The mystery of the Beast competition was finally unveiled to CrossFitters on March 7.
It all started at CrossFit Squamish, where 96 competitors in teams of three met to hear their objectives for the first time. Exactly what the competition would entail was kept a secret until the day-of, despite hints dropped by organizers in December and January.
"A lot of the talk and the training that we do is going to be based around training for the unknown and the knowable," Jesse Bifano, coach and co-owner of CrossFit Squamish, told The Chief.
"We didn't want to host an event that was just like another event everywhere else. We wanted to offer people something special, and something that was also inclusive."
Finally, the moment came. Organizers filed the male competitors onto a school bus and drove them to the gravel patch next to the Logger Sports field. Although many ventured a guess of what was coming, none anticipated the custom-built stretchers bearing bumper plates. With less than five minutes to figure out how they would carry them, the teams were off to run the Corridor Trail to Smoke Bluffs and 650 metres up the steep gravel path. Then it was the women's turn.
The next three events were announced a week before. The second event was a heavy-lift competition, combining the team's total weight of best deadlifts and benchpresses in 12 minutes. Event three featured a strategy workout, giving teams nine minutes to gain points through a circuit of various tasks designed to be unfinishable. The final event was centred around yet another custom-build feature: a wrapped hay bale that competitors had to lift over a bar the same height as a work truck's tailgate — but on air bikes.
Of the 16 men's and 16 women's teams, there were 13 representing Squamish, including eight from CrossFit Squamish.
One of the Squamish teams was a last-minute add, made up of athletes Bifano could assemble with less than 24 hours' notice. Including MMA fighter Jamey-Lyn Horth (for her first CrossFit competition), the team ended up doing well, placing fifth out of the women's teams.
The winning teams ultimately were Vancouver's CrossFit 604 taking first and second place among the men. CrossFit Squamish's Brad Gilmore, Graeme Minty and Taylor Marshall made up the third-place team for the men.
Out of the women's competition, West Vancouver's CrossFit West 10 took first place. CrossFit Squamish made it to second place with the local trio Tanya Slater, Karen Ogilvie and Jayde Quilty. Behind them, Raincity Athletics/Iron Regime took third place.
Next up, CrossFit Squamish will host its last-ever Strongman competition on May 9. Bifano said they're looking to move on to new events.
As for the Beast, it may be back next year. What new tasks and toys it dreams up will be another mystery until then.