Those competing at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre this weekend could be a co-worker, member of your high school graduating class from 30 years ago, or just somebody you met last week.
Either way, the Okanagan Valley Throwdown never fails to bring out the best in ordinary people looking to compete.
Crossfit challenges of strength, agility, speed and endurance headline the 10th annual edition of the event on Saturday and Sunday in the Peach City, with competitors from across the Okanagan, B.C. and Alberta on the grand stage.
“Whether I place first, last or in the middle, this is just awesome,” said Andy Weib, a West Kelowna-based CrossFit competitor, after completing six reps in his respective weight-lifting event.
Athletes ranging in age from 14 to 63 were tasked with taking part in five different challenges on Saturday, with endurance and overall fitness the name of the game.
Jennifer Metituk, the leader of the throwdown series, takes the event’s selling point one step further.
“You’re going to come to the event and see the average person that might be sitting next to you in a cubicle, watch them get out on that floor, do amazing skills, move a lot of weight, suffer through a workout and really showcase how strong they are.
“And it’s pretty intense, you wouldn’t guess underneath that suit what they can do.”
The Okanagan Valley Throwdown returns to Penticton this year with a twist.
Metituk is leading that new project that will bring a total of 15 local sports and business groups to the event on Sunday, for the first-ever Penticton Sports and Fitness Expo.
The expo kicks off at 10 a.m. and is free to attend.
“We have this amazing community and to be able to bring in sports that want to get out to more people is really exciting,” she said. “It’s important to bring everyone together.”
Crossfit challenges being at 7 a.m. on Sunday and will continue in conjunction with the expo.
While 60 per cent of the athletes in Penticton this weekend are from the Okanagan, Metituk says there is a strong contingent of competitors from Calgary in attendance.
She adds that about 300 spectators at a time watch the challenges unfold.