A Williams Lake strongman channelled his inner beast during the weekend at a provincial strongman competition in Richmond.
Tyson Delay made the journey to the Lower Mainland for the event June 1 — billed Battle of the Beasts — which featured some of the strongest men in the province all vying for a shot at the title of strongest man in multiple weight classes.
For Delay — a strongman competitor for the past few years — 2019 marked a shift up in weight class after new rules were implemented this year by the Strongman Association of Canada.
“What happened is they kiboshed the 200-pound weight class, so now if you want to compete you have to be lightweight, which is 176 pounds, or light heavyweight, which is 231 pounds, so it’s a huge gap,” he said.
“For me I was always hovering around 200 pounds, so now I’m competing with the big boys.”
Competing at 231 pounds, Delay weighed in 25 pounds under weight, however, still managed to finish an impressive third out of eight competitors.
“Man was it tough,” he said. “But it was a lot of fun, and a good eye opener. There were an awful lot of people there who I thought were going to be a lot stronger than me but I was able to edge them out with a little bit of speed.”
At the Battle of the Beasts Delay competed in four events: a super yolk and Husafell stone medley, a log lift, a tire flip and a stone loading medley.
In the super yolk and Husafell stone medley Delay said competitors were required to carry a 600-pound device resting on their shoulders 75 feet. Then, carry a Husafell stone — a coffin-shaped, 250-pound weight — and run with it.
“Luckily, I”m good at squats and it was a good event for me,” he said. “The Husafell stone is huge. I can barely get my hands to the other side.”
In the log lift Delay said he thought he could have performed better, however, still finished third overall in the event.
“It was supposed to be a good event for me but I didn’t think about training on uneven ground because the parking lot we were in was slanted to the one side and it completely threw me off,” he said.
“I ended up with two reps of a 220-pound log, so I can’t be too upset.”
In the tire flip delay moved a 500-pound tire 75 feet down a course, which he said was definitely a cardio event.
Lastly, his proudest event, was the stone loading medley.
“There are four stones around this big platform,” Delay explained. “The first one was pretty light, 220 pounds, the second was 260 pounds, the third was 300 pounds and the last one was 330 pounds, and you have to lift them to all different heights.
“By the time I loaded the last one it was about chest height. We had one guy competing last year in the lightweights and he ended up becoming Canada’s strongest lightweight and him and I both made the switch up to light heavy and he’s probably one of the best stone lifters in Canada for the weight class. I ended up only a couple seconds behind him so I’m really happy.”
Now, Delay is turning his attention to an upcoming strongman competition in Williams Lake: the Cariboo’s Strongest Man, coming up Sunday, July 7.
The event will take place at a new location this year above the Williams Lake Stampede Grounds in the parking lot — a venue Delay said he’s excited about.
“It’s going to be a bigger meet this year, hopefully,” he said.
“We want to do all the crowd favourites: truck pull, deadlift, log lift, stone lift and yolk walk.”
At last year’s Cariboo’s Strongest Man, just shy of 20 competitors competed, travelling from as far away as Fort St. James and Prince George.
“This year we’re teaming up with the Strongman Association of Canada and are doing a sanctioned meet through them,” he said. “We’re hoping to get a few more guys come from the Coast. I know I was talking it up to a lot of guys while I was in Richmond. There will be a lot of strong people there either way, and I’m very excited about that.”
Delay invites the community to come check out the competition and to cheer on the competitors.
The event will get underway with registration from 9:30-10 a.m. with the event getting underway by 11 a.m.