Reykjavik CrossFit Championship: Stories to Follow

The Reykjavik CrossFit Championships kick off this Friday, the 5th of May. We’re tracking many stories from this event which have potential for exciting developments. Reykjavik has broken from the mold of previous Sanctional events. They’ve invited wildcard athletes. Social media posts hint at the release of a secret Dottir event. Iceland itself has a gorgeous landscape with unlimited potentials for fitness challenges.

Let’s see what this Sanctional has up its sleeve.

Want to watch the live stream of the Reykjavik CrossFit Championship?

Mount Esjan towers over the city of Reykjavik, Iceland. It will be the location of the first Reykjavik CrossFit Championship workout. Photo courtesy of BigFishPR
Mount Esjan towers over the city of Reykjavik, Iceland. It will be the location of the first Reykjavik CrossFit Championship workout. Photo courtesy of BigFishPR

Esjan – A CrossFit Mountain Run

The Reykjavik CrossFit Championship released the first workout on April 11th. It notes something extraordinary. Day one will start on Mount Esjan, about six miles north of Reykjavik.

This 3000-foot mountain range towers over the city of Reykjavik. It is a former active volcano and provides a picturesque backdrop for the first event. The most commonly-used summit loop trail is 4.29 miles, climbing 2441 feet.

The workout announcement states this will be a race to the summit. Athletes climb the entire mountain in a little over two miles. Reykjavik’s post adds a disclaimer:

“The weather can shift quickly and there is no way to predict if it will be hot, freezing, sunny, cloudy, windy, calm, dry, rainy, snowy or all of the above.”

Reykjavik CrossFit “Dottir” Event

This was alluded to by a teaser post on April 10th. Reykjavik made a formal announcement about their “Dottir” event today:

“A few weeks back we announced that there would be a special event at the RCC named “DÓTTIR” but we didn´t tell you anything else🤐

Now it is a real pleasure to tell you all that the “DÓTTIR” event involves 2x Fittest Woman on Earth Annie Thorisdottir going head to head with 2x Fittest Woman on Earth Katrin Davidsdottir on the competition floor 🇮🇸”

Thorisdottir and Sigmundsdottir are part of a three-way tie. They, along with Tia-Clair Toomey, each have two consecutive CrossFit Games titles. This is two of CrossFit’s greatest three athletes going head-to-head.

Reykjavik CrossFit Wildcards

We’ve seen Sanctionals go one of two ways. Some operate as an invitational with a small qualifier (see: Rogue Invitational). Others act as a qualifier, using online submissions to build a global leaderboard. Reykjavik has done both. They’ve held an online qualifier for top athletes, then sent “wildcard” invites out. So far, eight of those athletes have accepted

Male Reykjavik CrossFit Wildcards

Paul Tremblay

Long-time Regionals athletes. Went to the games in 2014 as an individual and 2012 on team Usine CrossFit Ottawa.

Lukas Esslinger

Three-time CrossFit Games individual athlete. Took 21st in 2016, 18th in 2017, and 17th in 2018.

Alec Smith

Brother to 2015 CrossFit Games champion Ben Smith. Alec has also been successful as a professional athlete. He attended the games in 2017 and 2018, placing as high as 25th.

Roman Khrennikov

The first athlete from Russia to qualify for the CrossFit Games. Was unable to attend in 2018 due to passport/political issues between the US and Russia.

BK Gudmundsson.

Tenured Games athlete, reaching the podium with a third-place finish in 2015. Gudmundsson has been to the CrossFit Games five times. He’s only placed outside the top eight once. BK placed second in the world in the 2019 CrossFit Open and took home the title of Fittest in Iceland.

Female Reykjavik CrossFit Wildcards

Emelye Dwyer ‘Woo’

One-time regionals athlete. Jumped all the way to 43rd in the 2019 CrossFit Open.

Haley Adams

Was fittest 16-17 in 2018, second-fittest 16-17 in 2017, and second-fittest 14-15 in 2016. Placed 32nd in the 2019 CrossFit Open.

Thuri Helgadottir

Has gone to the games four times, placing as high as 18th in 2017. Placed 36th in the 2019 CrossFit Open.

Qualifying Athletes

As if the list of wildcards wasn’t enough, many top athletes qualified without an invite.

Streat Hoerner

Has already made it to the games through a 14th-place finish in the worldwide Open. Streat placed 14th in the 2017 CrossFit Games.

Jacob Heppner

An unfortunate series of events took Heppner away from competition in 2017 and 2018. He’s back in 2019 with a vengeance. Heppner already has three CrossFit Games under his belt. He placed third in the CrossFit Open and already has a ticket to the 2019 CrossFit Games.

Elefterios Theofandis

Placed fourth in the worldwide Open. Theofandis the Greek national champion. He has never made it out of the Regionals round, but looks like a different competitor this year.

Justin ‘Just’ Swart

May be a name you haven’t heard before. This South African placed 273rd in the CrossFit Open in 2019. His only Games experience came in 2018 when his team (Cape CrossFit) took 20th.

Dani Speegle

Dani appears to have no quit in her. This will be her fifth Sanctional event and she hasn’t placed worse than fifth this year. Including a fifth-overall finish in the 2019 CrossFit Open. Speegle was a relatively unknown Regionals athlete before the new Sanctional system. Since then, she’s been everywhere and dominated damn near everything.

By Ben Garves

Ben Garves is a digital product expert, author, entertainer, and activist. His portfolio of thought leadership in digital marketing and web experiences has included major clients like Microsoft, Google, Twitter, eBay, and Facebook. He’s also a freelance health and fitness journalist with over 400 stories written since 2018, a podcaster with 200 episodes to his name, and runs a YouTube channel with over 100 fitness and activism-oriented videos and live streams. Ben has founded the Fitness is for Everyone™ initiative to raise awareness about social injustice in both racial inequality and socioeconomic disparity in access to quality fitness and nutrition options around the globe.

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