The world of Hybrid racing is in full swing, and the time has come for the U.S. Hyrox Championship in Chicago. No special invitations went out for this event. All of these athletes have qualified and earned their spot for a shot at the title of U.S. Champion and the cash that goes along with it.
Chicago promises to be incredibly competitive. Both the men’s and women’s divisions are loaded with talent, and picking your podiums is no easy task. To give you a hand, we made a list for whom to watch.
He is the undisputed king of the mountain and the definitive favorite to take home the win. At the Hyrox Invitational, Hunter backed up all the hype and took home the win with a killer time of 58:38. this time he has even decided to add $3000 of his own cash to the prize purse for anyone that can beat him.
David campaigned hard to get invited to the Dallas Hyrox Invitational, and he proved he belonged there taking 2nd place. David has no need to campaign anymore, He flat out earned his spot. he even scored himself a Hyrox win at a later event in Orlando improving on his time from Dallas with a 63:10, no one is questioning his ability or fitness anymore. If you had to pick someone to push Hunter, this is your guy.
While all the attention was on the Invitational wave in Dallas, Dylan was crushing the regular pro wave putting in a sub 66 min time and showing he is not to be overlooked a second time. Go check out Dylan’s social media profile, and you will know this man is seriously prepared.
In a very short time, Rich has become a dominant force in Hybrid racing. He is the current record holder in both Dekafit and the DekaMile. Rich took 2nd place at the Orlando Hyrox time trials. Putting in a time of 67:22, and if we know one thing, it is this. When it comes to Hyrox, experience is a huge factor. I expect Rich to shave a significant amount of time off his first attempt.
Some people may not know of Cole but when it comes to Hybrid racing you really should. Cole is coming in hot. He finished 2nd overall at Hyrox Austin with a 68:03. That’s a solid time, but in 2019, Cole put down a 64:40 and that kind of time makes him a legit contender.
Preston has the 6th fastest DekaStrong, the 4th fastest DekaMile, and the 5th fastest Dekafit marks of all time. He is coming off a 3rd place Hyrox finish in Austin. With a time over 70 minutes, he might be a little off the podium projected pace. He should be able to draw from his experience, make some adjustments, and shave some time off his personal record.
The Land Shark is circling. Brint was 2nd place in Dallas with a time of 69:43, and he was the winner in Austin with a solid time of 66:08. He is improving every time he hits the floor. If this pattern continues, the rest of the men will need to watch out.
Matt is always ready. He has great power for an endurance athlete and great endurance for a power athlete. Matt has a personal best Hyrox time of 67:56, and he has all the tools needed to be a major player in Hyrox. The only thing that may hold Kempson back from being a podium threat is he has not made Hyrox the main focus of his training. If you want the win at this championship, you need to be in 100%.
Victor is known on Instagram as “Dark horse”, and that is a very appropriate description for him in this competition. Victor has proven to be a name to watch in Hybrid Racing with an impressive time of 32 minutes in Dekafit as well as a 71 minute Hyrox time. He may be a long shot for the podium, but he definitely has a shot at bringing home some cash.
The women’s field is beyond competitive. Any of the top women could not only take the win, but I think we may have a new all time record by the end of the day. I won’t be surprised if we see multiple women battling it out on those 100 wall balls.
Going into the Hyrox Invitational, very few people had Rachel as a legit contender. I however did pick her to make the podium 😉. She not only made the podium, she took home the win in her first ever Hyrox. Coming off a strong showing at the Granite Games, she is ready to focus 100% on the Hyrox U.S. Championship. Not only do I expect Rachel to push for the win, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see her set a new bench mark time for the women.
She is the queen of consistency. The elite 12 Champ is always a threat, and she is coming off a personal best in Orlando of 66:57. Lauren is too humble and classy to ever say it, but I will. This woman is coming for that podium.
Heather is one of my personal favorites. She may be a dark horse in this race, with a PR of 76:16, but you can’t count out her power and constant improvement. This woman has top end strength and will not quit. She owns two Hyrox podiums, one being a first overall in Dallas. I wouldn’t be surprised if she throws up one of the top all time scores on the rower.
Kelly is well known in the world of OCR and Hybrid Racing. She gave stellar performances in the Hyrox VCF competitions. She most recently took 4th in Austin with a 79:19. She has some work to do if she wants to hit the podium, but I expect she will be taking home some money.
Cali is another familiar face in the world of OCR. In only her second Hyrox in Austin, she was the overall female winner with a time of 75:23, roughly a 3 minute improvement from her first Hyrox. She has the drive and ability to take that next step.
One of the top names in OCR is now one of the top names in Hybrid racing. Hammond is just plain fast. Her running stride is smooth as silk, but don’t count our her power either. Rebecca has a personal best of 68:10. I expect that to change in Chicago, and I would be stunned if she’s not on the podium.
So the big question is how can we pick just 3 for the podium with all this talent? To be honest, it’s a crapshoot. You can take into account all the numbers and all the available data, and you might still be way off. I promise that I won’t be betting any money on the outcome of this event.
That said, here are my picks :
Men – Hunter McIntyre, David Magida, Dylan Scott
Women – Rachel Vonderach, Lauren Weeks, Rebecca Hammond
Check out all the action starting with the pro men at 1:00pm central time live on the Obstacle Racing Media YouTube channel.