Your Head of Squad Training Just Finished 24 Hero WODS in 24 Hours for Charity

·5-min read

For each of the last three years, when the autumn leaves are finally giving in to the frosty morning, Andrew Tracey has taped up his hands, donned his bandana and undergone a challenge that would break the majority of us. In support of Pilgrim Bandits, a charity that provides assistance to injured veterans of the armed forces, AT has completed a CrossFit Hero WOD every hour for 24 hours. We wrote about his 2020 outing in the magazine last year, which you can read here.

Photo credit: @calumtraceyphotography
Photo credit: @calumtraceyphotography

This year, however, the ante was upped somewhat. Inspired by the motto of Pilgrim Bandits "always a little further", for the goal of the 2021 edition was to complete each workout in a different location from rural Essex to the Olympic Park in East London, running between each spot to rack up an ultra-marathon for good measure.

The challenge received international attention from the premier functional fitness media outlets in the run-up to the event, including Morning Chalk Up and, of course, Men's Health.

With each Hero workout being named after a member of the armed forces or emergency services who died in the line of duty, the route started with 'James Prosser', 100 muscle-ups for time, and ended with the best-known CrossFit Hero WOD of them all, 'Murph' – a mile run, then 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups and 300 air squats followed by a final mile run. All in a 10kg weighted vest.

Armed with Thrudark equipment to keep him and the team reliably insulated during the darkest hours of the night, AT accrued over 45.5 thousand kilograms for weight lifted, ran 65km and ground out 3300+ reps of weighted and bodyweight movements over the duration of the 24-hour period.

Photo credit: @calumtraceyphotography
Photo credit: @calumtraceyphotography

Now, that the dust of such a gritty endeavour has (sort of) settled, and before the DOMS really beds in, AT is giving MH SQUAD an exclusive first look at his initial feelings about the challenge and how he survived each of the 24 workouts. Before you read on, please check out the donation page for Pilgrim Bandits to pledge your support.

"The idea of running between each workout actually began as a bit of a joke in a WhatsApp group between my brothers. Inevitably, that quickly turned into investigating the logistics of such a feat, and then eventually planning for it.

"I’d arbitrarily mentioned finishing in the Olympic Park, as it’s somewhere I’ve trained a lot over the years. As it happens, I cut my teeth working 24 hour shifts there during the build for to the 2012 olympics. As soon as I realised the route would take us up and beyond a marathon distance, the deal was sealed for me. We were no longer looking at ‘simply’ running between WODs, but running an ultra marathon distance, two pretty monumental undertakings rolled into one. A 'little further’ it certainly was.

"Going into it, I’d tried not to overthink the actual sensations or emotions I’d be feeling on the night. Even against the backdrop of being told multiple times how crazy an idea it was, I endeavoured to break down the event into its parts, rationalising that each was quite manageable. With a bit of doggedness [and over a decade of training], my body would have the robustness to string them all together.

"Without one centralised location, the pressure was really on to ensure we hit each checkpoint. I knew adding the mileage between each workout would have a significant physical impact, and that it may even be too much. What I hadn’t anticipated was the psychological impact, that during the wavering moments in the night where doubts and thoughts of quitting began to creep in, I was confronted with the fact that I couldn’t just turn the key in the door and go to bed.

"It was just the two of us, miles from home. Even if I wanted to quit, we had to at least cover the distance between where we were and the next checkpoint to make that a reality. There were times in the night, especially on the long, dark drag through Epping forest that it all began to feel very claustrophobic."

ACCUMULATED WEIGHT LIFTED: 46, 630KG

TOTAL DISTANCE COVERED: 65KM

TOTAL REPS: 3357

SQUATS: 1172

CLEANS: 287

MUSCLE-UPS/PULL-UPS: 356

THE WORKOUTS

10am: James Prosser
100 muscle-ups

11am: Nate
20-minute AMRAP:
2 muscle-ups
4 handstand press-ups
8 kettlebell swings

12pm: Hidalgo
2-mile run
20 cleans
20 box jumps
20 walking lunges
20 box jumps
20 cleans
2-mile run

1pm: Jerry
1-mile run
2000-metre row
1 mile run

2pm: DT
5 rounds:
12 deadlifts
9 hang cleans
6 push jerks

3pm: Ricky
20-minute AMRAP:
10 pull-ups
5 dumbbell deadlifts
8 push-presses

4pm: Mead
20-minute AMRAP:
30-foot rope climb
100-metre partner carry

5pm: Bert
50 burpees
400-metre run
100 push-ups
400-metre run
150 walking lunges
400-metre run
200 air squats
400-metre run
150 walking lunges
400-metre run
100 push-ups
400-metre run
50 burpees

6pm: Joseva
15-12-9 @ bodyweight:
Bench press
Deadlift
Power clean

7pm: Oz
100 squat cleans

8pm: Burgess
30-20-10:
Pull-ups
Burpees

9pm: McLaren
20-minute AMRAP:
3 thrusters
5 box jumps
7 press-ups

10pm: Bolger
5 rounds:
400-metre run
25 air squats
Carry sandbag

11pm: Smudge
3 rounds:
5 muscle-ups
10 squat cleans
20 sit-ups

12am: Jordan
100 kettlebell swings
100 sit-ups
100 air squats
100 push-ups

1am: The Chief
5 x 3-minute AMRAP:
3 power cleans
6 push-ups
9 air squats

2am: Heidi
23-minute AMRAP:
23 air squats
23 push-ups
23 kettlebell swings
23 lunges
23 sit-ups
23 box jumps

3am: Jones
30-minute AMRAP:
400-metre run
30 air squats
400-metre run
15 push-ups
400-metre run
30 burpee broad jumps

4am: Jay
20-minute AMRAP:
22 air squats
12 toes-to-bar
9 burpees

5am: Sham
7 rounds:
11 deadlifts
100-metre sprint

6am: Jenny
20-minute AMRAP:
20 overhead squats
20 back squats
400-metre run
*run with barbell

7am: Randy
75 power snatches

8am: Joseph Grzelak
100 kettlebell swings
EMOM perform 2 burpees

9am: Murph
1-mile run
100 pull-ups
200 push-ups
300 squats
1-mile run
* wear weighted vest

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