Hyrox Australia hosted their second Aussie event taking over the Melbourne Showgrounds yesterday and somehow managed to raise the bar even higher than their amazing Sydney event two weeks ago. This fully sold out event saw racers launching from 8am all the way until 8pm and I was there to catch almost all of the action and record it for all those who couldn’t get there. If you don’t know what Hyrox is, click HERE for my race report of Sydney’s event where I go through the format of this unique hybrid fitness event.
Hyrox caused a stir when they released their map for this venue. Split across two pavilions the first seven stations of the race would be held in the larger Grand Pavilion. After completing seven kms and some brutal stations they would then run the last two hundred metres of their final km into a smaller pavilion holding the final wall balls and finish stage. I’m new to Hyrox but some veterans of the sport seemed to protest with this unusual design.
This seemed like it worked completely fine on the day and you can get a video of exactly how this went down HERE, it’s my favourite clip from all the coverage I took all day, I ran in with Jackson who was in third place, between the two buildings and arrived just in time to see Chris Woolley finish his wall balls. The reason for the protest from some I think comes down to the way Hyrox is so standardised, in theory the courses should be the same everywhere. I got an unconfirmed report that the venue may have made an error and booked the larger 10,000m2 venue out, forcing Hyrox into this configuration but once again, I think it worked fine. Anyone who has spent any amount of time in Melbourne knows that it can rain any day at any time, this may have shaken things up but Hyrox dodged a bullet with this one and they got perfect cool racing conditions all day.
I arrived around 9am to HYROX Melbourne after jumping on an early flight from the Gold Coast, this meant I missed the Men’s doubles event, which tbh looked pretty lit. The course looked fast with some quick wave times, CrossFit giant James Newbury who placed 5th in Sydney made an appearance and put down a 52 minute time for the course, it was going to be a exciting day!
The schedule was jam packed and I don’t think Hyrox could have fit any more waves in if they tried. At a guess if their numbers continue to grow I would think Hyrox might be a 2 day event in both Sydney and Melbourne for 2024. They certainly had no trouble filling up this event and I know plenty of people who were trying to get tickets last minute. I had planned to go bigger and better with the content this time so I was looking forward to having some down time during the day to edit vids between the Female Pro and Male Pro events! The day turned out even bigger than I had hoped, I closed my laptop at around midnight in the hotel, having missed the Hyrox after party that I had already grabbed tickets for!
THE ELITE REPORT
The Female Pro event launched at 11am and a front pack pulled away almost instantly. Stephanie Witton’s running background was clear as she pulled a quick lead into the first few stations but she was quickly outclassed by larger and stronger athletes Mareesa Robertson and Talitha Sholtz once they hit the sleds. Mareesa made the sled push look like a complete joke almost running with it, the sleds certainly gave enough athletes pause though to make me think that there was nothing out of the ordinary with the sleds themselves. Mareesa was so damn fast through the stations that I would she was going to burn out and when we got to the farmers carry Talitha blew past her. New to Australia, Talitha has run a few Hyrox events overseas and looked to be pacing a great race. Talitha managed to pull a decent little lead through the final run legs and stations and I thought Mareesa might be cooked. I followed the girls in to smaller pavilion to hit their wall balls learning that Talitha only had a 12 ball advantage. With a stronger frame I knew that wasn’t going to be enough to hold out Mareesa who grinded her way past Tally to take the win. Stephanie had joined the girls for their completion of their wall balls and did enough to hold third. Catch my finish line interview and highlights from Marisa’s race below.
With racers leaving every ten minutes all day, the tension slowly built as the 6 40pm Male Pro event approached.
I grabbed chats with a few of the lads who I knew would be worth watching in the warm up area and got ready for what I knew would be an electric race. They took off right on time and didn’t fuck about, Chris Woolley putting the hammer down early with a 3.27 for his first km. They blew through their Ski Erg with about 10 athletes finishing around the same time but Chris negative splitted his first run with a 3.18 to put lead on before the sled, after making short work of the push he left with a larger lead again and no-one looked like touching him for the rest of the race. It was clear pretty early that we were going to have some exciting racing went a front pack broke away for second place. Tom Rodgers, Jackson Harding and Peter Day had pulled away by the burpees and started playing tit for tat for a podium. Every one of these athletes had run in Sydney two weeks ago and every one of them seemed to pace a much smoother event. Tom stayed consistent enough to break into a small lead for second place, he put down the fastest time for the lunges and second in both the farmers and row, I’m excited to be talking to him in a live podcast tonight. Link below. Jackson Harding and Peter Day put on a good show for the crowd for third, Pete chased him down all the way, gaining on him in the wall balls but not quite enough. Jackson completed his 100 throws a few reps ahead of Pete to cross the line in 3rd only to take a 3 min penalty for a missed run loop! Peter Day was pushed up the ladder into 3rd place and I thought thats where the positions would stay, only to find out afterwards that ex triathlete Ryan Constance had gone hard in the second wave to slip into third.
Catch my finish line interview and race highlights from Chris Woolley below.
You can get finish line interviews and Highlights with Tom Rodgers, Jackson Harding, Ryan Constance and Peter Day by clicking on their names. If you want to watch all my commentary from the race all stitched into one video, click HERE
I had Tom Rodgers on a live podcast last night and it was a great chat all about Hyrox and what it takes to run such a fast race.
Catch the replay HERE
Congratulations to Monique who improved greatly on her finish time in Sydney, finishing 14 minutes faster and just missing out on the top 10 in the pro division. Mon has done some pretty awesome things in obstacle racing and I'm keen to see how she goes transitioning into hybrid racing as her focus for 2024!
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