Competition Report: Central Weightlifting Open at Alfreton

You can’t win’em all, even when you win.

I’d better explain.


Last weekend, while Sarah was busy at BodyPower, Lauren, our friend Siân, and I went to compete at a Central Open in Alfreton on behalf of Second City CrossFit. Each of us had a different reason for entering. I was looking to break at least one of the British Master’s records in my category, Loz was going to lay down a marker for next year’s English Championships, and Siân wanted to see if she could bag a last-minute qualification for this year’s British Championships (she was only six kilos off qualifying as a 53kg after her first competition in April).

It didn’t quite work out for any of us.

Siân didn’t hit the snatch she needed to, so she and Dave decided to go for broke with a PB clean and jerk attempt– by which I mean a PB in both the clean and the jerk. It took guts for her to walk out there and rip 79kg off the floor three times in a row knowing she might not even get it to her shoulders.

But Siân knows how to drive a tank, so she doesn’t lack for guts. After she failed to make her lifts and didn’t total, she shook it off and hung around to support the rest of us. The following day, she went up to Manchester to compete at the Rainhill Trials, a CrossFit competition. She finished in the top ten, because she’s a complete and total MACHINE.

sian at rainhill
Tank Girl in her element

Lauren came into this competition after a very difficult week that included exam pressure and other things that needed handling. She’d also only just recovered from a back injury. On a better day she’d have nailed a 135 with no drama.

Unfortunately, she missed her first two clean and jerks, so only made her opening weight. Her total wasn’t what she wanted, but she came home with a second-place trophy in her category. Later that night, after we’d gone back to mine for Chinese food and rum and Cokes, she said, “I lived today, you know. I didn’t just exist.”

This is why we love Lauren. She is unfuckwithable.

We also love her for this stuff.


As for me, I was the only lifter in the 75kg category who turned up: guaranteed trophy, woo! But winning wasn’t the goal. I needed to hit either a 63kg snatch or a 73kg clean and jerk to break a master’s record.

Earlier in the week I’d looked through my old training diaries and noticed that I never made a lift in competition if I hadn’t made it at least eight times in training. Prior to Alfreton, I’d hit 63kg three times (it’s my current PB) and 73kg seven times (my current PB is 75). My previous month’s training had been somewhat broken up and I’d also pulled a back muscle during a sneezing fit (hooray for being an Old).

Still, I felt in reasonably good nick. I was pretty sure going in that I wouldn’t make the snatch, but I thought the clean and jerk was a possibility. And that’s where it remains: in the realm of possibility. I went 57/60x/60 on the snatch and 70x/70/75x on the clean and jerk for a 130 total. This is a competition PB of 3kg and marks the first time I’ve hit a 70kg CJ in competition. I can live with that result, but I’m not satisfied.

It’s 13o days until the World Master’s Championships begin in Germany. 85-90 of those will be training days, so I need to make every single one count. I’m still very much a novice at this, but I know enough to see where I haven’t been on top of things.

I’m getting my movement issues sorted out thanks to a visit with James Jowsey. I’m working on arranging child care for ye Sproglet so she doesn’t have to hang about the gym five times a week, and also doing a bit more one-to-one work with Dave. The last round of programming he put me through was evil but effective.


Whatever’s coming next will likely be worse. Which is good.

Oh. That reminds me. Dave also competed at Alfreton, and his day also did not go as planned. Doesn’t matter: it’s very motivating to see your coach and friend suit up to do what you’ve just done, knowing he has been putting himself through the kinds of work he’s prescribed to you. He set a good example of going out to fight the fight.



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