Status: 11/26/2022 8:54 p.m

    The Hyrox fitness competition has become a success story. On Saturday in the exhibition halls, Klaus-Dieter Rösener from Hamburg impressively demonstrated that he is by no means just something for young people. At 71, he was the oldest participant.

    Actually, now would be a pretty good time to pause, blow through, and maybe even humble yourself a bit. After all, it’s only a good half a minute until the next group of 35 athletes start at the Hyrox fitness competition in the Hamburg exhibition halls, and the seconds are ticking down. Some of the athletes actually have a slightly nauseous feeling in the starting tunnel, where the motivational speeches on the tape are constantly flashing blue and red lights.

    Not Klaus-Dieter Rösener. At 71, the oldest participant in this event jokes around, takes a selfie with his smartphone and keeps smiling. Even more: It’s almost a grin – as if he wanted to express it: Okay, and now I’m going to do a nice trick on the course with routine.

    “I have a good feeling.”
    — Klaus-Dieter Rösener

    And so he sets off after the starting signal. Not stormy, because that would be very negligent with the upcoming challenges of eight running laps of one kilometer each, alternating with eight tough strength exercise stations. But, with all confidence in one’s own abilities, controlled – but quite quickly for his age. He doesn’t fear failure anyway. He already expressed that during the warm-up: “I have a good feeling. My goal is a time of around two hours.”

    Been world champion twice

    The Hamburger was addicted to the fitness competition from the very first encounter. Right at the premiere – at that time the event was still called Curox – in 2017 he was there. “I read it in the newspaper on Wednesday, registered on Thursday, and on Saturday I was at the starting line,” said Rösener, who has since become Hyrox World Champion twice (2019 and 2020) in his age group.

    3,000 athletes in the exhibition halls

    In his hometown, the former business value graduate is one of many starters in the exhibition halls. In the fifth year of its existence, the fitness competition has developed into a success story. The competition, which was launched in Hamburg by Olympic hockey champion Moritz Fürste, among others, attracted 3,000 participants on Saturday.

    So does Joshua Wichtrup from Flensburg, who runs a fitness gym in the fjord city. With a time of 59:07 minutes, the 30-year-old, who also does intensive CrossFit, stayed under the one-hour mark for the first time. “The big advantage of Hyrox is the flexibility. In football you have 22 players and millions of spectators. There are 3,000 people here and they all participate. And you go to training when you want and you don’t have to be somewhere at fixed times “, says Wichtrup.

    Rösener’s hate discipline: sled pushing

    Rösener has meanwhile completed the first three of eight workout stations under the eyes of his daughter Maike Kocket and the grandchildren Amelie and Ben. With the Ski-Erg, a cross-country ergometer, 1,000 meters have to be covered, with the Sled-Push a 125 kg sled is pushed twice over a distance of 25 meters and then pulled again with the Sled-Pull. Rösener then raises his thumb, laughs and says: “Everything’s fine. The worst is over now.” He means pushing the sled. But there are still five stations.

    Hannah Urban also struggled in the early stages of the competition. “I started too quickly. Then I got sick for a moment,” says the woman from Duisburg, who fought her way through. Just like her boyfriend Mick Steegmann. “When I reached the finish line I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. But I was totally relieved. We came here especially for Hyrox and it was worth it.”

    Rösener is still a long way from the finish line, even if he confidently completes the laps and ticks off one station after the other in between. The burpees are over as well as the pull on the rowing ergometer. And when the sporty senior, who has completed all 25 Cyclassics bike races in Hamburg so far, also brings two kettlebells, each weighing 24 kg, to the finish line at Farmers Carry without even putting them down, the daughter and grandchildren wave at him enthusiastically.

    “We’re super proud of him. There aren’t many who do it the way he does when they get older.”
    — Maike Kocket, daughter of Klaus-Dieter Rösener

    However: A very tough task is still waiting: the Wall Balls. At that station, a ball weighing six kilograms has to be thrown 100 times at a surface three meters high. “My father is a permanent camper. And he had such a station built on the campsite on Weissenhäuser Strand so that he could practice the exercise there,” says Kocket.

    But it’s not that far in the exhibition halls yet. Rösener starts his penultimate run. Meanwhile, organizer Fürste enjoys the view of the big picture, the interior, where so many athletes do their exercises with a lot of commitment. “52 percent of people today say fitness is their sport. 20 years ago it was mainly classic sports such as football, handball, hockey, basketball and tennis,” says Fürste.

    Organizer Fürste: Hyrox corresponds to the zeitgeist

    “Now every second person says their sport or their sport is fitness. And that, although there aren’t really any real sports in the fitness segment. That’s when we came up with the idea of ​​filling this gap, which is not filled in the sports world. “

    Sports like Hyrox would just fit the age very well. Fürste: “Very few people still want to meet up every Tuesday and Thursday evening at 7 p.m. for training. The model is one that worked 15 years ago. Nowadays nobody watches the film at 8.15 p.m., but when you feel like it And it’s the same with event sports. The event takes place on a specific day, but you can train for it whenever you want throughout the year. We live in an age in which classic facets play less and less of a role to play.”

    The oldie in the field bites through

    Rösener is just entering the home stretch of the fitness competition. The sandbags at the penultimate station have been dragged, now it’s time to throw the six-kilo balls. Despite the training facility on the campsite, which his son-in-law built for him, this is not easy for him. Sweat runs down Rösener’s face, neck and neck.

    But: He bites through – like so many others here. After 2:04:35 hours he crosses the finish line. Despite all the exhaustion with a smile on his face. Shortly thereafter, he is already thinking about the European Championships in Maastricht in January, the World Cup in Manchester in May – and beyond. “With the Hyrox, the age limit was recently raised to 84,” says Rösener. “And as long as I would like to participate.”

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    Hamburg Journal | 11/26/2022 | 19:30 o’clock