Rainhill Trials Competition Day!

A few weeks ago I competed at the Rainhill Trials in Manchester; one of the biggest CrossFit competitions in the UK.

I qualified for the competition 45/60 in my category so as a result was in the first heat (of two).

I prepared THIS document for the competition and followed it almost exactly.

7.45 - we arrived at the arena, got comfortable and had a wander around the venue.

I then had my first meal of the day, lots of carbs and minimal fat.

8.40 - Athlete & Judges briefing

Adam Sawyers Rainhill Crossfit

I asked quite a lot of questions, a fair few I had written down ahead of time, mainly questions on logistics around each event.

Then…. relax and wait.

10.00 - Time to warm up for event 1. I followed my warm up plan, taking my time through each movement and everything felt good, no aches or pains. In the warm up area I did 80kg for the weightlifting complex and it flew up. Good.

10.50 - Event 1: 5 minutes to establish a 1 rep max clean, thruster, push press.

I greeted my judge, told him my rough plan, then as soon as the buzzer started loaded the bar to 90kg - comfortable lift.

Immediately I put 95kg on the bar, then sat on one end of the bumper plates, Rachael was only about 5 feet away from me, so I waited for her time call out, at around 2.00 into the event I lifted 95, again, no problems.

100kg next. Bar loaded. Sit down and wait.

1 minute left - stand up, complete the lift.

Adam Sawyers Rainhill Trials Crossfit

First place in my heat - good enough for second overall.

A 2 minute break before event 2 - 3 minute AMRAP of kettlebell snatches and overhead lunges.

My plan was to just keep hold of the kettlebell and keep moving, that’s exactly what I did. I held a steady pace for the first 90 seconds then for the second half just kept moving as quickly as I could.

Knowing that when rushing the reps my kettlebell snatch technique might break down I put on two sets of sweat bands to act as a small cushion just in case I bashed my wrists.

88 reps - first in my heat again, tied 9th overall.

Straight into the cool down I had planned, happy with what would turn out to be my two best events for the day.

12.50 - Event 3: 8 minute AMRAP of hang cleans at 50kg, wall balls and double unders.

4-6-8-10… for the cleans and wall balls, 15 double unders each round.

This started well, maintaining my double unders unbroken and splitting up the hang cleans as planned.

Adam Sawyers Rainhill Crossfit

However, the wall ball target was significantly smaller than the one I had used and cost me around 5 reps where I accidentally threw the ball too high and missed. On one of these the ball landed on my face, busting my nose… whoops!

I finished the event 34th overall, getting onto the round of 16.

15.35 - Event 4: Run (200-300m) - Row 15-10-5 calories - Burpee over rower 15-10-5. 8’ cap.


That’s what this workout came down to for me. I started my run at a steady pace, watching most athletes pass me, thinking ‘they will slow down in the later rounds, stick to your pace’.

They did NOT slow down.

I held around 1500 calories/hour on the rower (a comfortable pace) and did all the burpees jumping down and stepping up.

I think I passed 4-5 people on the second run but no more after that.

45th place. Exhausting.

I didn’t qualify for the final as only the top 15 after the first 4 events do.

23rd overall, a fun day and an incredibly well run competition.

So… in 16 weeks, from not doing any cardio, to doing a crossfit competition - it has been fun!

A huge thank you to everyone who has helped me along the way!

Rachael - always supporting me with training and whatever goals I set.

All of our awesome clients at ASC Performance who have wished me luck and generally been great.

Nick Embleton - for making and fitting us a wall ball target.

Emily Smith - for helping me keep training as much as I was. https://www.inmotiontherapy.co.uk/

Keir and Viv over at Unit 17c for lending me a few bits of equipment for training. http://www.unit17c.co.uk/

And all the volunteers/organisers at the Rainhill competition for a very well run day.

On to the next challenge!

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