Hyrox: Chicago

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HYROX came back to Chicago in February and took over the ballroom in Navy Pier. Athletes from around the Country came to our city to battle it out in the ultimate fitness competition.

Touted as the fitness competition for every body, this 8-station course is a true test of both mental and physical ability.

The race was inspired by millions of athletes around the world who consider functional fitness as their sport of choice. Until now there was no measurable fitness race for every body. HYROX is the ultimate challenge, a perfect combination between strength, endurance and determination. – Hyrox Website

The race features 8 functional fitness moves with a 1KM run in between each exercise. Athletes are divided into groups based on gender and age and begin a start chute with a HYROX team member who not only reviews the rules, but pumps you up.

Athletes begin with a 1KM run, which in Chicago translated to 2 plus laps around the exterior of the exercise station area. After the run, the athletes transition to the SkiErg, where they have to complete 1,000 meters of upper body and back action.

After the SkiErg, athletes once again hit that 1KM run around the exterior and enter to exercise number two, which is the one I find most challenging. As an upper body strength challenged runner, pushing a sled is a huge work effort. The workout requires four laps of 12.5 meters pushing a sled that weighs 226 lbs for women and 336 lbs for men. It’s a real heart pumper for me, although some athletes made that sled fly and put me to shame! I earned every inch of that push.

Following the sled push, there were six more events, each sandwiched with a run.

4 x 12.5 m Sled Pull – 225 lbs / 225 lbs (each incl. Sled)
1 km run*
80 m Burpee Broad Jump
1 km run*
1,000 m Row
1 km run*
200 m Kettle Bell Farmers Carry – 2×35 Ibs / 2x 53 Ibs
1 km run*
100 m Sandbag Lunges – 22 lbs / 45 lbs
1 km run*
100 x Wall Balls – 10 lbs / 14 lbs

It’s no surprise that the easiest events for me involved lower body work and the toughest ones were upper focused. Runners had an advantage in that the run portion could be used to bring our heart rates down. It was an active recovery before hitting each exercise. This fitness competition is such a fun change to my normal racing season and this year, was perfectly timed in the off-season of February. I can’t wait for HYROX to come back in 2024 and I urge you to follow them on social media so you can stay up to date on their upcoming events.

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Mandi has been running for over 25 years and has participated in the Chicago, Detroit, and Boston Marathons. Mandi regularly competes in regional events and enjoys being a part of several running groups including CARA and the Badgerland Striders. She is a co-host on the Ten Junk Miles podcast and looks forward to hosting the Chicago Athlete Podcast. An RRCA certified coach and Les Mills certified instructor, Mandi is also a coach with Chicago Athlete Coaching. Mandi is a local government attorney by weekday and race warrior by weekend.

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