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Thursday, November 29, 2012

2012 IKFF Championships results... Say what?!?

That was a BIG event in US Girevoy Sport lifting. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 180 competitors and 35 flights of Biathlon, Long Cycle, Snatch Only, Jerk Only and 5-minute Chair Press took place at the Sheraton Novi Hotel on Saturday, November 17th. It was an incredibly long day for the organizers who, admirably, kept their spirits up even among numerous registration problems.

Ken Blackburn and his team fielded registration and scheduling concerns for people from all over the world. Puerto Rico, Russia, Australia, Norway, Canada, and of course all parts of the US. Slava and I were the contingency from Boulder, representing team IKSFA. Also present was the OKC/Juno Fitness team, and the IKFF team.

Sergey Rudnev's Jerk set. Note the variety of weight loads.
One major feature of this Championship was the mixture of skill levels in each flight. World Class lifters stood between both seasoned and first time competitors alike. The level of difficulty was high in general. In the past two years I haven't seen so many men putting up 32kg sets and women going for 24kg sets.

The rules review was at 9 am, where Ken, always aware of the general mood, announced that "anyone using the term Kettle Ball will be escorted off the premises." Flight 1 started at around 9:15 am. Everyone with two events planned were scheduled with 4 or 5 flights to rest in between, roughly one hour. Slava had two flights early in the day, I was in two afternoon sets, the last 8 lifters finished the day at 5:30 pm. 
To say that the staging arena was tense is an understatement. You could scoop the adrenaline out of the air and serve it in a custard cup. Many first time competitors were not new to the sport but were new to competition jitters, which amps the stress level. Accomplished lifters envisioning Master of Sport or higher ranks could be seen hiding in their headphones, or were completely absent until just before their flights. World-class lifters were in the house demonstrating complete relaxation and total calm, which seemed to make the contrast between them and the unseasoned lifters even more obvious.

Juliet Lederle shows fortitude with a 24kg Jerk set.
I was able to connect with some of my IKSFA team mates and found that everyone had been programmed for tremendous goals, many by Master Coach Sergey Rudnev. A few personal bests were achieved, yet on the whole it seemed that the strain of training for this event caught up with us all. Take a look at the four events Slava and I completed. (The competition results are posted on

Slava preps for Snatch in a flight with 5-minute Chair Press.
Slava's primary event was Men's 20kg (Double) Long Cycle with 49 reps in in 10:00. He was in a class of his own (there was no official 20kg LC in the Men's division at this event), missing his personal best, set at the OKC meet, by more than 10 reps. He went ahead with his second event, Snatch Only with no special preparation, and took third place in his weight class in Men's Professional division 24kg Snatch with 63 reps in 5:06, 7 reps shy of Rank III. He was bested by above mentioned Norwegian, Allan Fallro, who took Rank I with 166 reps at 9:13, 2 reps from his goal of Candidate Master of Sport (CMS), and Sincere Hogan, who hit 116 in 8:32, 4 reps short of Rank I.

I meditated on Yellow Alert until my primary event, Women's Professional division 20kg Long Cycle (flight 19), and took first place with 98 reps in 9:52, and CMS rank for the second year in a row, 2 reps short of MS. This year it was a legitimate win against fitness trainer Terri Parker, who hit 57 reps in 7:50. ("Where did you come from?!?" she asked as we stood in line for our medals.) My second set was Women's Amateur 16kg Snatch, where I completed 150 reps in 10:00, the same result as at NW Comp in Seattle, giving me second place. Looking at the results data to write this blog I do not see anyone else in my weight category. According to international ranking I would have achieved CMS, however it is listed as Rank I on the results page. My nearest competitor is listed as the only 16kg lifter in the next weight class up with 156 reps in 9:53, ranking CMS. I'm thinking this glitch in the results is a casualty of the event and am actually quite proud to have a second place medal!

The big surprise for me was winning the Women's 20kg Co-efficient award, aka, Pound-for-pound ratio. This is calculated by dividing the lifters body weight by the total volume lifted. Co-efficient awards and Absolute lifter (total volume lifted) awards are given for Women's 20kg and 24kg divisions, and Men's 24kg and 32kg divisions.
Best Women's 20kg Absolute lifter was Andrea Borders, with LC, 120 reps in 10:00, MS.
For Women's 24kg division, Donica Storino took both Absolute and Co-efficient lifter with LC, 110 reps in 10:00, achieving Master of Sport International Class (MSIC).
Men's 24kg Absolute and Co-efficient award went to Jeff Martone for his LC set, turning in 100 reps in 8:50, and CMS.
Men's 32kg Absolute lifter went to Bill Esch for his MS Long Cycle, 67 reps in 9:05.
Mitch Blackburn earned Men's 32kg Co-efficient award with LC, 62 reps in 10:00 and MS.

Marty Farrell setting an American record in Biathlon!
So what's the plan for ultimate success in Long Cycle? For me, Stage 5. Rest and allow my frazzled nerves to recover. There is a strong rumor that in the future this competition will be held on two separate days, and will follow more strict international guidelines. One significant change would be to hire judges rather than recruit volunteers to judge. Ken also announced his plan to install air filter "to remove stress."

In all seriousness, more competitions are being announced every week. In fact there is at least one every weekend in February. My plan is to follow my coaches advice, repair my form and only train the Long Cycle for the IKSFA NW Kettlebell Invitational in Sumner, WA, April 27th.

For more information about GS training in Boulder, CO, and the surrounding areas, contact me at
Best wishes for safe lifting!

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