For the past decade, the Tri-Fitness World Challenge has been hosted in Las Vegas, but Tri-Fit president, Al Rosen, made a decision this year to move the event to beautiful St. Pete Beach, Florida. His intention: a better experience for the competitors. Rosen explains, "I am excited to bring the World Challenge back to Florida where it all began in 1997. Las Vegas was great for 10 years, but with entire families (wives, husbands and children) participating in the event, we have now provided them with a fun-in-the-sun environment."
Although the location changed, one thing remained the same. Two-time champion, Connie Knott, was back, going for the first-place prize and hoping to claim a world record. For the past two years, she's been finishing the Tri-Fitness obstacle course within a few hundredths of a second of the world record time of 46.72 seconds, and this year's run had also been reasonably clean. But on this course, no matter how well you run it, there is always something that could've been done cleaner, quicker and a split second faster. As she extended her athletic body upward and over the final obstacle, then fluidly returned to a full stride and crossed the finish line, she knew it was close. As she stood waiting for the official time of her run, Connie appeared to stop breathing. Finally, the timekeeper ended the suspense. Connie's time: 47.6 seconds. The world record would have to wait another year.
But rather than show anger, frustration or even disappointment, Connie Knott didn't miss a beat, immediately cheering for the next group of girls lined up to tackle the course. Her attitude, however, isn't unique in Tri-Fitness. In a scene more reminiscent of a family picnic than a world championship sporting event, fans, family and competitors ambled around the staging area and starting line in a heartwarming display of encouragement.
The Tri-Fitness Challenge is perhaps best known for its obstacle course, but contestants have the option of entering any or all four Tri-Fitness events: Fitness Skills, Fitness Routine, Grace and Physique and the Obstacle Course. Each event has a winner, but the coveted title of overall Tri-Fitness Champion will only be awarded to one who competes in all four events, amassing the best overall score of the four events combined.
Connie Knott won the overall Tri-Fitness title, nudging out second-place finisher Kelly Prince by only five one-hundredths of a point. While Knott recorded the best time on the Obstacle Course, Prince took top honors in both the Fitness Routine and Grace and Physique rounds. And it was Andrea Ramsay who dominated this year's Fitness Skills event. For more information, photos and full results from the Tri-Fitness World Challenge, visit trifitnesschallenge.com.