It was déjà vu all over again on Sunday afternoon, as reigning champions Rich Froning and Annie Thorisdottir won the 2012 Reebok CrossFit Games and retained their titles as "The Fittest on Earth."
The games, which normally span three days, began on Wednesday with a surprise extra day of competition at U.S. Marine Base Camp Pendleton in San Onofre, Calif. Competitors completed a long, rugged swim-bike-run race in the Santa Ana Mountains, then ran the Camp's School of Infantry obstacle course. Workouts on Friday and Saturday included a track triplet consisting of 400-meter sprints, split-snatches and muscle-ups, a football-style sled-push combined with rope climbs and a power-clean ladder. The competition ended Sunday at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., stuffed to standing-room-only capacity, with three of CrossFit's trademark benchmark workouts, all named after girls: Elizabeth, Isabel and Fran.
Both Froning and Thorisdottir began Sunday afternoon's final series of events in first place and showed few signs of fatigue after 12 events and four days of competition.
Froning, 24, from Cookeville, Tenn., finished Elizabeth (21-15-9 reps of power cleans and ring dips) in a record time of 2:33. He then won Isabel (30 snatches) with a blistering time of 1:20, securing his first-place finish. Knowing his victory was secure, Froning coasted to a fifth-place finish in Fran (21-15-9 reps of thrusters and pull-ups). He ended the weekend with a total of 1,089 points, 114 more than second-place finisher Matt Chan.
This was the fifth games appearance for the 34-year-old Chan from Denver, Colo., but it was his first time on the podium; he is also the oldest athlete to medal in games' history. Thirty-year-old Kyle Kasperbauer, a former running back for the University of Nebraska-Omaha, finished third.
Thorisdottir, 22, from Reykjavik, Iceland, finished sixth in Elizabeth, then first in Isabel with an impressive time of 1:29 to secure her repeat victory. Like Fronning, Thorisdottir also took her foot off the gas during Fran, finishing sixth in that event.
Thorisdottir's 1,062 points put her a comfortable distance above second-place finisher Julie Foucher. The 23-year-old from Ann Arbor, Mich., had finished in fifth place at both the 2010 and 2011 games. Foucher was just four points ahead of third-place finisher Talayna Fortunato, a 31-year-old, first-year competitor from Naples, Fla.