Summer Slam competition returns to waterfront Saturday

Published 5:47 pm Thursday, August 2, 2018

Feats of strength, skill and agility will be on full display Saturday at Festival Park in Washington as Summer Slam on the Waterfront returns for its third consecutive year.

Drawing 100 competitors to Washington, the annual CrossFit competition will run the gamut of climbing, lifting, sprinting and gymnastics, testing the endurance of some of the toughest athletes in the region.

“CrossFit entails a lot of different functional movements and the competition is basically just testing to see where you are,” event organizer Manny Vidal said.

From competitors in their teens and twenties to athletes entering their senior years, participants span all ages and hail from across the region, with some teams coming from as far as Raleigh and Virginia.

“It’s a two-person team competition,” Vidal said. “There’s a little bit of everything. We’ll have 50 teams in different divisions.”

LEAD SPONSORS: Fitness Unlimited owner Amy Thomas is pictured here during the first Summer Slam event in 2016. The gym, which houses BOCO CrossFit, is the lead sponsor for the event. (Daily News)

While competition and physical exertion will be major components of the event on Saturday, charity will play an important factor as well, as it has since Summer Slam’s inception. From donating to Ruth’s House in 2016 to supporting Care-O-World’s summer feeding program last year, Summer Slam has supported a variety of local causes. This year, proceeds from admissions and koozie sales will be donated to the Marion L. Shepard Cancer Center Foundation.

At the heart of Summer Slam, a core group of 40-45 volunteers make the event happen. Many are members of Fitness Unlimited and BOCO CrossFit. From setup to breakdown, these local volunteers are what make the competition possible, according to Vidal.

“It’s an easygoing day for the volunteers,” Vidal said. “They do a lot of the setup work, and then the day of, it’s kind of fun to watch everybody. We have a lot of people who make it happen and the more support we get, the more we can grow it.”

Summer Slam on the Waterfront will take place from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. tomorrow at Festival Park in Washington. The cost of admission is $5 for spectators, and kids 13 and younger get in free.