Three weeks ago, the six members of TJ’s Gym Crossfit Mill Valley team had officially wrapped their season, having fallen just short of finishing in the top 3 at the NorCal regional event in May and qualifying for the Crossfit Games.
That’s when Marcus Filly, the co-owner of the Tam Junction gym, got a call from the event organizers to inform him that the third place team had been disqualified and they’d vaulted into the Crossfit Games against teams from all over the world on July 13-15.
The sextet made the most of their last-minute opportunity.
Filly, along with Sycamore Park resident Nicki Harrosh, Lisa Rendic and Jessica Woodall from Novato, Danny Nichols of San Rafael and Yago Fidani of El Cerrito, finished sixth out of 43 teams at the Crossfit Games last weekend at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., the team’s best finish ever. By finishing in the top 6 after the frst two days of the competition, the TJ’s team made it to the final round on Sunday.
“It was incredibly exciting,” said Filly, who lives in Homestead Valley. “For nobody even to expect us to be there and for us to come out showing everybody that we’re a top team was pretty amazing.”
The TJ’s squad, which trains out of the Tam Junction gym but is affiliated with all four of the TJ’s Gyms in Marin (two in Novato and one in San Rafael’s West End), finished 33rd in 2010 and 11th in 2011.
The event itself is derived directly from Crossfit, the 12-year-old fitness program that combines movements like rowing, climbing rope, weightlifting and carrying odd objects, among other activities, into short, high-intensity workouts.
In the first two days, teams competed as teams. In the final round, the slate was wiped clean and they shifted into a relay-style format, with each member competing in one event.
Filly, who opened the Tam Junction TJ’s in June 2011 in a partnership with gym owners TJ and Allison Belger, grew up in Mill Valley, went to , and graduated from in 2002. He then went to UC Berkeley to earn a degree in molecular science before getting drawn to the Crossfit craze and opening his own gym in his hometown in the old Video Droid building. The gym has more than 100 members, which Filly said is huge given the alternative nature of its workouts.
Filly said he’s thrilled to see what the Crossfit Games and the sport itself has become in such a short time.
“The magnitude of what the event looks like has grown exponentially since I started,” he said.
Mill Valley had another competitor at last weekend’s Crossfit Games, as Rich LeFurgy, who trains at The Cave in Corte Madera, qualified in the Masters Men 55-59 category. He finished 18th.
For more info and full results of the 2012 Crossfit Games, go to the event's website.