Brian Tolley

This next story comes from Brian: father, runner and all-around awesome member. He’s been with us for the last few months and his goals looked very specific when it comes to improving his running and race times. Here’ s his story.

It’s September 2018 and I’m lined up for a race. This fun run is very different from the many past runs I’ve done. Over 2017 and most of 2018 I’ve been training to run marathon distances and farther. Those distances are all about a slower pace and managing energy. If I take off too fast at the beginning of a marathon, I will pay dearly for it by the end of the race.

This race I’ve lined up for is only 2.5 miles long. It’s also about a 1,200ft elevation gain up the side of a mountain. I figured I could do a respectable time and place pretty high on the list. The race started, and I quickly realized that my body was not used to spending that much energy that quickly.

I discovered that even though I have over 26.2 miles of energy, I could not spend all that energy in the space of 2.5 miles. By the end, I was in really rough shape. I was puking, my legs were shaking, and I placed way down the list, way farther behind than I wanted to.

I knew I needed to train differently if I wanted to do better in 2019. I started training for faster times. Still, the faster running was just not getting me the intense energy flow I knew I needed. I joined CrossFit 43 North. I met with Bridgett and went over my goals, one of which is to get up the side of that mountain faster!

I started CrossFit and I was quickly pushing myself in ways I never had before. I started pushing hard in my weekly workouts at 43 North. I was learning how to tap into that reservoir of energy and move quicker and stronger.

Finally, September 2019 came around. It was race day and I was back on the starting line. I knew more about myself this time. I had a better understanding of what my body’s max was. I had strengthened my core and my legs. I shot up that hill and shaved more than 2 minutes off my previous time and came in 4th place! A huge victory for me! Not only did I do all that, but I also recovered from the end of the run faster and felt stronger at the end.

I’m excited to get another solid year of training with CrossFit 43 North. When September 2020 comes around, could there be a 1st place in my future? Maybe, just maybe…


We cannot wait to see what more amazing things Brian will be able to accomplish in the future. He works hard, and has a great attitude and has fun in the process. We are so happy to have him be part of the Crossfit 43 North family.