On the penultimate weekend of August this year, 144 Tribes from CrossFit affiliates across Europe descended on one remote Devon beach to battle it out for the title of Tribal Clash Champion.
CM2 has been involved in this Competition since its first year in 2013, and it was once again an annual fixture on our competition calendar. This year however, CM2 would be returning to defend the title as they had left the Tribal Clash 2014 as winners. No pressure then.
This year we were also lucky enough to have two teams entered - and eventually, but not without some effort replacing several injuries, we managed to get 12 CM2 Athletes to Blackpool Sands on the Friday night before the competition started on Saturday.
Over the course of the weekend, both teams tackled various challenges including walking balance beams, sea swimming, tyre flipping to name a few. Individual skill and strength certainly helped form a good foundation - but teamwork and communication were paramount in having a successful event. One event 'Anaconda' called for synchronised lunges and squats whilst carrying 'The Worm' - a series of 6 individual logs linked together by rope. (PIC) 1st Team Athlete Sam Hayward said "I loved the anaconda event the most as squatting and lunging are definitely my strengths. I liked the fact that we all had to work together and no one wanted to drop that Worm!".
Sam has competed previously for CM2 at Tribal Clash and we asked her about this year's personal highs "I was surprised at how easy I found the 45kg atlas stone as last year I can remember struggling with the 30kg one. My goal this year was to make it along the beach on the 5k trail run without walking. Last year my legs were burning before I even made the first flag but this year I managed it comfortably."
Gary Denham, who was competing for the CM2 Sexy Beasts also had success with the atlas stones lifting a whopping 65kg stone- a new personal record. To top it off, Gary got his first 'bar' muscle up over the log. He said of the weekend "The atmosphere was fantastic, you just have to be fit, able to work well in a team and most importantly to dig deep". Sam added "The atmosphere at tribal clash is always brilliant. You can't knock it; the music, the commentating, the people and the organisation are always excellent and that is what make the event so successful. Even the torrential rain never got in the way of events or spoiled the weekend."
At the end of the second day after 9 events, the competition was cut to the Top 20 teams. In Tribal tradition the teams were paired from bottom to top (ie. 20th with 1st, 19th with 2nd etc) in order to cut to the Final 10 teams in a sudden death tug of war. Team CM2 Defending Champions crept in at 16th place, 'the highlight of the weekend was when we won the tug of war and made the final 10" Sam said.
Following the tug of war, there was just one final event to complete- a long chipper involving many of the movements from the weekend including a team swim in the sea. Sam recalls "It was inspiring to be with such strong team mates and I felt we all worked really well as a team. Ania had been nervous about the swim in a previous event but when she heard it was in the final she never gave up or said 'I can't' - the guys guided her through the water and we finished with a solid 5th place. Couldn't have asked for a better team."
As well as all of the action in the competition, CM2 were lucky to have a great team of supporters throughout the weekend who traveled down to cheer everyone on. The CM2 campsite may have got extremely wet over the weekend- but it didn't damped spirits and everyone had a brilliant weekend all round.
We have already confirmed our place for Tribal Clash 2016 and are looking forward to having another crack at reclaiming the Tribal Clash Mask!