No rest for Anderson Horrell ahead of Games

NO REST: Southland athlete Ruth Anderson-Horrell.
NO REST: Southland athlete Ruth Anderson-Horrell.

New Zealand's fittest woman plans to be even fitter when she returns to the CrossFit Games in California next year.

Invercargill CrossFit queen Ruth Anderson Horrell's 15th-placing at the world championships was her best result in three attempts, but a pre-event injury cost her the chance of doing significantly better.

Anderson Horrell was struck down with disc bulges in her cervical spine and another on her thoracic spine during her preparation for the competition, and things got worse when she slipped on the finish line of the first event and suffered whiplash.

''I guess I was fortunate that the earlier work outs in the competition didn't involve too much overhead movement," she said.

"I still had good pulling strength, but I really had a loss of strength in my shoulder as a result of whatever is going on in my thoracic and cervical spine. 

"It was difficult and probably the last workout at the Games was probably the worst for it.

''It was niggly but it wasn't like I was pushing through an extreme amount of pain all weekend. I was certainly getting a lot of treatment done, but the final workout really hurt.''

Anderson Horrell had previously placed 31st and 17th at the high profile competition, the pinnacle event of the worldwide fitness craze.

''You always want to get to the end of the competition, because they are cutting people all the way through," she said. 

"Before I went to America I had great aspirations of placing very well and once the injury happened it was like 'ok, I'm going to have to be a little bit more conservative at times and possibly a bit more realistic'. 

"I was just really glad to get through and place slightly better than I did the year before.

''We were actually very close between 10th and 15th... there wasn't very much in it. I think I could have done a lot better if I'd been peaking for the event, but as it is, getting to the Games uninjured is a test of fitness in itself. 

"Usually these things happen because your technique has broken down or some other fault of your own. I'm not blaming it on my injury, it's probably a problem I have with either my training or my technique.''

Anderson Horrell is now looking at different training options as she plots a return to the CrossFit Games in 2014, but she'll continue to work on her gymnastic movements and her speed and power.

''I've got a few comps to travel to in Australia and New Zealand towards the end of this year and then crack on towards regionals [qualifying] which start about April/May next year.''

She is competing this weekend in a CrossFit teams competition in the capital called the Wellington Cup. 

Organisers have arranged for top United States CrossFit exponent Lindsey Valenzuela, described as the second fittest woman in the world, to come to New Zealand for the competition.

The Southland Times