Entering the Final Stage of the 2020 Reebok CrossFit Games, Noah Ohlsen was looking for redemption. He finished second overall in the 2019 Games and had hopes of doing even better during a unique year, but he also had the goal of conquering a familiar foe. Ohlsen wanted to perform extremely well during the Ranch Loop trail run.
Ohlsen, a veteran competitor, previously took on a different version of the trail run during the 2016 CrossFit Games. 80 total athletes (40 men and 40 women) headed out on a roughly 7K run that often turned into a steep hill climb. Ohlsen finished 32nd overall, which he viewed as a major disappointment. The 2020 version of the trail run was an estimated 5K that featured several massive elevation changes and an "evil twist" that doubled the length. Despite facing the mid-race change, Ohlsen performed far better. He finished third and locked up 55 points.
"I felt a bit of sense of pride yesterday being able to finish third," Ohlsen told PopCulture and other media during a Saturday press conference. "I know that doesn't sound amazing because I want to win every event, but having finished the trail run in 2016 in 32nd place, it felt like a marked improvement. And the fact that it wasn't an easy third, per se, that I had to battle it out with [Jeffrey Adler] for almost an hour and was able to come out on top was a good feeling."
Ohlsen expressed happiness with his major improvement in a challenging setting, but he was not particularly overjoyed about the rest of the weekend. He finished fifth overall in two of the seven events and fourth in two others. "Got to find the highs from this weekend where I can. [There] haven't been too many of them yet," Ohlsen continued.
There were moments when Ohlsen appeared close to winning an event but a missed lift or stumble would get in the way, especially during the toes-to-bar/lunge event. With one day remaining, Ohlsen has 395 points, putting him in a tie for fifth place with rookie Justin Medeiros. He will have to find ways to stack points during the competition's final day to finish on the podium for the second consecutive year potentially.
The 2020 CrossFit Games continue Sunday with at least three events. There is a Sprint Sled Sprint, one featuring swimming and then the mysterious Atalanta, which Director of the Games Dave Castro dubbed the "hardest workout ever." There could only be the revealed three events, but Castro has a tendency to surprise athletes during the final day of competition. Coverage for the action begins at 10 a.m. PT on games.crossfit.com, Pluto TV, and the company's Facebook, YouTube and Twitch channels.