Pasco’s Ken Idler opened his own business this past year, called CrossFit Unrestrained, that takes up much of his time.
But the 51-year-old found enough time to qualify for the Reebok CrossFit Games that begin today in Carson, Calif.
It’s the second consecutive year he’s qualified for the championships that consist of the top 20 men ages 50-54 in his division.
“I’m running a gym now,” Idler said. “It’s a lot of long hours and coaching, and I try to work out. I like teaching CrossFit more than the competition. Growth you see in a person is great.”
The majority of members at his facility on Road 68 in Pasco are new to Crossfit.
“They just now figuring out what this Crossfit competition is about,” he said.
Last year, Idler competed out of Fallout Crossfit in Richland.
He competed in what is called The Open.
In The Open, competitors in CrossFit gyms around the world do one workout per week over a five-week period.
A judge evaluates the workout, and it’s put into a database. That database is how the rankings are determined for all age groups.
Idler qualified for the event by being in the top 20 in the world.
The catch is you have to be flexible because the workout is posted so late.
Last year, he entered the finals ranked 18th, and he finished sixth.
Today, he enters competition ranked fourth.
Athletes will compete in three workouts today, and two more on Wednesday, in which all 20 contestants will be ranked from top to bottom and assigned points in correlation to how they did.
After those four workouts, the top 12 athletes will advance to the final day, Thursday, for two more workouts and for points. The athlete with the most points is champion.
“I’m pretty surprised I actually got back down there this year,” said Idler. “The workout was tougher this year. When we open the business, so much time and effort was put into that. It’s definitely been more of a challenge.”
But he put in enough work over the last few months.
“I just tried to do as many workouts as possible at high intensity,” he said. “I have a group of people who come work out with me two days a week. I worked on my strength, which is better than last year. You just never know what you’ll have to do until you get down there.”
He’s hoping for endurance events.
“I mean the longer the workout requires more endurance, the better off I am.” he said.
On Monday, event officials released the workouts.
Today, Idler will have to do something called the Deadlift Ladder at 10:15 a.m., where athletes will do a 1-rep deadlifty every 30 seconds with progressively heavier barbells.
Then it’s a Handstand Walk/Sled Drag at 1:15 p.m. Competitors will be measured by their maximum distance and get two tries. Then they drag a sled 100 yards for time.
Finally, at 4:15 p.m., it’s a Run Rope. Competitors do five rounds for time, running 400 meters, then climbing a rope two times.
ESPN3 will cover the entire event.