Workout challenge more than doubles fundraising goal

Group takes in more than $13,000 for KidSport Ponoka

A tough 24-hour marathon fitness challenge wasn’t just completed, but dominated and all in the name of a kids’ charity.

A group of 18 athletes from Ponoka’s Gun-it Crossfit gym took on the worldwide AMRAP 24-hour workout challenge, beginning at 4 a.m. on Dec. 7.

For Gun-it owner/operator Brett McCaughey, the entire event was a bit of a blur, but was also something immeasurably fantastic.

“I got to the gym at 3 a.m. and as the athletes showed up and handed in their pledge sheets, I started to tally it up. We had raised $10,195,” she said.

“We were absolutely shocked that we blew our $6,000 goal out of the water and we still had 24 hours to raise more. The event seemed to fly by, but also take forever. Even though we were three teams, we really lifted each other up, encouraged and supported.

“I’m super-proud of this group. They not only selflessly gave their time, they took an entire day to challenge themselves to a 24-hour workout. They whole-heartedly put in everything. They remind me every day that their are good people in this world. They amaze me.”

In the end, the group brought in more than $13,000 that will go to KidSport Ponoka to support kids wanting to play sports.

The challenge, which had more than 50 teams of six worldwide, saw the athletes complete 500 repetitions each of three different workout drills during each hour.

McCaughey felt the energy at the start, but it took a while to get into the groove. What made it more difficult was not knowing what drills would come up in the next hour.

“We literally didn’t know what we were doing until we got there, but each team would shut down — so long as they had done the reps — about 10 to 15 minutes early,” she said.

Doing that allowed time for a rest, food, to hit the washroom or clean up to get ready for the next hour.

“We all changed several times, brushed our teeth, put on fresh socks and shoes. That seemed to freshen you up and give you a little pick-me-up,” McCaughey added.

We had a little bit of a dip in energy between 3 and 4 p.m. I think we were all a little low on food and felt like we had been going forever, but it was just half way. Then we got thrown a curve ball — synchronized pull ups, sit ups and squats. A team of six moved to a team of three. Your rest was short and everything was starting to ache. It kind of hit us in the guts.”

The next hour provided an even more demanding drill set that simply was not manageable for a lot of the group, which included a high skill gymnastics move as well as box jump that was a bit too high.

“We changed up our tunes and somehow changed the energy around. The energy during that hour was amazing,” she said.

The amount of visitors throughout the challenge also helped, according to McCaughey, especially when it gave the athletes some relief.

Kenda Butterfield from Vantage Physio dropped in to help relieve some pain and stiffness, while Michelle Lentz set up the meal plan and snack to ensure everyone stayed fueled up. Cindy Loney also helped out by organizing the various volunteers that looked after things such as getting the food ready.

“As we got closer to the end, the clock seemed to go so slow while stopping and starting to move hurt bad for myself,” McCaughey said.

“Rest almost wasn’t worth it. A few rested throughout. Most didn’t sleep at all. That said though, every single athlete completed all the needed reps for our last hour. Proper nutrition — I think that’s why we were all able to finish and maybe the only reason we could all get up to go to work on Monday.”

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