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Fitness fever comes to Long Beach with weekend events

A woman snaps a lift in competition at

A woman snaps a lift in competition at Flex on the Beach 2016 in Long Beach. Credit: Shaun Cleary

Fitness fervor stretches to festival-sized proportions in Long Beach this weekend. The annual competitive exercise event Flex on the Beach will return to Edwards Boulevard for the fifth straight year. This time, with added muscle. Creators of Flex on the Beach are joining the founders of NY Fit Fest to host “a weekend of fitness.” On Saturday, Sept. 16, Flex on the Beach brings weightlifting, gymnastics and other endurance challenges to the sand. That’s followed Sunday, Sept. 17, by the inaugural NY Fit Fest, which will see athletes, celebrity trainers and influencers lead yoga, meditation and boot camp classes. Also extending into the weekend: the elimination-style Unsound Surf Pro tournament in which area surfers are judged riding the swells on the beach at Lincoln Boulevard. “This weekend of fitness will feel like a party but won’t treat your body like one,” says Ingrid Dodd, one of three founders of NY Fit Fest. “People want that.”

Previous Flex on the Beach events have attracted a few thousand people, which Dodd says is indicative of the selling power of large-scale health and wellness events.

Flex on the Beach

WHEN|WHERE Check-in begins at 8 a.m. Saturday at Edwards Boulevard, Long Beach

INFO 917-559-4497,

COST $463.50 registration fee per team

Flex on the Beach promotes a safe workout within a party atmosphere, organizers say. Last year, it attracted more than 5,000 spectators and 1,000 athletes competing.

Hosted by Flex Events founder Jim Lorenzo and level 2 CrossFit coach James Quigley, the competition involves teams of four competing in high-intensity training at different skill levels. Each competition uses a peer-judging system where participants rate each other to a set standard. Flex on the Beach also incorporates rotating workout stations.

“This means that athletes compete simultaneously in different tests of fitness, rather than all competing in the same workout at once and then moving on to the next one,” the event website explains. “This creates a festival-like atmosphere with athletes and spectators constantly moving from place to place giving maximum exposure to our vendors.”

The “Rx” division is for top athletes and the “Scaled” division for all other competitors. The “Burn” division is an all-inclusive segment for athletes of all levels. Burn division contestants only compete against each other.

NY Fit Fest

WHEN|WHERE: 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 17, Riverside Boulevard, Long Beach


COST $100 day pass ($50 advance purchase Friday with discount code NEWSDAY50; $5 suggested donation for non-competitors)

Billed as a day to end the summer with “exercise, wellness and beauty,” Fit Fest features sunrise yoga, meditation, surfing, martial arts, CrossFit, boot camps, boxing, dance, health, beauty and wellness as taught by professional athletes and other celebrities or influencers.

“Take a look at your Instagram feed, some of the fitness influencers have more followers than music celebrities,” Dodd says. “Weekend-long fitness festivals may just be the hot new ticket.”

More than 30 classes will be offered every hour on 14,000 square feet of flooring. Attendees can sign up for classes online in advance. Guests are also invited to attend nutrition lectures, hear motivational speakers and peruse Fit Fest’s vendors village, which will be around the perimeter of the event space.

NCAA soccer player Alanna Locast serves as the event’s ambassador with ESPN and Women’s Sports Foundation ambassador Phaidra Knight, and WPIX 11 reporter Lisa Mateo will emcee the day’s activities from the city’s oceanfront stage. Athleisure company Lululemon is sponsoring a “locker room” offering massages, hair styling services, healthy snacks, fitness gear and more.


WHEN|WHERE 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Sept. 13-17 on the beach at Lincoln Boulevard, Long Beach

INFO 516-889-1112,

COST Free for spectators ($150 entry fee for surfers)

Forty-eight athletes from around the world will compete in the Unsound Surf Pro tournament Sept. 13 to 17.

Long Beach residents TJ Gumiela, Drew and Kyle Carracuillo and Jack Richards as well as Balaram Stack of Point Lookout will ride the waves in hopes of landing the top prize of $5,000.

“Our event is based on getting hurricane swell,” says Unsound Surf shop co-owner and co-tournament director Dave Juan. “Unlike a typical local wind swell, hurricane swells can come from extremely far distances.”

Organizers allot five days for the competition so it can run during prime conditions. The tournament will consist of four-man heats that take place over the course of three days during the week, with two people advancing each round. The contest is made up of six rounds, each lasting 20 minutes. Surfers’ performances will be rated from 1 to 10 by four certified judges.

Juan advises guests to follow the shop’s Instagram account for surf condition updates.

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