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

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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

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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. Great job guys! Those cavewoman squats look fun… hopefully I can convince some of my friends to do them with me!

    Mr. Flintstone wrote on October 6th, 2010
  2. This is one strong, hilarious, hungry tribe.

    Hey, did I see a loaf of bread at the feast?

    Good luck, me thinks you are a strong contender.

    Sharon wrote on October 6th, 2010
  3. Love the setting and all the costumes.

    carol wrote on October 6th, 2010
  4. Wow. Too much fun. Very creative. Way to go guys! DC area represent!

    Chris wrote on October 6th, 2010
  5. That looks like blast! You crossfit people are crazy! Good job!!

    Pyotr wrote on October 6th, 2010
  6. Hahaha!!! Those outfits are epic WIN!

    Funkadelic Flash wrote on October 6th, 2010
  7. Talk about diving in 100%, with the costumes, food, events and everything else. This looks like great fun. Extra props to the girl with the giant bone in her hair. Classic!

    The Primal Palette wrote on October 6th, 2010
  8. Bonus points for going barefoot? Hard/awesome/primal!

    Michael wrote on October 6th, 2010
  9. I’m digging the tribal clothing. Looking good!

    Ben wrote on October 6th, 2010
  10. my favorite feast! good lookin grokettes too:)

    mike wrote on October 6th, 2010
  11. To Graham – I didn’t think insanity ran in our family since I’ve looked back several generations, but I think it may have been started with you! I am thinking maybe the baby (you) was switched at the hospital!!
    Love, your worried Mom.

    Dottie wrote on October 6th, 2010
  12. Love the video of the Caveman Olympics.

    christie wrote on October 6th, 2010
  13. great pics….

    Marti wrote on October 6th, 2010
  14. OK — if these guys don’t win the cow, then there’s something wrong with the universe. Those costumes are hilarious!

    Bill wrote on October 7th, 2010
  15. All I have to say is “Win!” That was hilarious, and very creative.

    Katherine wrote on October 7th, 2010
  16. why haul a sandbag when you can haul a woman? The group picture has to be my favorite part of this, major thumbs up!

    Mason wrote on October 7th, 2010
  17. Ha! I love the “Catch-a-Mate” event! This video is hilarious!

    Please let them win the Bessie!

    kristin wrote on October 7th, 2010
  18. Go Balance Crew! Wish I could have been there!

    Meghan wrote on October 7th, 2010
  19. great outfits, love the dogs! dag, wish my team coulda had more time to win that cow….

    Sandra the YogaHon wrote on October 7th, 2010
  20. This group reminds me a lot of the “write the caption” photo… :-P …still… looks like a blast!

    Fatkid wrote on October 7th, 2010
  21. Awesomeness is spreading!!!

    gilliebean wrote on October 8th, 2010
  22. After hearing about the Cave Man Olympic from the rummors coming out of siting in the Shenandoahou valley, I decide to investigate the source – CrossFit Balance on 14th Street, NW DC. I can understand how these cave people to include my daughter Lauren were able compete in this demanding two day Cave Man event. They allowed me to join in a cross fit training session as they prepare for their next challenge – I believe the Ice Age Olympics. I am proud to say my daughter was not changed at birth and that she definitly is her daddies girl. Way to go of the CrossFit Balance of DC you are the best.

    Bodach – Father to Cave Woman Lauren

    Bodach wrote on October 8th, 2010
    • I love you daddy, a girl could not ask for a better father.

      PS Way to kick butt at the workout!

      Lauren wrote on October 8th, 2010
  23. “Bone, Clubs, ‘n Harmony”. Hah! Nice one!

    firestarter wrote on October 8th, 2010
  24. LOL! Finaally a group of folks that could care less about calories!! WAY TO GO! Definately the best submission!

    CC wrote on October 8th, 2010
  25. makes me hungry!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Milliann Johnson wrote on October 8th, 2010
  26. Jen when you told me you were going away for the weekend with your gym friends.I had no idea what craziness you were up to. This video was hillarious and well planned out. Congratulations to you and your teamates for a job well done! Love mom

    lauren krystopowicz wrote on October 8th, 2010
  27. This is great! I like that it was done with humor and playfulness.

    Travis wrote on October 11th, 2010
  28. That girl Jenny is so hot!!!!!

    Candy wrote on October 12th, 2010
  29. looks like the best time ever

    rob m wrote on October 13th, 2010
  30. I want to be best friends with these people!

    Dani wrote on October 7th, 2011

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