24AMRAP World Champions Interview

Pennies For The Boatman

The 24-hour AMRAP WOD is a challenge of epic proportions. Surviving 24 hours of non-stop back-to-back CrossFit action in itself is a feat of considerable physical and mental strenght. Winning it 2 years in a row is extraordinary. Pennies For The Boatman did it twice in a row and are back this year for the hattrick. Who are these athletes? We already put a spotlight on 24AMRAP veteran Nate Lerma, so now we’re going to take a closer look at the other team members. Sit back and enjoy…

Can you introduce yourself,  where you’re from, age, hometown etc.

Lyal Stephen

Lyal: My name is Lyal L Stephen and am from a small farm in western Kansas. I have lived all over the Mountain west and settled in Colorado in 2003. After enlistment in the United States Navy I returned to the land lock state to start chasing my dreams. I am currently 29 years old and entering my 3 year of the 24H AMRAP. I have a strong endurance racing background, and I specialize in 18h+ races where I have podiumed in every events thus far. I know how to lead and support a team from my military training.

Kyle and Jess

Kyle: My name is Kyle Krupansky, I’m from Louisville, Colorado and currently own Double Diamond Crossfit in Greeley, CO. I am 30 years old. I played football and baseball my whole life growing up, so had a lot of weightlifting experience and picked up Crossfit 4 years ago while working with DDXF as a nutrition coach. I worked as an engineer for a couple years before getting my dietetics degree and was a nutritionist for 8 years before taking over as an owner at DDXF.

Jess: My name is Jess Krupansky, I’m 34 years old, a Colorado native and pretty much grew up in the Denver metro area. I’ve finally settled about 45 minutes north of Denver with my husband Kyle in a town called Greeley.

Jennifer Seals

Jennifer: born and raised Coloradoan, 35 years old, grew up on a farm in eastern CO, married, 3 kids, runner by nature, crossfitter by chance . .

Ellie Disselkoen

Ellie: I am from Greeley Colorado. I am 19 years old and am currently a student at Wheaton College studying Flute Performance and Pedagogy. My home gym is Double Diamond CrossFit in Greeley.

How did you guys end up in a 24AMRAP team together?

Lyal: I had the chance of meeting Nate our team captain at a Spartan race through a mutual friend. After talking and hanging out we realized we both had the same goals and admirations. He has competed in the 24h AMRAP since the beginning. However it wasn’t until we teamed up and put together a team that we won it all in year 2 and year 3.

Kyle: I’ve known Nate since I started crossfit about 4 years ago and thought he was crazy for doing the AMRAP the first year (I even told him so many times). Last year I finally decided it would be fun to do crazy things too and told him to sign me up.

Jess: Funny that you ask, because for me this was very unexpected and the request for me to join the team came to me at the last minute, around September of 2016. The other gal on the team was unable to compete any longer so Kyle, my husband, basically looked at me and told me I was doing the 24-AMRAP! I had no idea what it was at that time, all I knew was that if it was coming from him it was something super fun! So of course I said okay! Also might I add at this point I had only been doing CrossFit since May 2016.

Jennifer: ended up on team after being asked by coach Kyle. Pretty excited since I joined the gym right after the previous 24 hour AMRAP.

Ellie: 24AMRAP champion Nate Lerma was looking for new people to create a team. He contacted me and since I always love a crazy intense competition, I agreed!!

How did you prepare for last year?

Lyal: knowing Nate for so long now and competing in many different events as teammates or individuals we know each other’s strengths and weaknesses very well. When it comes to team events that knowledge pays off for how to motivate one another or when to carry the burden a bit longer. After our first title win we knew huge changes were going to be needed from everyone in order to win again the following years. In short a new team was assembled a few months later where we hand more time to train and get to know eachother. We become a close group of friends that regularly see one another.

Kyle: mostly with hour long EMOM workouts using various weight and rep schemes. Also kept normal crossfit training in 6 days a week.

Jess: When I was asked to join this team in September, I was planning our wedding for October, two wedding receptions and thanksgiving. Oh and we traveled out of state for our wedding and honeymoon, so as far as preparation, unfortunately, it didn’t really exist. Aside for my regular training/nutrition regimen, I met with my team a total of maybe 3 times to train and game plan, but I can say my mindset was ready for anything and I was ready to give this team my heart and soul and that’s exactly what I did.

Jennifer: I didn’t prepare for last year, this year I’m increasing my cardio to rev my engine, all while working on short burst high intensity workouts and hypertrophy lifts.

Ellie: in preparation for last year, I remained consistent with CrossFit WODS and mentally prepared myself in expectation, even through my first semester at college so that by December, I was ready for war!!

Tell us how last year’s event went down. Anything you want to share.

Lyal: last year’s event was far more challenging than my first year’s event. The competition was way stronger, there were 3x the amount of teams to the year prior. So with just that many more teams it was just more on the line and more to be excited about. During the wheel barrel hour I really felt the events effects on my arms and shoulder I was just drained. It was by far my weakest hour with having at least a 20min rest somewhere during the end of the hour. In hour 23 we were being told by our pit crew we were in 2nd place (which in reality we over took for 1st place) so knowing that overhead squats had not be a move yet we knew it would be one of the last movements. So for all of hour 23 I was doing 400-800 side-2-sides just to let my team rest and prepare for our last and final hour.

Kyle: It was an amazing combination of efforts coming together to produce a championship team. The community played a huge role for us, with people coming at all times to help count reps, cheer us on, or bring all of the food we needed – even some very weird food choices at times. It was an incredible test of both physical and mental strength and something I will cherish for years.

Jess: When we hit the overhead squat hour, everything in my body hurt more than it’s ever hurt in my life. I could barely walk let alone squat. But this was it – we had no choice but to sell out. I looked around the gym and all I could see were all our friends cheering us on. We had more people there than we had the entire event. We all jumped on our bars and didn’t stop till we hit the 24-hour mark! It was a moment I will never forget – hearing people on all sides of me cheer me on as we worked through until the end. I’ll be honest, at this point I could no longer feel my body. Something greater took over and not just in me but the entire team!

Ellie: Last year was a blast!! I couldn’t have suffered with a more dedicated, strong, charismatic, motivating, and focused team! I loved how the whole gym rallied to support the team especially in those last hours when we needed sleep, food and massages. My mom was there and said she wouldn’t stay past midnight, but stayed till it was over because the team was struggling. She cheered, danced and helped pace us through the last hours.

What is the most important or memorable thing or lesson learned from of last year’s event?

Lyal: it would again be hour 23 &24. Being told me were in 2nd place and then guessing correctly that hour 24 would have overheard squats in it. Just gave us a boost of lets crush these guys and take it all!

Kyle: the most important thing I got out of the AMRAP was truly understanding the value and the power of a strong community and support system. We went through one of the hardest tests I could ever imagine and would not have made it without the help of each other or those that came to watch us and push us through the entire 24 hours.

Jess: Realizing what I’m capable of when I set my heart and mind to it – also there’s no way this could have happened without my incredible team. These people made this championship happen!

Ellie: Hmm the most memorable thing I got out of last year’s event, was seeing the blood, sweat, and pain that we all endured, yet we persevered through it all and pushed each other to finish strong!!

How are you preparing / what are your plans for this year’s event?

Lyal: I am getting more accustomed to CrossFit WOD’s and movements standards. I do not want to have another hour this year where I feel one body part is just completely failing me.

Kyle: continue to train using long EMOM’s, refine some of our food choices from last year to add to our recovery, and focus on more mobility for quicker recovery from hour to hour.

Jess: I’ve been preparing since last year only a few short days following the 2016 AMRAP! My team and I will be meeting to train a lot more this time around but like I said its the heart and soul in this team that makes the difference and they have 100% of what I have to offer for 2017!

Jennifer:  I’m hoping Kyle and the rest of the team will help me figure out how to prepare a little better when it comes closer but I follow a competitors programming out of my garage that works a lot of lifting

Ellie: my plan is to continue to progress through my CrossFit training, focus on good nutrition, mentally prepare to work for 24 hrs. and pray to God for good health and no injuries!

Goals/predictions for this year?

Lyal: it’s going to be another wild year where it sounds like more and more teams and stronger opponents are going to be joining in. Looking to stay in the top 5-8 in the opening hours and then once we hit our stride top 3 until hour 24. However our team is built about endurance athletes that like to CrossFit so we will outlast everyone again and broadcast it all live again, just so you can watch.

Kyle: 3-Peat!!!

Jess: give 100% to my team and celebrate a three-peat!

Jennifer: ultimate goal would be to win again!

Ellie: the goal is to win!

Tell us one word that sums up the 24AMRAP event for you personally?

Lyal: beatdown!

Kyle: Gains 🙂

Jess: heart!

Jennifer: #challengeaccepted

Ellie: transcendental

Thank you for taking the time to answer the questions, Pennies For The Boatman team. We are really not exaggerating when we tell you that a lot of eyes are on PFTB. Teams and athletes from all around the world who have been back again to do battle in the 24AMRAP event are looking at you to see if you guys can do it a third time in a row. However this will turn out, we are all grateful for your energy and heart that you have displayed in previous years and are looking forward to see how the event will unfold this december. Good luck in preparing!

Are you getting ready for the one and only 24 hour functional fitness ultra marathon on earth? Sign up your team now!

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