D.C. area athletes compete to be named ‘fittest on Earth’


D.C. resident Amelia Bell competes in the 2011 Crossfit Open as a crowd watches. (By Nicole Bedard/Courtesy of District Crossfit)

Well, one local gym is giving you a chance to test your mettle.

Starting Feb. 25, area athletes, fitness enthusiasts and regular (albeit masochistic) people from across the Washington area will converge weekly at District Crossfit in Northwest D.C. to compete in the Mid-Atlantic Open competition.

The Open is the first step in the qualifying journey to the Crossfit Games, also known as the “The World Series of Exercise,” where the winners will be named the “fittest on Earth.”

The title sounds a bit hokey, but according to organizers, the challenges are anything but.

Competitors will earn points for their ability to complete high intensity exercise routines that combine explosive conditioning movements, Olympic weightlifting and gymnastics.

Organizers expect and encourage participation from people with a range of athletic abilities.

“This is like the ‘American Idol’ auditions of fitness,” says Andrew Killion, who is hosting the event.

Except instead of struggling to match Mariah Carey’s high notes in exchange for a ticket to Hollywood, participants will wreck themselves for a pull-up only to hear someone tell them to do it again, faster and harder.

“It’s really a lot of fun,” Killion says.

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