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Ocean Center-Daytona Beach welcomes 1,700+ athletes with Bacon Beatdown

Ocean Center-Daytona Beach welcomes 1,700+ athletes with Bacon Beatdown

From burpees to box jumps to wallballs, the Ocean Center will be full of activity as athletes from 37 states and five countries compete at the 2021 Bacon Beatdown.

The three-day functional fitness competition returns to the facility June 18 through 20 for a weekend of strength, sweat and endurance. More than 1,700 athletes ranging in age from eight years to over 50 will take part in individual or team competitions.

“The Bacon Beatdown is a professionally run competition for athletes of all ages and experience levels, as we strive to provide a Regionals quality experience for everyday athletes,” said event organizer Will Bald. “Whether athletes are taking part in their first competition or are seasoned veterans, each competitor will get the opportunity to take part in a quality event that respects and highlights all skill-levels.”

Entering its ninth year of competition, and returning to the Ocean Center for the eighth time, the 2021 event will be the highest attended to date. Usually a regional competition, after successfully hosting a safe event in July of 2020, the Bacon Beatdown gained significant notoriety in the functional fitness world.

“When the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of most events, we sat down and evaluated our options. We felt it was important that we find a way to safely host our event, if possible, to provide an outlet and reason to train for our community,” said Bald.” Working with Ocean Center staff, we created a set of safety protocols and reworked the event to provide the space necessary for our athletes to safely compete. We were the first ones in the country to successfully host an indoor competition of this nature post-pandemic, and we made a lot of new friends in the process. Now, athletes are confident that our events will continue to take place in a safe and professional manner.”

“2020 was a challenging year and we embraced the opportunity to work with Will to host their event despite the obstacles,” said Ocean Center Director Tim Riddle. “With a little creative thinking, we were able to provide Will the resources needed to safety execute his competition, creating an opportunity to foster future growth. We’re grateful to again be the facility host for Bacon Beatdown in 2021 and look forward to welcoming this elite competition in future years.”

Competition kicks off Friday as youth and beginner divisions take part in three workouts of the day, or WODs. The fun continues Saturday and Sunday with six WODs over two days for more experienced divisions. The last day of competition takes advantage of the Ocean Center’s close proximity to the coast, with a morning WOD on the World’s Most Famous Beach. And the increase in participants (and spectators) isn’t just positive for the event, but also provides the opportunity for additional visitors to experience the area.

“We are excited to be a part of welcoming the athletes competing in this amazing competition to the Daytona Beach area,” said Sports Business Development Manager Brandon Little with the Daytona Beach Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.

And as the event grows and evolves, so too does it branding. Announced over the weekend, 2021 will be the last year of competition under the name Bacon Beatdown, with the 2022 event transitioning to the Atlantic Coast Classic, or ACC.

Bacon Beatdown comes from a bygone era in CrossFit, where many athletes practiced a paleo diet that promotes a low-carb diet, but allows for the consumption of the popular, and piquant, pork product.

“While the event was fun and whimsical in prior years, matching the name, the competition has evolved to the point where we felt that the Bacon Beatdown name no longer matches the nature of the competition,” said Bald. “The Atlantic Coast Classic evokes a more professional tone, which is what we’ve strived to bring to Daytona each year.”

To learn more about the competition, including how to register as an athlete or secure your spot as a spectator, visit

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