I was watching, hiding away really, up in that alcove above the bathrooms - the one with the speakers in it. I could barely hear myself think (it was incredible loud up there) but over the music I had a peaceful moment and remember thinking "we did this".
In October, when the search for a new venue started, I never imagined 5500 people attending an event that we organized. Every detail was planned, from traffic patterns, equipment staging, where to put the banners so they wouldn't get in the way of the cameras.
I knew we'd need a boatload of volunteers to make it happen, working long, tireless, thankless hours. I knew there would be last minute changes, glitches in the plan, and unforeseeable events. How do you plan for the unknown and unknowable? In the gym, sure. In event planning - not so much.
The part that I didn't plan for, and the part than makes me sit back and relect every year - are the NorthWest CrossFitters. You guys are polite, well behaved, and enthusiastic. You are the epitome of spectatordom, a pleasure to spend a weekend with.
The only group more impressive than the spectators are the volunteers. For some berries with almond butter and a t-shirt you guys bust your asses for days on end to make this happen. There isn't a better group of humans on the planet than our regional volunteers. (and I'm super proud of all the RCFers who were leaders among the volunteers.) The highest complimant was when the Games staff started hand picking you guys to help in LA in July. What an honor!
I'm sorry to say that I don't get to spend much time with the competition itself. I miss most of the glory moments, don't see the winning efforts, and only hear stories of the on-field heroics. I do know that the athletes are amazing and inspiring and for the most part just happy to be here.
So we'll take a couple of months off - and plan Mt Rainier's Strongest Man and Woman 7 on August 11th - and then we'll get started on Regionals again. We already have a list of new ideas for next year, ways to engage the spectators, entertain the little ones, and create a celebratory environment that highlights the best athletes in the NorthWest.
It's our goal to put on a stellar competiton. Collectively, we all do just that. Athletes, volunteers, spectators - HERE"S TO YOU!!