Rhino’s Events Know No Bounds

What can make your events stand out?When the word “event” comes to mind in the CrossFit world, most people think of competitions in a Box or a party on Friday night. Julie Johnston has other ideas.

From cave workouts to the infamous Three Ts of Torture — three hours of the worst workouts imaginable — overtime, Johnston said they’ve put on over 50 different events. The ideas for Rhino CrossFit’s events, located in Las Vegas, Nevada, come to her when she’s just chilling in the Box or driving her car. “We’ve always used terrain around Las Vegas that most people
wouldn’t realize is there: we have mountains, we have lakes, we have rivers. We have all kinds of different places we can use,” she explained, even mentioning the Las Vegas strip along which her members sometimes run wild in one event called Boot Camp the Strip.

An example of using the environment around the Box is the above-mentioned cave workouts. Johnston explained how the event changes every time, but will usually use rocks found in the caves to perform moves like thrusters and push presses. “It’s always different,” she said. “It’s always fun. People never quite know what they’re going to get.”

At about $15 per event, Johnston said her goal is to keep it cheap while keeping the quality. She has developed big events before, complete with medals and t-shirts; however, her Box lost a lot of money and it was expensive for the members. “What I wanted to do was offer something people weren’t going to get a medal for, they weren’t going to get a t-shirt for it, they just get the experience, and then you can offer it way cheaper for them, and then you can put it on relatively quickly,” she said.

All of the instructors at Rhino CrossFit are experienced and good with problem solving, Johnston noted, which is an important part to the success of her events. Creativity, imagination and courage were three other key ingredients in the recipe. “The biggest piece of advice I have to offer [other Affiliates] is use their imaginations and don’t be afraid of all the different outcomes because there are so many different variables when you’re going outside of your gym,” said Johnston.

Such variables can be accounted for. Using waivers, checking with insurance and making sure to get permission are just some of the ways to do so. To start putting on events outside of the Box, Johnston suggested holding an event at the local high school. Often, the principal has the ability to give permission to rent out the track. Plus, she said when you go to any place, it’s good to offer to list them on your insurance, do waivers with them and their company, etc. “It’s not as hard as it sounds, but if you’re just persistent and you keep finding ways around and keep overcoming any of their objections, usually they’ll let you do what you want to do,” she said.

Ultimately, the question still remains why Johnston does such different and unusual events? The answer is found in the question. “We’re not putting on the same events that everyone else is putting on, because we’ll just go to their event,” she said.

Rhino CrossFit’s events are different and provide an opportunity to reach new people. When residents of Las Vegas see a group of hooting and hollering athletes running down the strip, they know just what Box they came from.

Heather Hartmann
Heather is the editor for Box Pro Magazine. Contact her at heather@peakemedia.com.