Stacking Up Ricky Garard’s HYROX Performance Vs. Hunter McIntyre

In case you didn’t hear about it, Ricky Garard competed in the 2023 Sydney HYROX competition this past weekend. Garard, along with fellow CrossFitters James Newbury and Katelin Van Zyl, in the first HYROX event ever held in Australia. Held in Sydney, these three elite CrossFit athletes lined up in the HYROX Pro division.

Garard, just months after shoulder surgery, took 2nd place in the men’s division. Van Zyl also finished 2nd in the women’s division. Newbury crossed the finish line in 5th place. Overall, the trio held their own in the competition that is typically won or lost on the running segments.

While Van Zyl and Newbury did well, much of the talk entering the competition was centered around Garard. Known for being one of the best runners at the CrossFit Games, many were curious to see how he would stack up against the HYROX field.

Garard finished in just over an hour at 1:02:21. His time was three minutes slower than the winner, James Kelly. Garard’s time also puts him as the 238th fastest time in HYROX history. However, it is not close to Hunter McIntyre’s world record time of 54:07, set in Barcelona earlier this year. McIntyre also holds the 2nd fastest time and the 5th fastest.

With that, I was curious to see where McIntyre was able to beat Garard by over eight minutes. Let’s take a look…

Split Garard McIntyre Garard vs McIntyre
Split Difference
Running 1 2:44 3:22 +38
1000m SkiErg 3:33 3:29 -4
Running 2 4:02 3:18 -44
2x25m Sled Push 1:59 2:25 +26
Running 3 4:35 3:28 -67
2x25m Sled Pull 3:52 2:57 -55
Running 4 4:32 3:30 -62
80m Burpee Broad Jump 3:10 2:02 -68
Running 5 4:49 3:33 -76
1000m Row 3:53 3:48 -5
Running 6 4:29 3:28 -61
200m Farmers Carry 1:40 1:14 -26
Running 7 4:33 3:29 -64
100m Sandbag Lunges 2:56 2:49 -7
Running 8 4:41 3:39 -62
Wall Balls 3:24 3:38 +14
Roxzone Time 3:38 4:06 +28
Total Time 1:02:21 54:07 -494
Run Total 34:22 27:43 -399

As you can see in the table above, Garard came out very hot on the first 1,000-meter run, beating McIntyre by 38 seconds. They held a similar pace on the SkiErg, but McIntyre erased the deficit on the second run.

Garard would gain the advantage again on the Sled Push, however, that would be the last time he had a faster split that McIntyre until the final 100 wall balls.

McIntyre’s runs were almost perfectly consistent, ranging from 3:18/km to 3:39/km. At his fastest, McIntyre’s mile pace was 5:17. At his slowest it was 5:57/mile.

Compare that to Garard, his fastest time was the first 1k at 2:44, a 4:22/mile pace! That would not last as no other run would be sub 4-minutes. His slowest run was 4:49, a 7:42/mile pace.

It is clear that Garard lost most ground on the running. However, McIntyre showed his prowess on the fitness stations too. McIntyre was only slower on two stations, the Sled Push and Wall Balls. For the 80m Burpee Broad Jumps, McIntyre beat Garard on that station by 68 seconds!

Of course, I am comparing Garard’s time to the fastest McIntyre has ever been able to complete HYROX. At the 2023 World Championships McIntyre’s time was 56:40. In that competition Garard’s time would have been good for 13th.

Before anyone gets upset that this comparison is unfair, I totally get it. As much as HYROX wants to say every competition is exactly the same, that is not the case. Many have complained about the flooring differences between competitions (so it’s not just CrossFit). Also, Garard just had shoulder surgery several months ago.

So while there are plenty of variables that could impact Garard’s optimal time (and potentially McIntyre’s), it is clear that HYROX requires exceptional running ability combined with functional expertise on the fitness stations.

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