FITNESS ace Harry Thompson will be bidding to qualify for the biggest event in his sport when he competes in America tomorrow.

The 29-year-old Slaughter and May lawyer accepted an invite to participate in the Washington DC Elite15 Major hyrox competition on the back of his recent success.

As well as qualifying places for this summer’s world championships in Nice, France, being up for grabs, there is substantial prize money at stake.

“I’ll be competing in the hope of securing a podium place to qualify for the elite15 world championships race in Nice later this year to give me a shot at the overall world title,” said Thompson.

“The major events are races for the fastest 15 men and 15 women of all ages across the world to try and qualify for the elite15 world championships race in June.

“There is considerable prize money up for grabs with a prize purse of $42,000 USD split between the men and women, with winners taking home $6,000 USD each.”

Hyrox is an intense fitness race, combining eight 1km runs with workouts like ski erg, sled pull, rowing, sandbag lunges and wall balls, and is increasingly growing in popularity all over the world.

And Thompson, who has a sporting background in rugby union, excels at it.

He is already hyrox world champion in the 25-29 age group and delivered one of the best global times of 2023 in winning both the Barcelona and London events late last year.

Then at Manchester’s annual event in January, he raced with Australia’s top hyrox male athlete and eighth-in-the-world last year, James Kelly, in a men’s pro doubles pair and broke the existing world record by over two minutes.

They finished second behind Hunter McIntyre, the current reigning three-times men’s world champion and world record holder, and Northwich’s Michael Sandbach, who was 10th in the world last year.

Thompson, who was a rugby junior at Wilmslow Wolves before spells with Macclesfield, Barnes, Burnage and Sons of Lazarus Sevens, went into 2024 with the aim of winning the overall elite title at the world championships in France.

The Wilmslow resident, a former student at The Ryleys in Alderley Edge and Manchester Grammar School, has worked hard on developing himself in hyrox, while also building a strong team around him.

“Hyrox is one of the fastest-growing sports in the world,” said Thompson.

“It is a sport designed to be both accessible to everyone and test all areas of fitness for even elite athletes.

“I like hyrox because of the accessibility and because it combines several different disciplines to create an all-body challenge.

“This variety makes it a really enjoyable event to both train for and compete at because it tests a wide variety of fitness disciplines from strength to cardiovascular endurance and mental resilience, and so any training plan must address all those areas to be successful.”

He added: “I’ve built my own private gym for my training in Wilmslow called Testudo, which first started in lockdown in 2020, and train with a small group of athletes locally who are helping me work towards my goals.

“Alongside work, I have become an accredited personal trainer and group exercise instructor and run my own training plan which has seen me overcome some longstanding injuries from rugby to being able to compete at the highest level internationally in hyrox.

“Becoming an age-group world champion back in May was a bit of a shock as you never know quite how you will fare when everyone comes together from across the world on race day, but once that initial emotion settled it just felt really satisfying to get to celebrate the culmination of years of hard work with my closest family, friends and my partner.

“Having won my age group I’ve now set my sights firmly on the overall championship title and feel that last season’s experience will help to give me the confidence to push on for that goal.

“I’ve had some really encouraging results this season. However, there’s still plenty of work to do.

“I think if I want to take the overall championship title I’ll need to maximise my recovery with Physiofit in Alderley Edge, keep working hard at my training centre with my training partners and trust in the plan I’ve laid out for the next few months.

“There’s no guarantees in sport but with the support of my team I think we can do it!”