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The fit came to fight at Servus Place

Two hundred athletes from across Western Canada competed in the fourth annual Fight of the Fittest
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Top female contender Alex Parker of Calgary competes in the annual Fight of the Fittest extreme fitness competition at Go Auto Arena in St. Albert on Saturday, June 29, 2019. CHRIS COLBOURNE/St. Albert Gazette
Gym equipment took over the Go Auto Arena this past weekend as 200 athletes from across Western Canada came to contend in the fourth annual Fight of the Fittest.

The Fight of the Fittest challenged athletes of all abilities and fitness levels by testing their physical strength and cardiovascular fitness through skills and workouts taken from CrossFit and functional fitness regimes.

Eighty women and 120 men competed in eight divisions varying in skill level, with elite level athletes fighting for the chance to represent Canada either at the 2019 iF3 World Championship in Malmö, Sweden or the 2019 iF3 Masters World Championship in Queensland, Australia.

“The turnout is smaller this year,” Morgan Carter said. “But it’s because we have a corresponding event in Vancouver that has taken off and is now sanctioned by CrossFit. We’re expecting 1,200 athletes there.”

Carter and her husband, Brian, a CrossFit coach, own Nova 3 Performance in St. Albert and started the Fight of the Fittest competition four years ago. This year, the Carters have organized five corresponding competitions across Canada, but admit that St. Albert is their favourite place.

Athletes at St. Albert’s Fight of the Fittest competed in events that included Olympic weightlifting, gymnastics and cardio. Points were awarded based on how the athletes ranked in each event.

“My favourite part (of CrossFit) is the community. How everybody comes together and cheers everybody on,” participant Steve Rooker said. “It’s also competitive at the same time.”

Rooker, who trains at Nova 3 Performance, ended in second place in the Masters Elite 35+ division with a total of 540 points and landed a spot at the competition in Australia happening in October.

Rooker has been doing CrossFit for five years and was a powerlifter before that, but not all fitness athletes come from a weightlifting background. CrossFit and other functional fitness regimes are all-inclusive and adjustable to cater to all shapes, sizes and abilities.

Top Elite Women’s athlete of the weekend, Alex Parker, from Calgary, Alberta, started out as a lawyer before discovering CrossFit and competitions.

“I went to law school, became a lawyer and I hated it,” Parker said, smiling. “So I quit and started a nutrition coaching business with my partner. It’s been the best thing ever.”

Parker is one of the top CrossFit athletes in Alberta and competed in the 2015 CrossFit games. She has been doing CrossFit for seven years after her cousin asked her to do a Spartan race.

“I knew that I needed to know how to climb a rope, so I just looked it up on the internet and I found CrossFit,” Parker said. “I went to CrossFit and I was instantly hooked.

“I love how much (CrossFit) constantly challenges you. No matter how much you improve it's always going to be hard and you’re always learning new things.”

Parker ended in first place with 580 points and was followed closely by second place athlete and fellow Calgarian Jordan Adcock, who scored 570 points. Both women will be heading to Malmö, Sweden to represent Canada alongside eight other Albertans who took the top scores at the Elite level.

“As much as you can doubt your capabilities,” Parker said. “You sometimes just need to press start and give ‘er a go.”