My First Crossfit Competition: The Rainhill Trials


A couple of weeks ago (and yes, I am only just recovering) I took part in my first Crossfit competition – The Rainhill Trials. So far the only ‘competitive’ Crossfit I’ve done is the in house competitions we hold at our box, so in a bid to push myself out of my comfort zone in 2016, I entered on the off chance and put it to the back of my mind. I’d completely forgotten I’d entered when a month or so later I got an email through to congratulate me on getting a slot… cue the nerves!

The Rainhill Trials are ran by Train Manchester – who happen to be my gym – and is entered by Crossfitters from up and down the UK. The competition is open to all levels, with entry via ballot to make sure everyone gets a fair shot; whether you’ve been Crossfitting for 5 months or 5 years. Successful entrants are then asked to complete a series of seeding WOD’s and lifts prior to the main event in order to put them into the correct category for their ability – Wood, Rastrick, Kennedy and Rocket.

I placed in Rastrick which was the second level out of the four. I had thought this is where I would seed but when I placed toward the bottom of the group I was slightly disappointed – I wasn’t going to let it put me off though!


How did I train?

Coming back to training after Christmas was quite difficult for me. I really find it hard after a couple of weeks of winding down and eating what I want to get back into my training and diet regime, and knowing that I was going to have to work a little bit harder made it even more difficult. In all honesty I didn’t train quite as much as I should/could have done but my perfect training weeks went a little something like this (or at least they should have done):

  • Monday – Crossfit
  • Tuesday – Olympic Lifting
  • Wednesday – Crossfit
  • Thursday – Olympic Lifting
  • Friday – Rest Day
  • Saturday – Crossfit/Gymnastics
  • Sunday – Active rest

I focused a lot on my Oly lifts leading up to the competition as it was something I had always wanted to work on but never dedicated any time to. Unfortunately, there were no complex’s in the competition, but Oly lifting classes really helped me to build strength and helped me to hone my technique.

What was it like at the venue?

The event was over at Sports City in Manchester, behind the Etihad Stadium, so considering the last time I competed in a sporting event I was under 16, entering a proper sporting venue was quite daunting. In true My Big Fit Diary style I was pretty early, but giving my friends who were working on registration a lift to the event helped me to relax a little and take my mind off things.

The venue itself was set out really well, with a huge rig and platforms in the middle of the room surrounded by seating. There were also various vendors there where you could buy food, clothing and supplements, which were great to walk around (and treat myself at) between Wods.

What were the workouts?

There were four workouts overall, plus a final for the top 10 finishers. You can find the workouts here but to give you an example my favourite wod went like this…

In 10mins complete:

10 shoulder to overhead, 15 box jumps, 40 double unders, 10 front squats, 10 box jumps, 30 DU, 10 cleans, 5 box jumps, 20 DU, then AMRAP ground to overhead for the remaining time.

What did I eat?

The nerves got the better of me in the morning so I attempted to eat some plain porridge for some slow releasing energy, but struggled to finish the whole bowl. It was also pretty early (6am on a Saturday!!!) so I had a big coffee and almond milk. I had anticipated not being able to eat before the competition so I had a big dinner the night before full of protein, healthy fats and carbs… lots of carbs!

As the day went on I still wasn’t finding it any easier to eat, so instead decided that small snacks through the day would be the way forward. So I had a banana, a quest bar and a delicious paleo brownie from the guys at Tyler & Hall Bakery This might not be the best way to eat on a comp day but, coupled with lots of water, it seemed to work really well for me and I wasn’t lacking in energy (and believe me I made up for it that evening!).


How did I do?

The Wod’s were all quite cardio based with only one containing any real lifting. Anyone who knows me, knows that this isn’t really my strong point, and I was disappointed there wasn’t an Olympic lift complex involved on the day. But, I pushed myself harder than I’ve ever done before and although I didn’t make it to the final was pretty pleased with my results.

Prior to the competition I had tried out the first two Wod’s and managed to beat my original score in both. I was pretty pleased with my score in wod 2 where I got 20 ground to overhead (GTOH) where I had previously only got 13.

Overall, I managed to finish 8 places higher than I had originally seeded in my category. So I didn’t make it to the final but I did beat my biggest competition… ME!

What’s next?

Anyone who Crossfit’s will know it’s the Crossfit Open right now, where all Crossfitters throughout the world get the chance to compete against each other for 5 wods, over five weeks before the top scoring athletes get the chance to compete at Regionals and possibly even the Games.

I don’t quite think I’ll be making it to regionals this year(!) but I am already excited for my next competition whenever and wherever that may be.

The best thing about Crossfit, or any sport for that matter, is seeing how far you’ve come. This time last year I couldn’t do TTB, pull ups or even get under my cleans properly and now I can do all three.

Watch this space!


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