Mayhem on the Mountain draws crowd to OMSP

Published 2:35 pm Monday, August 21, 2017

PELHAM – Hundreds of fitness mavens gathered at Oak Mountain State Park for the third Mayhem on the Mountain Aug. 19-20.

The two-day fitness competition brought together athletes from all over the southeast to test their overall strength and endurance.

Event founder Rich Pennino, owner of Pelham-based Forge Fitness Powered by Crossfit Shades, said 260-270 athletes participated in the event and about 80 volunteers helped the event run smoothly over the two-day period.

“Turnout has been consistent from year to year,” he said. “What we’re focused on from is being more prepared, efficient and organized with each year.”

Saturday’s competition consisted of individual competitors, while teams of four competed on Sunday. Penino said the competition is unlike many others because it incorporates elements not commonly found in the gym. Competitors participated in olympic lifting, power lifting, gymnastics, swimming and running challenges.

“Completing the challenges in an outdoor environment and having to deal with the heat really challenges them to dig deep,” Pennino said.

The event drew a large crowd of spectators, many of who were cheering on friends and family. It also featured food, beverage and merchandise vendors.

Spectator Jahzii Young, of Montevallo, said she attended the event to support some of her friends.

“It’s a really fun event,” she said. “I do CrossFit, so I know people in that community, but really everyone is cheering everyone on – even if they don’t know you personally. This event is also cool because it brings out people from all levels of fitness.”

Young said she participated in the competition once and has been a spectator for the last two years.

“Being outdoors makes it so much harder,” she said. “You go from training for about an hour inside a gym to competing for as long as three hours outdoors. You definitely have to have the mental and physical capacity to get through it. I have so much respect for these athletes.”

David Pitts traveled from Gadsden to support his daughter, Ashley Pitts, who competed in Sunday’s team competitions.

“It’s intense and impressive,” he said.

Pitts said he was a bit surprised at how difficult the challenges were.

“It’s definitely not something that you can do unless you’ve trained extensively for it,” he said.

Pitts said his daughter regularly participates in fitness competitions. She trains at Brute Fitness CrossFit in Gadsden, is a level one certified CrossFit trainer and teaches zumba in addition to being a hair stylist.

Pennino thanked all of the athletes and spectators who traveled to OMSP to be a part of the event.

“It’s great to see all of these amazing people come together to compete,” he said. “I am blessed beyond measure.”

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