CrossFit Masters compete


A competitor lifts weights at The WODFather competition at Empire State CrossFit on Nov. 9. The event featured 100 athletes over the age of 40.

On Nov. 9, scores of athletes flocked to Larchmont’s Empire State CrossFit box to take part in The WODFather, a Master’s CrossFit competition. After hours of grueling workouts, some walked away with medals, but all proved that age is truly just a number.
Mamaroneck resident Jeff Co­rbin, who has done CrossFit for two years, competed in the 45 to 49 age bracket and came away with a third-place finish. Two other Empire State CrossFitters, Jeanette Strauss and Erika Ungar, placed second and third in the women’s 40 to 44 division, respectively.
Corbin, who has competed in several CrossFit competitions throughout the tri-state area, long urged gym owner Daniel Stearns to hold a competition for older CrossFitters. While CrossFit com­petitions have become more commonplace recently‑Harrison Stre­ngth and Fitness held its own invitational on Nov. 9‑Corbin said the offerings for older competitors aren’t quite as popular.


Mamaroneck’s Jeff Corbin competes at the Nov. 9 event. Corbin placed third in the 44 to 59 men’s bracket.

“I had been suggesting it to Dan because there aren’t that many competitions just for Mas­ters,” Corbin said. “You can’t compete at the same level as someone who is 25 years old, so it’s great to go up against people close to the same physical capacity.”
One hundred athletes showed up for the event, which was held in the 5,000-square-foot box–the CrossFit term for a gym–and the competition contained three different workout routines plus a fourth for those, like Corbin, who made it to the finals. Although the athletes were somewhat able to prepare for the first three rounds, the championship WOD, or workout, was not announced before the event.
“Generally, you’ll see the wor­kouts posted two or three weeks before the competition,” Corbin said. “So, you can, if you want, focus on some of the workouts as you get ready.”

Like many CrossFitters, Cor­bin said he was attracted to the workout phenomenon for its unique approach and soon became caught up in the competitive nature.

“I’ve always been a gym guy, but I got bored with that and I liked the way CrossFit mixed it up with combining cardio, Olympic weight lifting and gymnastics,” he said. “But then you’ve got people talking about the competitions and you have a team aspect to that.”

Saturday’s event was an individual competition, but Corbin said the intense pace actually helped form a sense of camaraderie between the participants.


Jeanette Strauss does a kettle bell swing on Nov. 9. Strauss finished second in the women’s 40 to 44 age group. Contributed Photos

“The two guys who finished ahead of me, we’re already Facebook friends,” he said. “The­re’s something about the extent of the types of personalities you’re going to find [at CrossFit], a Type-A personality, someone who is willing to push themselves outside of their comfort zone.”

Though Corbin said he will allow himself a brief rest after Saturday’s WODFather ev­ent, he’s looking to get back to competing soon, possibly in December.

As far as Masters competitions, though, Corbin believes his box raised the bar with this weekend’s efforts.

“One of the most amazing things was we had that number of people and people from all around said this was one of the most well-organized events they had been to,” he said. “The place is 5,000 square feet, which isn’t small, but it could have been a free-for-all.”
Contact: sports@hometwn.com


Athletes work on the rowing machines during one of the WODs. The competition featured three different WODs–four for those who made the finals. Photo/Mike Smith


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About Mike Smith

Mike Smith has been with Hometown Media Group since 2007, serving as the company’s Sports Editor. Mike has been commended for his work by the New York Press Association, winning awards in 2008 for “Best Sports Feature” and again in 2009 as part of a team that put together “The Game,” a breakdown of the Harrison-Rye football rivalry, which won for “Best Special Section.” His weekly column, “Live Mike,” offers his unique insights into a broad range of topics in the sports world. He resides in Eastchester, N.Y. and spends most of his free time serving as the player-manager for a competitive men’s baseball team in New York City. Reach Mike at 914-653-1000 x22 or sports@hometwn.com; follow him on Twitter @LiveMike_Sports.