Here’s Your First Look at the Reebok CrossFit Games Obstacle Course

With the simple caption of “Meanwhile in Madison…” Dave Castro has revealed the first images of the obstacle course that we can expect to see at the 2017 Reebok CrossFit Games. Note that this is a slideshow, so you need to click on the arrow on the right to see both pictures.

Veteran fans of the sport will remember that the 2012 Reebok CrossFit Games featured a military-style obstacle course. Part of that year’s Games took place at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in San Diego County, and the Fittest Man and Woman from that year, Rich Froning and Annie Thorisdottir, both came in third place when they ran the course. This year, they’re returning to tackle CrossFit’s own version.

You can watch the male athletes running the 2012 course in the YouTube video below — it took them less than a minute.

And here you can see the women tackling the event.

As you can see, a couple of the obstacles (ropes and pull-ups) were skipped over. This may be because military obstacle courses are typically run in gear and boots, which makes those exercises significantly more difficult, but it could also be because there was plenty of rope climbing and pull-ups in the rest of the Games’ events.

(Love obstacle racing? Think about what it would be like with your partner hanging from your back, and you’ve got the crazy sport of Wife-Carrying!)

This is the first year that CrossFit is designing their own course from scratch, which is an exciting development.

Judging from the pictures Castro posted, there will most likely be a rope climb portion — it looks like that’s the structure to the right of the first picture — so this time there’s a chance the athletes will be doing some climbing. It seems to be a more military-style and less Spartan-race style, which involves a more diverse range of obstacles that can include rock climbing, weight carrying, and a lot of mud.

The brand new obstacle course is yet another sign that the Reebok CrossFit Games is focusing on further expanding athletes’ understanding of “fitness,” Of course, the Games have always featured running and swimming, but the biking, obstacle course, and significant shift toward dumbbell and other non-barbell movements seems to signify that fitness is getting an even broader definition. We’re all for it.

Featured image via @thedavecastro 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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