Hyrox European Championships… a Gold Medal for Encore?

Last weekend, our head coach and one of our members headed under the channel over to Holland to compete in the HyRox European Championships.

HyRox is an event that combines running and 8 different fitness disciplines all performed back-to-back against the clock for one total race time. The average finisher completes a HyRox event in 94 minutes of gut-busting effort.

Both had competed in the event before and received an email suggesting they should enter the Europeans.

After a long drive through France, Belgium and eventually Holland, they arrived at the hotel on Friday night ready to fuel up and rest up for the next day.

Alex also had to go to the local supermarket and get some oats (foolishly assuming they’d be on the menu in the morning when they weren’t!)

Saturday came, and with all pre-event oats, coffees and toilet trips taken care of, The Quickening was upon us.

Every HyRox event starts with a 1km run, then a 1km Ski, then another 1km run, and so on until 8 different events are completed.

Alex’s previous experience racing had taught him where time could be gained or lost. He dispensed with his vest before the gun had even gone and had planned in his head where he hoped to shave time from his last performance.

It worked, and he crossed the line in 1:11:23,  5 and half minutes faster than last time, giving him 7th place in his age group in the Europeans.

12:45 was Kate’s turn. It should be mentioned that Kate is an absolute bad-ass at this event and has already qualified for ther World Championships in Las Vegas.

She went out fast but measured. But was it too fast? At event 5 (the 1000m row) she looked over at Alex with a look on her face that said “I’m done, get me out of here!”.  A few encouraging words from her coach and a carb gel made things seem a little less terrible and she persevered. As Alex looked at the clock it was obvious why she was feeling so exhausted… at her current pace she was going to come in over 3 minutes faster than before.

As she entered the last event the MC for the event who is mic’d up and booming out to the whole auditorium started yelling: “and over on the wallballs we have Kate from the UK and Alies from the Netherlands going head to head for the European title”

Previously her worst event, Kate had been working on her wallballs diligently and it showed when she did 44 reps unbroken. 2 or 3 more broken sets got to the required 70 reps and she sprinted across the line to become the new European Champion for her age group with a time over 4 minutes faster than her previous best!

What a weekend.

With 6 weeks to go until HyRox London where 8 more Encore Athletes will be competing for the first time, it’s great to see the coaches leading from the front and getting first hand experience to help the Encore members put their training and their bodies to the test, and see and feel what they’re truly capable of.

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