Williams Lake strongman John Roberts took fourth in the super heavyweight division at the Kamloops’ Strongest Man competition.
Roberts, in his first strongman competition, ran the gamut of eight events Sept. 8, battling gruelling 31 C heat and six other competitors in the process.
“It was a really, really hot, successful day,” Roberts said. “I’m ecstatic [with my result]. I’m going to keep pursuing it.”
Strongman combines strength, speed and, most importantly, technique, pushing athletes and their bodies to the limit through a series of strength challenges.
Throughout the course of the event Roberts flipped an 830-pound tire 60 feet, lifted a 225-pound log over his head, pulled a 50,000 pound truck with a harness 35 feet, walked 50 feet with two 275-pound weights per hand, did a yolk walk with 500 pounds for 50 feet, circled the Conan wheel for a combined 450 pounds per rotation and lifted a 275-pound atlas stone.
His training partner, Williams Lake’s Blair Fisher — also a Canadian powerlifting record holder — injured his ankle during the tire flipping event and was forced out of the competition.
Roberts said the event was excruciatingly difficult.
“I did not expect it,” he said. “It was absolutely insane. The truck pull was the third event and after that one, especially with the heat, it was almost unbearable. They kept pulling out all this weight and putting it on for the super heavies — they were throwing weight on everything — and it got to the point where I was like ‘I don’t know if I can do this,’ but I kept going … It was just a matter of mind over matter.”
Roberts added he’s going to continue training throughout the winter in preparation for next year’s provincial strongman events.
“This one was the round-up [for the season],” he said. “It starts back up next year in Vancouver in May.
“I’ve got another one next year so I’m going to keep training up until then.”