi-final to find the top 5 in each category. The workouts consisted of movements from a weightlifting, gymnastics, and mono-structural nature in a bid to find the most well rounded athlete.

After 8 hours of workouts and the dilution of 70 athletes down to 20 they had the finals. The atmosphere was similar to that of an ancient coliseum and the movements primal in their make-up of rope climbs, box jumps, and muscle ups.

The overall and well-deserved winners hailed from Letterkenny in the scaled category - Ciaran McHugh, Omagh in the scaled women, Donwpatrick in the elite male - Danny Curran, and Derry in the elite female category - Lisa Curran.

A special mention goes out to Letterkenny athletes Jason Daly, John Parke, Finola O’Donnell, Cliona Moore, and Aoibheann Walsh for reaching their respective finals and narrowly missing out on the podium finish.

This was Neil Barrett’s first time organising a competition of this scale and despite a feeling of dejection after the final buzzer went, he said it won’t be the last time his local community will get to witness such an amazing event. Neil would also like to extend a debt of gratitude to everyone who helped out on the day with judging, organising, and cleaning with a special thanks to Patricia and Tommy Hill (Stateside American Restaurant) for providing a healthy Paleo meal for every competitor at the end of the day.

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