This weekend (3rd/4th August) marked the very first European Inferno at the National Indoor Athletics Centre (NIAC) in Cardiff, South Wales. The competition was branded as a universal fitness competition for teams of 2 and over 200 teams ended up registering for the 2-day competition. The workouts were programmed so that people of all abilities could compete, with the only cut being before the final event, and this really emphasised the all-inclusive aspect of functional fitness. I knew upon entering the NIAC for athlete registration that the weekend was going to run smoothly. There were 4 tables of staff for athlete registration, and boards that explained what heats and lanes each team would be competing in. Registration was quick and simple and meant that the weekend could go ahead without a hitch. It’s always reassuring to see a lot of people in Judges/Staff tee shirts and the staff all had radios and earpieces to ensure that communication was kept between them. It was great to see so many volunteers offering their time to make sure that everyone had a fantastic weekend. The fitness community definitely came out in force. At first I was a little unsure how many people would make the trip to Cardiff but there were athletes from boxes and gyms all over the U.K. The NIAC was filled with athletes and spectators, making for an incredible atmosphere for the competition.
Athletes had to compete in a range of events from max lifts to long distance running
As I mentioned there were no cuts until the final event, meaning that every team competed in 6 workouts, with the top 10 male and female teams making the 7th workout on Sunday. This meant that there were 11/12 heats per workout with 11 teams in each heat, which made for an excellent viewing experience for the spectators and competitors. The workouts tested athletes over all aspects of fitness: max lifts; anaerobic shuttle sprints; long distance running & rowing; as well as classic amraps. There was also a workout that involved carrying your partner and a kettle bell at the same time, which lead to some ingenious methods of buddy carrying. The final event was the most complicated of all, and lead for a great viewing experience, and I’m sure the teams involved enjoyed it too. It involved the use of watt bikes, sleds, wheelbarrow carrying, sprinting, and barbell and plate movements. The varying degree of workouts over the 2 days meant that it truly was the fittest couples that came out on top. With the amazing range of vendors and the food that was available, the European Inferno definitely ‘made their mark’ on the fitness events calendar. The next one has been confirmed for 9th&10th August 2014, and those dates are already down in my calendar. Congratulations to the winners of the European Inferno 2013: Steven Fawcett and Jonathan Bullough of Piegenex and Rachel Watling and Helen Hak of Team Boatshed. Team Kraken will be coming for you next year ;) Jonny Landels, Team Kraken and CF-L1