Extreme fitness
Get more with myNEWS
A personalised news feed of stories that matter to you
Learn more
Mavis Chan and Jeff Mang cross the finish line at Hyrox, held at Asia World Expo. Photo: Jonathan Wong

Hyrox Fitness Race breaks new ground in Hong Kong as organisers set sights on Asia expansion – ‘this is just the stepping stone’

  • ‘A lot of fun and sweat,’ says 27-year-old marketing executive Jasmie Mong who joined inaugural race with group of friends from Strength Culture
  • Organiser Richard Cowley said event had broken all expectations and set a positive tone for its future in Hong Kong and across the region

A 1,000-strong group of brave competitors faced muscle cramps, body aches, stitches and a whole lot of sweat on Saturday for the inaugural Hyrox Fitness Race.

Held as part of the Hong Kong Fitness + Wellness Expo taking place at AsiaWorld-Expo, Hyrox is a new style of competition that incorporates running, jumping, sledge pushing, burpees and throwing medicine balls.

It’s not for the faint-hearted.

“I have no idea why I joined, I was regretting it the whole way,” said 30-year-old recruitment consultant Jeff Mang who signed up with his partner Mavis Chan. “But once I finished it was all worth it.”

He was, of course, joking and said it was a new challenge they were both looking to tackle after competing in last year’s Spartan Race. Mang, who usually spends his time weight training, had some sound advice for future competitors.

“If people are thinking about doing this race, I recommend months of training beforehand. Obviously mine was not enough.”

Husband and wife duo Andy Raine and Carrie Raine cross the finish line at Hyrox Hong Kong, held at AsiaWorld-Expo. Photo: Jonathan Wong

For 27-year-old marketing executive Jasmie Mong, the race was an opportunity to help bring down stereotypes that exist around strong and athletic females in Hong Kong. Mong, who trains as a strongman competitor at Strength Culture in Central, said the city still had a long way to go towards accepting women with muscles.


“Athletic female bodies are not as appreciated here in Hong Kong as they are in other cities. I feel like this competition is an opportunity for females to show Hong Kong that girls can be strong as well.

Participant Sylvia Lai (left) at the SkiErg station at Hyrox Hong Kong. Photo: Jonathan Wong

“It was a lot of fun and a lot of sweat, but it was worth it, plus there’s a KFC right outside the door, so that will definitely be worth it later on.”

Mong welcomed the launch of Hyrox in Hong Kong and hoped it would help inspire other women to look into newer types of training and fitness.

“I feel that heavy lifting helps me be more confident with myself, not just in the athletic field, but also in work. I carry it into my daily life and I don’t really care about what other people say about my physique because I know what my body is capable of,” she said.


For Pete Laverick and Rhys Jones, who won Saturday’s men’s double competition, their involvement in future events is almost guaranteed. Their win granted them automatic entry to the Hyrox World Championships in Manchester next May.

“We trained hard for this, it was nice to have something to aim towards,” Laverick said.


Both Laverick and Jones have played rugby with Societe Generale Valley RFC and said the fitness from training was a huge advantage.

“Rugby training really helped us,” Jones said. “We normally train quite a lot and we usually look after ourselves quite well anyway, we just tweaked a couple of things. But we were still going out and having beers, we didn’t want to let that part of it go.”

Winners of the men’s double competition Pete Laverick (left) and Rhys Jones at Hyrox Hong Kong. Photo: Jonathan Wong

And as for the world championships. It was a resounding yes.


“Of course we’re going to do it. I think we’ll just set a date, commit to it and give it a crack, but we might have to think about being a little bit more professional next time around.”

Richard Cowley, director of Hyrox Hong Kong, said the event had broken all expectations and set a positive tone for its future in Hong Kong and across the region.

“This is the first-ever two day race in Hyrox history and the first race in Asia, so to see this many people is really exciting,” Cowley said.


“A big part of today’s success was building a network with gyms in Hong Kong. We had 100 people from Fuse, almost 70 from social group DB Dad Bods, 60 members from Coastal Fitness … we’ve really tried to build that community.”

Next year Cowley said there are two events planned for Hong Kong, in addition to Singapore, Australia, Taiwan, Japan and Korea.

“This is just the stepping stone of what we’ll achieve here in Asia.”

Hyrox will continue on Sunday with the women’s double event starting at 11am, and the men’s single competition kicking off from 12.40pm.