Road to the Games: Watch the Hour-Long 2018 CrossFit Regionals Documentary

As the Reebok CrossFit Games approach, CrossFit’s media machine is in overdrive and HQ is churning out fantastic, high quality videos with regularity. Along with the CrossFit Games Update Studio, the new Brent Fikowski documentary series, scores of Regionals videos and, in the background, the filming of next year’s CrossFit Games movie, there’s another series worth watching.

Road to the Games is one of our favorite traditions and each year the shows just keep getting better. The series started in 2016 with an 11-minute look at Katrin Davidsdottir and Ben Smith, and the series slowly expanded until we got this latest video, the longest in the series’ history: “Regional Rollercoaster,” clocking in at 68 minutes.

Each episode typically usually focuses on two or three athletes (a great example is the first episode from the 2018 season, which looked at the Dottirs) and this latest episode took an unusual approach that focuses on one of the sport’s biggest athletes and a lesser known competitor who has yet to qualify for the Games.

If we’re talking about who the top male individual most competitive CrossFit athletes after you say Mat Fraser, you’ve got to say Vellner.

Patrick Vellner is the star of this short, and we get an interesting look at his job as an intern at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, along with his home life (three roommates) and how he approaches Regionals. This is, in fact, a look at the highs and lows of the Regionals and how competing is different when compared to the Games. (Vellner, for instance, is far stricter with his diet during the Regionals when he doesn’t need quite as many calories. In other words, it’s chicken, rice, and egg whites all day.)

[What’s the best meal to eat before a CrossFit workout? Here’s the science-backed answer.]

While Vellner podiumed both times he went to the Games an individual, Tia Wright, meanwhile, has never qualified. This makes for a pretty interesting dichotomy between the two, and we’re looking forward to seeing where the rest of the season takes us.

Featured image via @pvellner and @johanyjutras on Instagram.

Nick English

Nick English

Nick is a content producer and journalist with over seven years’ experience reporting on four continents. His first articles about health were on a cholera outbreak in rural Kenya while he was reporting for a French humanitarian organization. His next writing job was covering the nightlife scene in Shanghai. He’s written on a lot of things.

After Shanghai, he went on to produce a radio documentary about bodybuilding in Australia before finishing his Master’s degrees in Journalism and International Relations and heading to New York City. Here, he’s been writing on health full time for more than five years for outlets like BarBend, Men's Health, VICE, and Popular Science.

No fan of writing in the third person, Nick’s passion for health stems from an interest in self improvement: How do we reach our potential?

Questions like these took him through a lot of different areas of health and fitness like gymnastics, vegetarianism, kettlebell training, fasting, CrossFit, Paleo, and so on, until he realized (or decided) that strength training fit best with the ideas of continuous, measurable self improvement.

At BarBend his writing focuses a little more on nutrition and long-form content with a heaping dose of strength training. His underlying belief is in the middle path: you don’t have to count every calorie and complete every workout in order to benefit from a healthy lifestyle and a stronger body. Plus, big traps are cool.

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