They came. They saw. They conquered.
August 26th was the inaugural Sweat Games, and I am so happy to say that it went off without a hitch!
Before I get into detail about the event, I wanted to mention how The Sweat Games came about – This year I decided to start running outdoor HIIT classes in the summer, which were selling out weeks in advance. I kept seeing the same people come out each week, getting stronger and fitter, and wanted to have some sort of ‘end of summer’ event to close it all out.
One of guys I train came up with this great idea of hosting a competition for everyone – knowing how OBSESSED I am with competitions, I literally started planning it that night.
Between myself and Kenzo (who helps me out with all the set-up and take down of my HIIT classes) we came up with an awesome relay course that was challenging, but still achievable for people at all fitness levels (details below).
The day of the event, Lauren and I arrived at 9 AM at Central Tech Stadium to start setting up. I had a canopy tent, a table, signage, balloons to blow up, 32 gift bags filled with product, tubs of protein powder, and a bunch of food and drinks for afterwards. Not to mention ALL THE EQUIPMENT we needed for the event! Oh – and a slip & slide. Hehe.
The set-up took about 2 hours, and teams arrived shortly before 11 AM. There were 16 teams total and we split the first relay into 8 ‘heats’ of 2 teams competing against one another.
No joke, this was a pretty tough course. It went like this:
200 metre run
100 metre weighted backpack carry
20 metre sandbag lunges
10 metre ladder burpees
20 metre double leg hops
25 body weight squats
1 beautiful slip down a slip and slide
Then the teammate would tag out their partner and they would run the course. Their combined time was their score for the first round.
I don’t think I would have changed a thing about this race, but I can say without a doubt that it wasn’t easy. People got so jacked up about the sprint at the beginning that by the ladder burpees, they were already pretty exhausted. To watch them continue on until they tagged their partner out was so inspiring and impressive!
After the first relay was completed, we split top 8 teams with the fastest times, and the bottom 8 teams. The top 8 teams competed against each other in Relay #2, and the bottom 8 did the same.
This race was a LOT quicker than the first one (which I think everyone was quite happy about), and required fast feet and sprinting. It included:
50 metre sprint out
50 metre sprint back
100 metre sprint out
30 hurdle hopovers
15 medicine ball slams
10 metre lateral banded walk
100 metre sprint back
Then they would tag their partner, and off they would go.
Everyone did so incredibly well and I could see the look of pure determination and GRIT on their faces. I loved it so much. The day was beautiful and sunny with a slight breeze – I couldn’t have asked for better weather.
The event ran from 11-2, but the races were done by 1 pm. We handed out the prizes to the 3 top teams (a tub of Kaizen protein and a $50 MEC gift card!), and I gave a short and sweet little speech. Each participant got a gift bag filled with goodies (Vichy sunscreen, a MEC hat, Bounce balls, White Lion athletics mini bands), refreshed with some Jimmy’s iced tea, and a Kaizen Ready-To-Drink protein shake!
I was told that I HAD to take a ride down the slip and slide (which Kenzo so nicely covered in dish soap for me…), and then it was photo-op time (oh, and an hour of take down. Thank you to all who stayed and helped <3 <3 )
Prepping for the Event
Not going to sugar coat this – there was a shit ton of preparation involved with this event. It was the biggest endeavour I think i’ve ever taken on, so planning and organization was of the utmost importance.
I used a spreadsheet to track all the team members, their teammates, and any allergies. I made a timeline of all the things needed to get done before certain days (i.e. pick up 2 more slam balls, fill loot bags, confirm sponsors, buy ice, book a track etc). I even made a list of what I would set up first on the morning of the event!
I had exactly a month to plan all of this, and the most important aspect was where we were going to host the event. I wanted it on a track, but there are a limited number of tracks in Toronto. Luckily I managed to book Central Tech Stadium, which is in the heart of Toronto. It was the absolute PERFECT space for The Sweat Games.
After that it was a matter of coming up with the race course, deciding how many teams I wanted to have enter, how the relays would be set up, what equipment I needed, how I planned to market the event, etc.
Small things that could be so easily dismissed, are what made the event come alive and seem so much more professional: a canopy tent and table, so people could have a place to store their belongings. A beautiful banner that Adam created for me. Protein shakes for people to drink afterwards. Speakers so there was always some music playing.
For my birthday, Adam so generously got me a video crew to come out and film everything. We had a drone flying above, following the participants as they ran the course. There was a photographer capturing every beautiful and sweaty moment. Everything worked out the way it was supposed to.
Will there be Another Sweat Games?
MEC has already reached out about working on one together, so my hope is to put one together twice a year – one in the winter and one in the summer. Also I have a banner that is now in my storage room and is dying to be brought out again.
A huge thank you to everyone who participated and kicked ass. You guys are the real MVPS.