On November 4 (2017), Kearneysville’s Iron Musket CrossFit (120 Commerce Circle, Suite 500) became the only gym in West Virginia to host The Garage Games’ Masters Tour—giving thirtysomethings to sixtysomethings in the region an opportunity to compete in a nationwide strength and endurance competition.
Masters athletes between 30 and 65-plus were segmented into various divisions by age, gender, and a choice of doing the workouts RX (as prescribed) or scaled (easier movements). A total of 13 events were held nationwide between January and November, with video submissions valid through the end of December.
The event at Iron Musket (IMCF) saw 18 people compete in various divisions, tackling the three separate workouts. For some, it was their first competition, while others had thrown down before. For all, it was the opportunity to test their mettle and try to win a medal.
Travis Titus, 40, who competed in the RX 40-44 Male category, finished tenth in the nation in a competitive class, and second at the IMCF event, but impressively secured the number one spot in the first workout with a combined total of 785 pounds lifted.
The first workout, dubbed “3-2-1,” was a maximum weight complex of three deadlifts, two power cleans, and one thruster. The highest weight lifted in each category was combined for a total. Competitors had eight minutes to complete the task.
“I knew I would crush that first event,” said Titus. “I had seen the numbers from the earlier events and knew I could lift heavier. We had strong individuals, but the problem for most people is the thruster, because it’s hard to press it overhead. That’s not an issue for me.”
This was his first competition, and Titus said he had a great experience, despite failing to meet his goal of a top five finish. “In looking at the national ranking, I mentally figured out what numbers I wanted to reach for a good finish, a top five finish,” he said. “The second event was tough, forcing me to re-evaluate what I’m good at and what I need to work on.” Titus finished 33 in the second workout, “30/30,” which was five rounds of 30 seconds of work and 30 seconds of rest: burpee box jumps and toes to bar. The total number of repetitions created the score.
Titus admitted he is competitive by nature but has never embraced the competitive side of CrossFit. “I do like supporting the gym and wanted to participate. Plus, as you get older, it gets harder to show up everyday and work hard. The recovery process is longer. Sometimes you need a reason to come to the gym. When you don’t do as well as you hoped, you go back to the drawing board, see where you lack, and go fix it.”
Taryn Myers, 42, placed tenth nationwide in the Scaled 40-44 Female division and first at the IMCF event. It was her first competition outside of the annual, more informal, CrossFit Open, which she also tackled earlier this year.
“To say I was scared and nervous is an understatement,” she said. “This is something I would have never done if it weren’t for walking through the doors at Iron Musket CrossFit back in January. CrossFit and the IMCF family have changed my life. Don’t ever say you can’t do something! With CrossFit, ‘can’t’ is not in the vocabulary. You merely scale. There is a scale for everyone, and as time goes on, and with the help of awesome coaches, that scale changes.”
Lewis McElfresh Jr., 60, has been a member of IMCF for the past eight months. He not only came in first in the Scaled 60-64 Male class at the gym (where he was the sole competitor), he earned that prize nationwide as well. Not too shabby for his first competition.
“I have to say, I performed much better than I anticipated, and I attribute some of my performance to being motivated by the atmosphere of camaraderie and friendly competition,” he noted. “Kudos to the owner and coaches and all those who helped make the Garage Games a success.”
In the third workout, McElfresh burned through it with time to spare, moving quickly through “Mod Helen,” which was three rounds for time of a 400-meter row, 21 kettlebell snatches, and 12 ring rows (the RX version did 12 pull-ups). Competitors had to try and complete the workout in the time allotted. Their time (or reps performed) equated to their final score.
Although McElfresh has always been active, he laments discovering CrossFit so late in life, where he contends he’s found the best combination of strength training, endurance, and cardio. “The best part about CrossFit is that it’s ever-changing and never mundane,” he emphasized. “It promotes camaraderie and friendly competition, which I really enjoy. I only wish CrossFit was around thirty or forty years ago.”
A Productive Future
Keri-Anne Mackenzie, owner of IMCF, said she was pleased to provide the venue for the Masters Tour. “Being able to host the Garage Games was such an amazing experience. I am looking forward to housing more in the future, as well as our own annual functions. The athletes gave their all and it really makes my job so gratifying.”
Contestants and winners from Iron Musket’s “WV Pride” 2017 Garage Games’ Masters Tour included: RX 30-34 Male: Steven Mackenzie (1 IMCF, 12 nationwide) // RX 40-44 Female: Jennifer DePoto (1 IMCF, 14 nationwide); RX 40-44 Male: Jason Bowers (1 IMCF and 7 nationwide), Travis Titus (2 IMCF, 10 nationwide), Chris Butler (3 IMCF, 23 nationwide), Ryan Knorr (25 nationwide), Tighe Cullinane (39 nationwide), Jerry Frushon (42 nationwide) // RX 50-54 Male: Charles Burditus (1 IMCF, 14 nationwide) // RX 55-59 Male: Donald Glab (1 IMCF, 3 nationwide) // RX 65+ Male: David Taetle (1 IMCF, 5 nationwide) // Scaled 30-34 Male: Wayne Maranda (1 IMCF, 7 nationwide) // Scaled 40-44 Female: Taryn Myers (1 IMCF, 10 nationwide), Wendy DeLawder (2 IMCF, 13 nationwide) // Scaled 40-44 Male: Bill Young (1 IMCF, 8 nationwide), Dennis Carmickle (2 IMCF, 10 nationwide // Scaled 45-49 Female: Debbie Cefalu (1 IMCF, 17 nationwide) // Scaled 60-64 Male: Lewis McElfresh Jr (1 IMCF, 1 nationwide).
Find out more at www.ironmusketcrossfit.com.