How many sports are too many sports? Some people take part in just one sport. Some might try two and take part in a duathlon. Others will take part in three and enter a triathlon. After that, you’re in the realm of pentathlons, heptathlons and decathlons. But once you get more than three, you also get a rest between events, so was Jessica Ennis a true multi-sport athlete? She had her feet up for half the day! 🙂
And does a heptathlon have seven events or six? You run both the 200m and the 800m and in duathlon you also run twice (along with a bike ride) but it only counts as two events. If you repeat an event, even at a different distance, is it not the same event?
I ask this because Hyrox has either 16 events or 9. There are eight 1km runs between eight other events. Does each run count as a separate event or is it just one? Is Hyrox a novathlon or a sedecimthlon? I’m going with novathlon, just ’cause it sounds cooler (and is easier to pronounce)!
First run was straightforward. It was two laps of the halls and the route was marked with fast and slow lanes to help separate people. But, it never really mattered as there was plenty of room to run at my own pace. The fact there were two laps gives plenty of opportunities for spectators to see you. And at this point, admire your fast and sleek running style.
Each station is marked with a large easy to spot number so it’s easy to find where you need to go. The machines are set at ‘6’ but you can change this as long as you do it before you start and not halfway through. I’d never used a SkiErg before so, rather than, you know, practice, I just watched a YouTube video instead and tried to remember how it showed how to use the machine. There is also machines in the practice area before the start so you have a go there too in case you’ve forgotten to watch the video.
Back out and I realise there’s a large screen showing the names of everyone on the track as they pass. The screen helpfully tells you what event you’re doing next and whether you’re on lap 1 or 2.
I was dreading this one. I had no idea whether I could push 150kg. I hadn’t practiced (which you can take as read now for all the other events too!) and had only watched a video to see the technique required. This was a struggle.
Rubbery legs now before…
50m Sled Pull (120kg)
I didn’t watch the video for this one! Whoops! You have rope to pull and a small box marked on the ground to stand in. I thought you couldn’t move in the box so struggled to pull the sled without moving my feet. I was leaning back to try and use my weight to help but it was a tough challenge to complete the first 12.5m pull until Iain TwinBikeRun, who was in the next lane, told me I could move me feet. After that it was a lot easier to pull as I could walk backwards through the box.
Jelly legs now before…
80m Burpee Broad Jump
What the blimey! I have never burpeed (is this a word?) before. I saw it on a video and thought it looked easy. How wrong I was! You have to lie on the ground, stand back up. Jump. Repeat. If felt like I wasn’t moving at all. Every time I laydown, I didn’t want to get back up. Awful. Though one of the judges said “nice technique” which was good to hear especially as Iain TwinBikeRun was sent back twice for getting it wrong. What a berk-ee!
Hallelujah. At least I’m not burpee-ing (is this also a word?).
1km Row (on Concept2 Rower)
I’ve used a rowing machine many times and 1km is straightforward. This was the closest I got to a rest.
By this point I realised that I was one of the faster runners. I’m not fast but there was definitely more gym competitors than runners on the course.
200m Kettle Bells Farmers Carry (24kg)
This was tough on the shoulders but not too bad. The main thing here is to make sure to use lots of chalk on your hands to stop any sweat on the handles as any sweat makes the kettle bells harder to carry.
Second last run and I was feeling okay as I’d not used my legs for a while.
100m Sandbag Lunges (12kg)
So, let’s destroy those legs with alternate lunges while carrying a sandbag. Again, not a difficult task once you get into a rhythm but you do feel it when you get to…
The final run. Legs gubbed but at least it’s the last one.
100 reps Wall Balls (6kg)
Before you face the misery of throwing a ball against a high target 100 plus times. I say ‘plus’ because if you don’t hit the right target then the throw doesn’t count. I found this out as I was keeping track of the numbers along with the judge (who has a number clicker to keep track) and I counted 20 and he had 18. By the time I was at 90 he was at 80 and I’m sure I threw the ball 110 times before he said I’d complete the 100.
This is a tough end to the race. The 100 balls seem to go on forever and I only got through this one as Iain TwinBikeRun said “remember to ask for the box” when we entered the station. The box is a handy seat that you sit on before standing and throwing. The box ensure that you squat down correctly. You can squat without the box but why would you give up a handy seat to rest on too??!?! 🙂
About halfway through, my judge said “you’re 10 ahead of your brother, you’re not going to let him win, are you?”. I wasn’t so I made sure to keep ahead so I could be first to the…
A proper ramp. A congratulations and a banana. What more do you need for a finish?
I enjoyed this one. The variety keeps it entertaining. The venue is big enough to ensure there’s no bunching on either the run or at any of the stations, and small enough to make it easy for spectators to keep up with the action.