In 2017 there were 300 competitors.
The following year there were 400.
Fast forward to today and there are 500 competitors flocking to Rotorua for the Crossfit Rotorua's 2TOA Aotearoa competition.
The growth of the competition has been so great that this year organisers have extended the event to two days and moved to a new venue.
On Saturday and Sunday, some of the sport's fittest athletes will descend on Rotorua's Lakes Ranch to battle for bragging rights in the third edition of the same gender pairs competition.
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The competition will test cardiovascular exercise abilities, gymnastic movements, weight lifting, teamwork and more. Crossfit Rotorua owner and 2TOA Aotearoa organiser Munro Waerea said this year's edition was the biggest yet.
"The change of venue is exciting, it's all outdoors. We've gone against the grain a little in terms of how the competition is run. On day one, each division will go through all of their workouts consecutively, finishing with a 40 minute run," Waerea says.
"So it's their normal CrossFit workouts plus the 40 minute run which is pretty unique. We're always looking at ways of thinking outside the square but also making the most of what Rotorua has to offer. We want athletes to be prepared for the unknown and the unknowable."
The idea of keeping athletes on their toes with unique workouts and movements is common to CrossFit. In recent years, athletes at the worldwide Crossfit Games have been surprised with pegboard climbs, cyclocross and a variety of odd object movements.
This year's 2TOA Aotearoa location Lakes Ranch also acknowledges the sport's origin, the Crossfit Games began in 2007 when a small group of about 70 athletes gathered at a ranch in northern California.
Waerea said the decision to make it a two-day event came down to its popularity.
"We felt the timing was right due to the attention we were getting. The last two years we were a day-and-a-half but with the growth that we saw in the first two years, we knew we had to make it two days to cater to the numbers."
Competitors will take on a range of workouts throughout the event and he says they are designed to test athletes' fitness in as many ways as possible.
"A number of things go into it - one of those is how well people can work as a team, how quickly and efficiently they can transition between movements. On day one, one workout will test peoples' range of motion, we have a skilled movement requiring people to be quite flexible and able to move over a set range.
"Following that there is a heavy component, so we got people gassed, tested their cardio and range of motion, now we'll test their strength under fatigue. At the end of the day, we thought we'd see how far we can push peoples' cardiovascular endurance with the mud run."
A lot goes on behind the scenes to make an event like this happen and Waerea said without a dedicated group of volunteers, it would not be possible.
"Volunteers are the heartbeat of this event, the heartbeat, the arteries, the blood - they're everything. The majority of those are from Crossfit Rotorua, I'd say 95 per cent, so a massive shout out to the Crossfit Rotorua whānau for jumping in."
The competition includes Rx, Advanced, Masters (40+), Intermediate and Beginners divisions.
One of the pairs hoping to come out on top in the Rx men's division is Rotorua's Bruce Mabagos and Brad Feek.
Feek said he had been a volunteer at the event for the last two years and decided this year he wanted to give it a go himself.
"It looked like a pretty sweet comp to be involved in. We'll try to relax as much as we can, the work's been done so you just have to get out there and do it.
"I've been doing crossfit for four years now, I just love the whole lifestyle of it, it's a good community to be a part of and everyone has the same goal - to get fitter."
Mabagos said there would be some talented athletes lining up.
"I think it'll be a pretty tough competition, there are some pretty big names coming."