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Half a million athletes begin worldwide competition

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – A large, worldwide competition has launched pitting athletes in central Indiana against hundreds of thousands more around the globe over the next five weeks.

CrossFit gyms, or boxes as they are known in the community will welcome amateurs and professionals alike to compete against each other on a level playing field.

Dozens of participants gathered at Naptown Fitness early Friday morning to tackle the first round of the CrossFit Open.

Modifications can be made to the workout that is announced weekly so that athletes of all abilities can compete, according to Jared Byczko, who owns the fitness facility along with his business partner, Peter Brasovan.

“Depending on whether you’re a beginner, you just started yesterday or you’ve been doing this for seven or 10 years, you can do the CrossFit Open,” Byczko said.

An estimated half a million people will take part in the annual competition, which is the first stage of the CrossFit Games season according to the company behind the fitness program.

Each week, a secret workout is released publicly on Thursday evening and athletes have four days to complete the challenges. Scores based on time or number of reps are submitted online to be compared with others doing the exact same workout anywhere in the world.

The athletes deemed fittest will move onto the next stages of competition at the end of the five-week event.