Two Cariboo strongman athletes tested their mettle versus the best in the province during the weekend at the Canadian Amateur Association of Strength Athletes Provincial Championships in Courtenay, B.C.
Longtime strength athlete Tyson Delay and protege and relative newcomer to the sport, Joe Wilburn, both of Williams Lake, made the long trek to Vancouver Island for the event.
Both competing in the 231-pound-and-under middleweight class, the selected events proved to be a challenge, Delay said, as he picked up a fourth-place overall result, while Wilburn placed sixth.
For Wilburn, it was his first, federation-sanctioned powerlifting event. And for Delay, suffering food poisoning the day prior to the event didn’t do him any favours, he said.
“It was a long competition, it was a heavy competition and it was hot out,” Delay said.
“But it was a great event, and I had a lot of fun. Joey got to clock in his first federation competition and did so well despite his experience level, so I was very proud of him.”
At provincials, events included max logs (single rep, maximum weight), a dinnie stone hold, sandbag carry, farmer’s walk, yoke medley and a car deadlift.
In the log lift, both Delay and Willburn achieved the 250-pound mark, bowing out at the next 25-pound interval at 275 pounds.
Next was the dinnie stone hold — an event neither had trained extensively for.
“Basically they have these tiny little rings — one is big enough to go around your neck, and the other around your wrist, and you have to grab these with your hands and pick up these two stacks of weights, and these rings just dig into your fingers,” Delay explained of the awkwardness of the event.
“As soon as I lifted it up I thought my lat (latissimus dorsi muscle) tore … I was cramping badly, and dropped it, so I finished last place in that. Joey placed ahead of me, thank goodness,” Delay said.
The sandbag carry requires athletes to hoist a 290-pound sandbag and run with it for as far as possible.
The farmer’s yoke medley saw competitors carry 240 pounds, then walk with a 650-pound yoke for another 50 feet. Delay finished third in the event, placing just .01 seconds out of second place, and .6 seconds back of first.
In the car deadlift, estimated to be about 580 pounds, Delay put on a show.
“I was feeling a little discouraged going into it because I’d just had a much lower placing in the farmer’s yoke than I was expecting, and they also had a cash prize on the line because everyone was doing the same weight,” he said. “I watched a couple of the super heavies go up and they were barely able to get five reps … I ended up getting 19. One super heavy, though, who is actually very good at the event decided he wasn’t going to let a little guy beat him, and did 20. I lifted my heart out on that one.”
Wilburn said provincials were a great experience, and he’s going to continue to work hard to improve in the sport.
“Finishing every event was what I was shooting for this year,” Wilburn said. “Now, it’s back to training to come back stronger next year, and win some of the events.”
Both now have their sights set on the upcoming strongman nationals, being hosted in Fort McMurray in October.