Fresh Coast Festival meets with increasing success each year - and wait until you see next year

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(Photos by Jeanne Vollmer)

By Cynthia Price

“We really want to use this festival to spread the love and enjoyment of a fit and active lifestyle,” says Russ Mock of Muskegon Crossfit about the Fresh Coast Festival, now in its third year.

Mock, who organized the event with the team from his business, which is located at 575 W. Sherman in Muskegon Heights (near Seaway, across from World Rescue Mission thrift store), says that he had been in lots of local competitions, but they are usually held at the gym that hosts them.

“With us being a couple minutes away from Pere Marquette I knew that the venue would be one of a kind in the middle of July,” he said, and Fresh Coast was born.

The first year there 20 teams signed up, and in the second there were 56 total. This year, the event had to expand to two days to accommodate 80 teams.

People came from as far away as Maryland, Wisconsin, and Illinois.

Despite the drizzly (but somewhat cooler) weather Saturday and the heat Sunday, Mock says,  “We have gotten nothing but great feedback so far.”

The people who attend Muskegon Crossfit’s nice new building call themselves the MCFNation and are instrumental in making the event happen. There is a lot of equipment to be moved, but Mock says the members take pride in showing off Muskegon and its beautiful beach.

 In coming years, the team plans to add such event as the ninja obstacle course they will call Fresh Coast Beach Assault. For the event, participants will have to attack twenty or more ninja-style obstacles. The also hope to add a Fresh Coast 5K and Olympic weightlifting. Ultimately, Mock says, they would also like to include fitness events like yoga and Zumba.

The Fresh Coast Festival was graced with the presence of CrossFit royalty in the person of Sophia Grimmer. She is a local sixteen-year-old competitor who has been chosen as one of 20 female 16-17-year-olds fro the official CrossFit Games in Madison Wisconsin, to be held Aug. 1-5. ?These games will be broadcast on CBS Sports.

Should she fail to “make a podium run” this year, she will still be eligible to come back the next.

Grimmer won a CrossFit Competition in Miami in January, in the 13-15-year-old division (see www.games.crossfit.com).

The progress of the Fresh Coast Festival can be tracked through its web page, www.freshcoastfitness.festival.com; followed on Instagram (@freshcoastfitfest); or found on Facebook under Fresh Coast Fitness Festival.