Obstacle Course Racer Hunter McIntyre Wins HYROX Dallas

The 2019 CrossFit Games wildcard paced the field to a photo finish.

Hunter McIntyre is an OCR (obstacle course racing) athlete who rose to fame as the host of the Travel+Escape Channel and Esquire Network series Boundless TV and for winning the 2018 Tough Mudder X World Championship. He fulfilled his desire to compete against the fittest on earth last year at the 2019 Reebok CrossFit Games, where he was awarded a wildcard invite. He finished in 61st place.

This past weekend, McIntyre decided that rather than going to Miami for Wodapalooza, he would test his fitness at HYROX Dallas. After all, he did win HYROX Chicago earlier this year.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Hunter McIntyre (@huntthesheriff) on


[What sport is this? Check out our complete guide to HYROX]

HYROX is a competitive indoor fitness race that consists of eight 1km runs and eight functional workouts. HYROX races are the same from event to event — but the number of laps required for 1km changes depending on the size of the venue. HYROX Dallas called for three laps.

McIntyre placed first in the Men’s PRO division in the 30-34 age group with an overall time of 58:39. What makes this peculiar? HYROX Dallas only called for three lapsMcIntyre lapped the field. That finish was over two minutes faster than Ryan Kent, the runner-up.

McIntyre was not the only athlete of CrossFit fame present in Dallas. Chandler Smith and Jacob Heppner, who finished last year’s Games in 15th and 6th place, respectively, also competed to try out the new sport.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Jacob Heppner (@jheppner66) on

You may also recognize Heppner from his appearance in the Brute Strength Showdown – the competition where a CrossFit athlete (Heppner), a powerlifter, a weightlifter, and a bodybuilder compete in ten athletic challenges.

Not only did Smith and Heppner come ready to misplace their shirts and work up a sweat, they came to prove they can compete against the best HYROX has to offer. They both finished with an official time of 58:38. Yep, they finished at the same time — this picture below captures the magic.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Chandler Smith (@blacksmifff) on

The video below shows Heppner’s pretty epic slide into the finish line in an attempt to edge out Smith. Check it out below:

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Jacob Heppner (@jheppner66) on

With Smith and Heppner finishing a full second faster than McIntyre, why did McIntyre win the event? According to Michelle Fiabane, HYROX’s Director of Marketing & Athlete Communications, Smith and Heppner competed in the event as a team and divvied up the workout. If you watch the video above once more, you’ll notice that Smith is standing under the wall ball trusses waiting for Heppner to finish before sprinting to the finish line.

McIntyre was a full lap ahead of the competition, including Smith and Heppner. He was so far ahead, in fact, that by the time he was on the rowing machines (the part of the workout right before the wall balls visual in the videos above), he didn’t realize he completed the requisite three laps to finish the race. So he started running a fourth. By the time he realized it, it was too late to turn back so he just kept going.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Hunter McIntyre (@huntthesheriff) on

McIntyre was somehow able to lap the field and catch back up at the rowing machines. It was there that the confusion was cleared up. Smith and Heppner confirmed that they were on their final lap, and so the race would come down to wall balls. Aside from the absolutely wild circumstances that led to a memorable photo finish, the final standings for the Men’s PRO Division at HYROX Dallas were as follows:

  • 1st Place: Hunter McIntyre – 58:39
  • 2nd Place: Ryan Kent – 1:00:47
  • 3rd Place: Chris Woolley – 1:03:01

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Ryan Kent⠀ (@dr0p_the_hammer) on

The next HYROX events scheduled are HYROX Munich on March 21st and HYROX Los Angeles on March 28th. The HYROX World Championships are scheduled for April 4th in Berlin, where twenty athletes from each division with the best times over the course of the season will compete to see who is the best in the world.

With McIntyre currently topping the field, he’ll be the athlete to watch. And perhaps Smith, Heppner, and big names from other fitness and endurance competitions will find their way back to HYROX to challenge him again.

Feature image via Chandler Smith’s Instagram page: @blacksmifff

Phil Blechman

Phil Blechman

Phil is a native New Yorker passionate about storytelling, bodybuilding, and game design. He holds a BFA from Syracuse University.

Before becoming a Staff Writer at BarBend, Phil worked on the creative team at World Wrestling Entertainment, as a narrator for Audible.com with over a dozen titles, and as a producer, director, and playwright Off-Broadway in New York City where he worked for The Araca Group and co-founded IJB Theatrical Productions. He can be heard as a co-host of both the Here’s What’s Up podcast and Eternal Durdles podcast.

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