CrossFitters Head to Germany for HYROX World Championships

December 11, 2020 by
Image - Eric Emerson Botsford
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Today a handful of CrossFit athletes are taking part in a competition. But it isn’t a CrossFit branded competition. Instead 2013 “Fittest Woman on Earth” Samantha Briggs will join crossfitters Adam Klink, Lauren Weeks and Hunter McIntyre in competing in the 2020 HYROX World Championships Elite 12 in Hamburg, Germany to find the “World Champion of Fitness”.

One big thing: The four athletes will compete in one of the few live, international competitions currently allowed during the global COVID-19 pandemic. After originally cancelling the event in November, the HYROX organizers worked with German health officials to come up with a competition that they could pull off safely. The result is that four CrossFit athletes traveled to Germany to compete against eight of the top HYROX athletes in the world.

The details: HYROX is a relatively new fitness organization, making its debut in 2017 where it quickly gained popularity in Europe for its combination of Spartan Race and functional fitness. 

  • The actual competition consists of just one indoor event, but that event features many workouts.
  • The crux of the event is for athletes to complete an 8K run but after the completion of each 1K they must stop and complete a prescribed workout.
  • For Saturday’s event, the workouts include a 1K row, a 1K ski erg, sled push/pull, burpee broad jumps, weighted lunges, farmers carry and 100 wall balls.
  • Due to COVID-19 restrictions, HYROX has limited this year’s competition to just 12 athletes, six men and six women.
  • The running portion of the event typically occurs on a track or running course but restrictions have forced this year’s event to be run on air runners.
  • They invited the top five HYROX athletes in each division through previous competitions and online qualifiers, filling the two remaining spots with wild card selections Klink and Briggs.
  • HYROX was introduced to the US in 2018 and has held official events since then.
  • As part of their efforts to gain popularity in the US they have signed Klink to be the face of their sport.
  • Currently HYROX has four races planned for 2021 in the US in Long Beach, Dallas, Chicago and New York. The races feature many divisions, ranging from beginners, professionals, team and co-ed.
  • HYROX will then grab the top finishers from those races for the American Championships in Miami with the top athletes from that race moving onto the World Championships.
Image – Hunter McIntyre

Remind me: A competition to test fitness wouldn’t be complete without CrossFit being represented and Briggs, Klink, Weeks and McIntyre not only check the box, but all four are known to enjoy the challenge of competing in other fitness disciplines. 

  • Briggs is an eight-time CrossFit Games qualifier, the former “Fittest Woman on Earth,” and most recently placed 27th at the 2020 Games.
  • Briggs also competed in the Spartan Games in October which is currently being shown on the Spartan YouTube Channel.
  • Briggs is one of CrossFits top endurance athletes, and “The Engine” has competed in multiple triathlons in her athletic career.
  • Klink made news this summer in the fitness community when he took on Dave Castro’s challenge of running a sub-5:00 minute mile followed by a 500 LB back squat and becoming the first athlete to conquer that feat of fitness, throwing in 50 pull-ups for good measure.
  • Klink is a six-time Regional athlete and head coach at CrossFit Krypton, the affiliate owned by 2015 “Fittest Man on Earth” Ben Smith. 
  • McIntrye is a name synonymous with fitness competitions as he is notorious for taking on all challenges involving testing the limits of the human body through exercise. One of the top Obstacle Course Race athletes in the world, he received a wild card invite to the 2019 Games where he finished 61st.
  • Like Briggs, McIntyre also competed at the Spartan Games where he is was favorite to win.
  • McIntyre heads into this year’s HYROX Championship as the favorite after recording the top time with his finish of 57:34 at HYROX Chicago in January and later winning HYROX Dallas.
  • Weeks has also competed at the Spartan Games and has cut her teeth competing in just about every possible functional fitness competition.
  • Weeks is a three-time Regional athlete and has also competed in HYROX, DEKA and Tough Mudder X World Championship where she finished fourth in 2018.
  • Weeks won the 2020 HYROX Home Series and has the fourth fastest time in HYROX this year at 1:08.47 when she won HYROX Dallas.
  • The rest of the men’s field consists of four German HYROX athletes who are ranked behind McIntyre.
  • The women’s field consists of German HYROX athletes including world record holder and German Olympian Elisabeth Sarah Kholti.

The bottom line: As with the case of the Spartan Games, this weekend’s International Functional Fitness Federation Continental Cup and even the Titan Games, CrossFit athletes are looking outside the CrossFit brand to seek other competitions to test their fitness. This shows that athletes are wanting to maximize their time to compete as much as their body will allow them. It also allows athletes to test their fitness against other fitness disciplines and modalities and to earn money outside the CrossFit competition season. For CrossFit as a brand this again helps with their global reach as their athletes become ambassadors for the sport and helps spread their methodology to markets and individuals who are unfamiliar with them. 

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