We get requests every year to include a Masters’ category at Tribal Clash. The reasoning behind having 40+ athletes in a separate competition is, allegedly, that they cannot hold their own against younger athletes and it would be more fair and more enjoyable to compete on a level playing field. We disagree wholeheartedly with this sentiment and confirm that there will never be a separate Masters’ category at Tribal Clash.
Tribal Clash aims to discover the most capable teams on earth. Capability is more than just fitness, endurance or strength. Capability also includes intelligence, determination, resourcefulness and attitude. The young guns might have the firepower but they often lack the strategic thinking, experience and leadership skills that come with maturity and count for a lot at Tribal Clash. Your tribe is your tribe. We refuse to make exceptions for tribe members based on age or gender or any other denominator, therefore there will never be a masters category at Tribal Clash. Forget about age. Pick your best team. Your tribe is your tribe.
There were five athletes on the arena in Tribal Clash 2016 who were aged 50 or over in the competition. A further 23 athletes were aged 45-49 at the time of the competition, a few will be celebrating their 50th birthday next year and we hope to see them return to Tribal Clash next year with their tribes.
Clare Booth (pictured here in action in ‘Tribal Fran’) was part of Unit6 CrossFit Team Gold in Tribal Clash 2016, this was her third Tribal Clash and she was 51 years old, in a team with younger team members. Unit6 CrossFit Team Gold came 14th on points after two days of tough events, and they earned their place in a semi-final in a highly competitive field with the most challenging programming we have seen in Tribal Clash to date.
The success of teams composed of a diverse mix of athletes demonstrates that in Tribal Clash, age is irrelevant. What matters more is how often you train together, how organised you are as a team, how well you communicate.
Pete Lawrence at a respectful age of 46 is an integral part of Unit6 CrossFit Team Black, who finished first place on points and made it into the final 10 in 2015. This year Unit6 Team Black, with Karen Drews and Rachel Roberts replacing Liz Stephens and Babs Allen, finished the two days of events in 4th place behind Jonny Thompson’s CrossFit Cumbria 1 where Mary Ballantyne (46) played a big part in the team’s success this year. After the tug of war, they were back in the Final 10. With two RNLI lifeguards in the team, it was no surprise that they overtook everyone in the paddleboard race, held on to their position and claimed 2nd place in the competition.
Finally, who can forget Team Poland! Losing out narrowly last year, this year they finished 5th on points behind Unit6 Team Black, secured their place in the final and then went for it. ADAMED Team Poland was crowned the 2016 Tribal Clash Champions with Emilia Hoff as one of the three female athletes in the team, she was 45 years old at the time of the competition in August.
In Tribal Clash, every team member has a part to play. Our programming favours those teams that have strong leadership, who are able to keep cool under pressure, think strategically and communicate well. In other words, experience counts. Your tribe is your tribe – assemble your best team, regardless of age.