Athletes train at Marathon gym

Three top athletes are spending some time in Marathon training at Keys Strength and Conditioning on 107th Street. Hannah Richards, 28, of Sanford, Florida is the one with local ties — her mother is Sue Lovley of Marathon. She’s accompanied by fellow “CrossFitters” Nathan Keil, 26, of North Carolina and Aaron Hanna, 26, of Clearwater.

CrossFit is, of course, the exercise trend sweeping the nation. It involves whole-body fitness plus an element of competition that the three thrive on. The trio met last year after the 2014 CrossFit regional competition. Right now, they’re training for the CrossFit games regionals to be held in mid-May in Atlanta, Georgia.

“I’ve been doing this for four years,” Richards said. “My favorite element of the CrossFit workout are the gymnastics exercises — the pull ups, handstand pushups, and muscle ups,” she said. “I love CrossFit because it is unlike any other sport — you get to test your body’s capabilities every day and most days you end up surprising yourself!”

This will be her second regionals competition. Last year she placed fourth, but only the top three advanced to the Games in Carson, California.

Keil is a former swimmer and basketball player. He said he stumbled on the exercise regimen four years ago. Like Richards, he also placed fourth in last year’s regionals, and missed his chance at the next level of competition by one spot.

“I like the longer workouts that involve endurance or doing body weight exercise,” Keil said.

Aaron Hanna said CrossFit workouts are about being good at every element of the regimen— strength, speed, agility, flexibility. Still, if he had to choose, he likes the barbell best.

“Every day is different. CrossFit makes you stronger, fitter, leaner all in one workout. You get to see what your body can do,” Hanna said.

Good luck to the three athletes competing May 15-17 in Atlanta, Georgia. You can follow their journey to be the “Fittest on Earth” online at

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