Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
6 Oct

Grokfeast on the Shenandoah River

On September 8th I asked my readers to host picnics and to send me the results. The following is one of 27 amazing submissions, the best of which will win an entire cow, courtesy of US Wellness. Vote for your favorite on October 8.

On September 24th 12 Crossfit Balance members ventured to the country near Shenandoah National Park for the Inaugural Caveman Olympiad and Feast. After a delicious meal of slow-roasted pork butt and butternut squash soup Friday night, the athletes retired to their cabins to rest for the next day’s events. Saturday morning, fueled by several pounds of bacon, scrambled eggs, and fresh fruit, all 12 contestants donned their Paleolithic costumes and readied the field of battle. The 8 men and 4 women broke down into 4 teams of 3, and after the Caveman Torch Lighting and Opening Stampede the games began!

The CMOC (Caveman Olympic Committee) chose 6 events to test the speed, strength, power, agility, endurance, and intelligence of the competitors. Points were based on standings in each event, while bonus points were also awarded for competing barefoot and stealing other teams’ clubs. The opening event was a relay, where each team member had to sprint, drag a small log, and backpedal before passing the baton to the next teammate. Event 2 was a rock toss- each team had to throw 3 rocks of varying sizes as far as possible, and the longest total distance won. Some cavepeople chose to launch the rocks shot putt or discus style, but most athletes opted for the over the head Highlander games technique (?).  Event 3 proved to be the most difficult; in this brutal workout each male had 90 seconds to pick up and carry a cavegirl along a short course, then do as many cavegirl squats as possible in the remaining time. The cavegirls themselves had to carry a small log, then perform as many overhead squats as they could in the remaining time.

After a quick break to rest, rehydrate, and grab some more bacon, the contenders girded their loins for the last few events. Event 4 was “Bringing Home the Bacon,” where each team of 3 had to move 5 sandbags, ranging in weight from 25 to 100 pounds, from one high porch to the other as quickly as possible. Next up was “Catch-a-Mate,” where each team chased down, subdued (with a club strike to the rear), and carried back as many other cavepeople as possible in 3 minutes.  This was another tough event, as there were some hefty cavemen present.  The final event, the “Caveman Medley,” was another relay, where each team member began with walking lunges, sprinted to a pile of firewood, moved it up a hill while bear crawling, then sprinted back to the finish with the firewood. When the dust settled, team Got Meat? barely edged out team Bone Unit for 1st place, with teams Cave Sketch and Bone Clubs n Harmony bringing up the rear.

The exhausted cavepeople took a refreshing dip in the nearby Shenandoah River, then began preparations for The Feast. 3 t-bones, 2 enormous ribeyes, and 2 whole chickens (nearly 15 pounds of meat in all!) had been marinating for 24 hours in the cabin. As some of the cavemen readied 3 grills and an open fire (fueled all weekend by hand-split wood), others began prepping the vegetables. Once the fires were hot enough the food was thrown on the grills, and soon the scent of roasting meat and veggies filled the air. Before long everything was cooked, and The Feast was impressive indeed. Most impressively, everything got devoured! A few people even had room for a dessert of grilled peaches. Bellies full of meat and vegetables, 12 tired, sunburned cavepeople with very sore feet gathered around the roaring bonfire and told stories far into the night.

The Feast & Recipes

We decided to keep it simple and caveman-ish for The Feast, and just cook lots of meat and vegetables over an open fire. The meal was also a group effort, put together on the fly without too many spices, cutting boards, knives, bowls, etc, so there was a lot of improvisation. That being said, this is what we ended up eating:

The main course was a variety of meat (T-bones, ribeyes, and whole chickens), marinated overnight in a homemade blend of olive oil, apple cider vinegar, fresh-cut garlic and leeks, and a variety of spices. We cut up the chicken into more manageable parts, then grilled it and the enormous ribeyes (about 2” thick, 2 pounds each) on a charcoal grill. The T-bones went on a grate directly over the wood-burning fire pit.

For the sides, we cooked 6 red peppers, 4 onions, a dozen or so small potatoes (not technically Paleo, but freshly delivered from a local farm), and a pound of mushrooms. The peppers, mushrooms, and outer 2 layers of onions were marinated in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, oregano, and salt and pepper, then put on bamboo skewers and grilled over charcoal. We got a bit more creative (or primitive) for the remaining vegetables. For the onions, we cut a small cross into the top, wrapped them in tinfoil, and put in some olive oil, butter, and salt before sealing them up in the foil. We individually wrapped the potatoes in tinfoil with no additional ingredients. All of these veggies started off on the grate above the fire, but when we realized how hot the fire was we nestled them into some coals to the side, and cooked them until they were all tender. Finally, for dessert we grilled 3 peaches, halved, pitted, and drizzled with honey and nutmeg. Delicious!

The Tribe

Sarah Burch, Jed Clift, Ash Cope, Cristyn Cram, Rod Crider, Quint Fischer, Michael Hall, Joe Heaton, Graham King, Jenny Krystopowicz, Lauren Twohig, Justin Zubricki

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. ok, now THAT was cute, & creative :)

    Peggy wrote on October 6th, 2010
  2. there goes my chance at the cow…

    Audry wrote on October 6th, 2010
  3. hahaha….this is awesome!

    Jim wrote on October 6th, 2010
  4. Geez, I need a crew like this. Where are all you primal folks in WI! Let’s get this on!

    Robert wrote on October 6th, 2010
    • In what part of WI are you? I’m moving there next summer.

      Larry wrote on October 6th, 2010
      • Southern, Madison area. I know there are quite a few of us in the area. I need a workout buddy. Keep me motivated. I would love to get together a Midwest Paleo Olympics! ala the Warrior Dash or Tough Mudder.

        Robert wrote on October 6th, 2010
        • I’ll be halfway between Madison and Milwaukee (Watertown? Oconomowoc?)Sign me up for the Midwest Paleo Olympics! :^)

          Larry wrote on October 6th, 2010
    • Magness wrote on October 10th, 2010
  5. um….this is pretty kick-a$$! Is this Balance Gym in DC? Way to represent the 202 guys!

    Jose wrote on October 6th, 2010
  6. I can’t view the video because it contains material from sony music Entertainment and they have blocked it in my country!! Not fair!!

    Anna lindholm wrote on October 6th, 2010
  7. WOW that looks like SO…MUCH…FUN

    Carl wrote on October 6th, 2010
  8. This looks so creative and fun! What a way to spend a few days!

    Cindy Hanna wrote on October 6th, 2010
  9. cute outfits…

    MeatMe216 wrote on October 6th, 2010
  10. Great costumes! Great food! Great party!

    Emerson wrote on October 6th, 2010
  11. This is by far my favorite grokfeast! The games and the outfits were very fun and primal at the same time. The food looked delicious and everyone looked awesome. Enjoy your cow, fellas. Looks like it was a blast!!!!!!!

    dream puppy wrote on October 6th, 2010
  12. I love this!! The dogs are a cute touch :)

    Maria wrote on October 6th, 2010
  13. I laughed out loud when they started running with the torch and the dogs brought up the rear. Definitely added that extra wild touch.

    Kris wrote on October 6th, 2010
  14. Yes – this is Balance Gym/CrossFit Balance. CrossFit Balance is at our new location on 14th Street, NW DC. If any readers want to stop by for a workout, just email or call me.

    And, yes, this was an awesome weekend!


    Graham King wrote on October 6th, 2010
  15. Wow, amazing! Looks like loads of fun too. 😀

    Jenny wrote on October 6th, 2010
  16. Those costumes were too funny. I also loved the picture from breakfast with a huge pile of bacon. =]

    mayness wrote on October 6th, 2010
  17. This one is awesome and inspiring! I wish I had enough friends around interested in the primal lifestyle to get something like this together :) cheers to you guys!

    Sarah wrote on October 6th, 2010
  18. I absolutely love the outfits. Very nice work.

    Adam wrote on October 6th, 2010
  19. I didn’t know that caveman olympics existed. I must compete next time, heh.

    Ryan wrote on October 6th, 2010
  20. I like how this pack of Groks was accompanied by their “wolves”! Three cheers for symbiosis!

    Larry wrote on October 6th, 2010
  21. Grok party Crossfit style – nice! Maybe I can get Crossfit Prescott (AZ) to do this some day. Y’all put a lot of work into this, and it looks like it was a ton of fun. Good job!

    Julie wrote on October 6th, 2010
  22. gotta love it!

    Fit Under The Collar wrote on October 6th, 2010
  23. Love the outfits and the fun awesome workouts. Way to get into the spirit guys!

    anzy wrote on October 6th, 2010
  24. Great job! Looks like awesome fun!

    Jess wrote on October 6th, 2010
  25. Thats dedication right there, right down to the costumes

    Vance Gatlin II wrote on October 6th, 2010
  26. That was hysterical!! Grab a mate was very funny!!

    Lori wrote on October 6th, 2010
  27. Wow, That’s freakin awesome!! I’m so jealous, that looks like you guys had a blast! Good choice with ‘Cochise’ as well, Chris Cornell rocks!

    Mlkrone wrote on October 6th, 2010
  28. I love the touch of the oversize bone hairpieces.

    Jackson wrote on October 6th, 2010
  29. Looked like a blast.

    Kyle wrote on October 6th, 2010
  30. Very Cool!

    Ryan wrote on October 6th, 2010
  31. and the Greeks thought they held the first Olympics. wrong.

    gnataxela wrote on October 6th, 2010
  32. Love the outfits.
    I cannot BELIEVE how much meat you ate – that’s amazing!

    Melody wrote on October 6th, 2010
  33. Wow.
    The bar has been raised- great job guys!

    Flint wrote on October 6th, 2010
  34. You guys went all out, awesome.

    Mike wrote on October 6th, 2010
  35. A true caveman event, enjoy your cow.

    Nick wrote on October 6th, 2010
  36. That looked absolutely amazing. Good work everyone!

    Chipdogwa wrote on October 6th, 2010
  37. I don’t even know how to describe how awesome this looks… words fail me. I will point out that Team “Bone Clubs n Harmony” is just one small element that makes this entry amazing. I vote Shenandoah!

    Slate wrote on October 6th, 2010
  38. This looks so fun! I wish I could be there, and I wish my friends would let me carry them like that(some objection about being a human barbell).

    Garth Whelan wrote on October 6th, 2010
  39. Not sure you can call the girls heavy things but the lifting looks fun.

    Mark wrote on October 6th, 2010
  40. Loved looking at your weekend…looks like you had a blast. I vote for you to win the cow!

    Cj wrote on October 6th, 2010

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