(Gillette, Wyo.) The third annual Race for the Roof 5K drew a multitude of athletes from the Gillette area, eager to engage in a little friendly competition as they talked among one another, decked out in full running gear and sporting unique 9/11 t-shirts. Runners stretched and warmed up their muscles in preparation for the run, but this was no ordinary run. This was a CrossFit run.
A brutal, muscle taxing race for the finish line that incorporated numerous exercises synonymous with CrossFit such as push-ups, burpees, walking lunges, and sit ups. Every 1,000 meters, competitors were tasked with completing a predetermined set of CrossFit movements.
For some this was expected, for others it came as a slight surprise.
“We didn’t know about that,” laughed Barb Massie, an avid jogger who had signed up to compete. But she nevertheless thought the run and the memory it stood for was great.
Some seemed to revel in it such as the local firefighters, a few of whom had chosen to run the race while wearing their full firefighting gear, with the exception of their running shoes of course.
Their gear weighed in excess of 50 pounds.
The firefighters chose to run in their gear to honor the firefighters who had to run many stories up to help 9/11 victims, they felt that it was the best way to honor their memories.
Some of the runners were suitably impressed by the grit and teamwork shown by the firefighters in previous CrossFit races.
“What’s really cool is while they’re doing the movements, the other one is standing there holding the American flag,” said Jerry Geer, owner of CrossFit Brown and Gold.
At CrossFit Brown and Gold, honoring fallen soldiers and firefighters is common.
“It’s something that we do,” Geer said.
The true purpose behind the race was not ignored, at 6:00 p.m. the national anthem was played by the Thunder Basin High School Band, followed by the Marine Corps Hymn, and a prayer to honor the victims of 9/11.