AS HAS become the norm for strength sports in Perth, Coventry Village again played host to this event. It was a more subdued affair than the first qualifying round held in June, which incorporated the WA leg of the national log lift championships and boasted a greater number of participants across all divisions. You haven’t read about it coz I wasn’t there.
The day began bright and shiny, and the threat of rain looked to have abated by the time we got underway. Several of my PTC Strongman trainees showed up to spectate, which I was very happy about. Not just for their support but so they could witness first hand how a typical WA Strongman comp works. This was a different animal to the novice comp they’d participated in earlier this year. More events. Bigger implements. Heavier weight. The stuff that makes strongman what it is.
The first event was a clean and press medley; two axles and two logs, ranging in weight from 100 to 130 kilograms. I made it to and twice almost (but not really) locked out the 120 log. Having said that it was actually a decent showing for me, and put me just in front.
Event two was the car walk. Something brand new for WA Strongman and an apparatus I’d trained with only once before. During my training session with it I managed almost the full 20 meters in a decent time (I’d say around 20 seconds) but on the day I was terrible. I dropped it twice, completing the run in something like 45 seconds… maybe more. Shithouse, really.
Event three was the axle deadlift: 275 kilograms for reps. I made a decision which I could easily have recalled now as a calculated move but was in fact an underestimation of my competitor’s abilities, and over-confidence in my own. Jay is a veteran of the sport and while I know he is strong. he truly surprised me on the day by pulling eleven reps of the axle where I had coasted, stopping at just seven. Proverbs does say pride comes before a fall. My pride cost me here.
The weather became an issue half way through the proceedings and it was decided, after a brief meeting with the competitors, to change the final two events (a farmers walk and a pick and carry medley with sacks and kegs) to static variations we could perform undercover. Not as much fun for the spectators or the athletes, but it was the wise choice in light of the circumstances. I won both events by a narrow margin, taking the trophy.
While I won this qualifier – my first win after four years of competing in Strongman – it was also a very humbling experience for me. I’ve seen the rest of the competition, and I know how much work I have ahead of me just to earn a decent placing at the state finals this year. But I’ll give it all I got.