2023 TYR Wodapalooza Individual Event Preview: “Back to the Future”

Chipper, chipper, chipper with kettlebells, rope climbs, and running.

Another 2023 TYR Wodapalooza Individual event was released on Jan. 10, 2023. It is a good, old-fashioned mixed-modality chipper event titled “Back to the Future” that combines gymnastics, kettlebell work, and a one-mile run. Athletes will have 22 minutes to perform the following workout as fast as they can:

2023 TYR Wodapalooza Individual Workout — “Back to the Future”

Complete for time: 

Time cap: 22 minutes

Editor’s Note: This article is an op-ed. The views expressed herein and in the video are the author’s and don’t necessarily reflect the views of BarBend. Claims, assertions, opinions, and quotes have been sourced exclusively by the author.

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This long, down-and-back chipper has several challenging movements that athletes must navigate over a long period. That nasty one-mile run in the middle will likely prove to be a difference-maker. The challenge with an Assault Runner is being unable to see where any of the other athletes are in the run, as one could on a track. Therefore, there is a danger of getting either complacent and moving too slowly or zealous and moving too fast. The former could cost points, while the latter could lead to early burnout.

The secrets to success in workouts like this are pacing and patience. Athletes need not be baited into what anyone else is doing until the very end.

Picks to Win: Brent Fikowksi and Emily Rolfe

Fikowski is a clear pick to win a chipper of this style. Looking back to the days of Regionals, these are the types of workouts he wouldn’t just win but often score top performance worldwide. Here are some of those results:

Fikowski – Chippers
2014 Regionals Event  6 1st Region (1st World) —20:21
2015 Regionals Event 3 1st Region (6th World) —25:53
2016 Regionals Event 6 1st Region (8th World) — 10:06.74
2017 Regionals Event 3 1st Region (1st World) — 10:25.44
2018 Regionals Event 5 1st Region (1st World) — 13:30.03

It’s difficult to imagine him not having a top-three finish at Bay Front Park in Miami, FL, though he’s most likely to win this event.

Rolfe doesn’t have an impeccable record on chippers like Fikowski —no one does — but Rolfe’s two event wins at the CrossFit Games came on long, grindy workouts. She was also the runner-up on the “Minnesota Mash Up” during the 2022 Granite Games Semifinal this past season. At that same Semifinal, Rolfe scored fourth on the legless rope climb workout. As long as that carries over to four clean, consecutive climbs to begin this workout, Rolfe should manage the time domain and remaining movements better than most of the field.

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Dark Horses: Leonel Franco and Hanna Karlsson

A couple of lesser-known, and possibly risky picks, are Leonel Franco and Hanna Karlsson. Franco is an intriguing athlete looking to prove he’s a contender in North America. He had sneakily good finishes on the same two workouts at Semifinals as Rolfe, taking ninth on the “Minnesota Mash Up” and sixth on the legless rope climbs. 

Karlsson is coming off a breakout performance at the 2022 Dubai Fitness Championship in December 2022, where she took eight overall. En route to that finish, she ranked seventh on the Burj Khalifa Challenge, which was by far the longest workout of that competition, and won the “Ride or Die” workout, proving some prowess with legless rope climbs. It’s a decent combination that could set her up well for, perhaps, her competition-best finish on this long down-and-back chipper. 

Damage Control: Tudor Magda and Emma Tall

To keep it simple, Magda did not have a great showing in 2022 in longer-time domain workouts, especially at the 2022 CrossFit Games. He was 38th on “Bike To Work,” 29th on “The Capitol,” and 36th on “Up and Over” — the three longest workouts that year. The good news for Magda is he’s young, seems adaptable, and could turn his fortune around. However, until he shows that he can buck his previous trend on these types of workouts, his finish will likely have to stem bleeding too many points.

Emma Tall missed out on the Semifinals and the Games in 2022 due to injury. However, looking back at her 2021 CrossFit Games performance, there is a similar trend to Magda: poor finishes in long events (other than the swim/kayak). She was 29th on Event Four, clocking in at just under 20 minutes, and 28th on Event 10 with a time of nearly 26 minutes. This is a different workout altogether than those were, but like Magda, Tall needs to prove she’s capable of performing well in long workouts that don’t involve swimming against an elite field. 

Featured image: @fikowski on Instagram