Zaanse Renate to World Cup HYROX: “Such a race of running and fitness is wonderful”

The sport has existed since 2017, comes from Germany and is on the rise in the Netherlands. HYROX is a fitness race: 8 times 1 kilometer running alternated with heavy movement exercises. Renate van Wijnbergen (31) from Assendelft won last weekend in Rotterdam and is now at the World Cup in England. “Great and I’ve only been on it since 2021.”

A talent, because of the four HYROX events that Renate has participated in so far, she won prizes every time. And every new race she is a little faster. The fastest woman in the world completes the race in 58 minutes. “Below the magical hour limit. Unfortunately, I’m still a bit above it at 1:15,” says Renate in her own HYROX center in Assendelft.

Why did Renate take up this sport? “I was already running and also did fitness. But that’s actually quite boring because you don’t work towards something. You don’t have a goal. And because of this you do.”

Since the reporter had never heard of the sport, Renate patiently explains what parts the race consists of. No muscle is skipped. “The first exercise is a kind of exercise ski exercise, then the sled push (pushing heavy weights), tug of war with a weighted sled (sled pull), kind of frog jump, rowing, walking with weights, sandbags on your neck and a heavy throwing the ball high against a wall, and always alternating with running a kilometer: “Afterwards you are completely exhausted.”

On the rise

About 100 active HYROX members now exercise at the club run by Renate and her friend Wissam Aljobory. “And that grows quickly because their enthusiasm infects others. Many people go to a gym and do fitness but miss the competitive element.”

The sport is now very big in Germany and America. Thousands of athletes also participate in events in the Netherlands. Another event is planned in Amsterdam this fall. Renate is now fully focused on the World Cup in Manchester, England. She doesn’t expect to get a podium spot. She hopes to improve her personal best,