Athletics Director: Dr. Bill Crawford -- Fullsterker
Announcer: Art McDermott -- Former Pro in both HG and Strongman
Sam McMahon -- Milwaukee -- Pro Strongman
Aaron Neighbour -- Australia -- Current HG World Champion
Hans Lolkema -- Holland -- Pro HG and showed he could be a Pro Strongman
Jim Glassmann -- Houston -- Pro Strongman -- 15 year veteran of the sport
Dan "Hairy Bear" Ford -- Boston -- Pro Strongman
Gerrard "Rhino" Benderoth -- NYC -- 2nd place finisher in 2008. Pro HG and Pro Strongman
Mike Zolkowics -- Springfield, MA -- Pro HG. Current work record holder in WOB. 18' 9"
Sam Grammar -- Connecticut -- Fresh meat on the HG Pro scene
Dave Barron -- NYC -- World Class HG competitor and former Caber World Champion
110lb stone put.
This is a 2 handed throw for distance from behind a trig. A good warm up event to get the weekend started. 3 throws per guy with an unlimited approach. Basically the only requirement is that you stay behind the trig. Zolk opened with a monstrous 16ft throw which was not to be matched by anyone, including Zolk. When I first started doing this contest in 2007 a 13ft throw would place you quite high in this event and possibly even get you the win. Now, the top 5 are all above 14. 1st went to Zolk, 2nd Ford, 3rd McMahon.
Pretty simple. Pull hard and get out of the way before it comes back down. Obviously an area where we expected the HG guys to leave us strongmen in the dust. They did just that. The only strongman that made it past 15 feet was Rhino and he was out at 16. 16 is where Zolk decided to enter and he literally cleared the bar by 3 feet. 1st went to Zolk, 2nd to Hans, 3rd to Barron/Neighbour. After locking up his win Zolk took the bar straight up to 18' 10" to try to surpass his world record by 1 inch. Had the wind been in the favorable direction or the bar at 18' and 9 3/4" he would have cleared it. The weight literally sat on the bar and came back the wrong way.
Loon Mountain Stone Carry
Done in farmers walk fashion they are 2 stones hung from chains with rings to hold on to. One stone is 235lbs and one is 275lbs. For 17 years guys have been trying to lift and walk with these stones. The record of 99ft stood until 2007 when I went 101 ft. That record stood until 2008 when Jim Glassman went 102ft. 5 minutes later Stefan Solvi Petursson went 125 ft. 5 minutes after that I went 135ft to reclaim my record. Though we set a mark at the 135 foot mark for all of us to shoot for, this year none of us could muster a record performance. Dan Ford won the event with 114ft, I was in 2nd with 110ft, and Jim in third with about 100ft.
Caber for time
Judged in traditional HG fashion with 12:00 being a perfect score. After a quick turn of the qualifying caber for all competitors we were on to the challenge caber. An 18ft stick which weighed about 130lbs. Not sure of the finish but it was the HG guys shining in this event.
Of course at the end of day 1 we all had a major thirst going so we headed to the beer tent for a solid 3 hours before the Diamante's party.
Stone press for reps
The stone was about 240lbs with a 90 second time limit. Clean each rep. Dan Ford opened the event with a very good showing of 7 reps. Newcomer Sam Grammer also had a great event with 3 reps and he really mixed up the scoring by doing so. Normally big pressers Jim and Rhino were edged out by Grammar. Jim is coming off elbow surgery and Rhino was having trouble with his lockout and Magnus wasn't handing out any free reps. I did 8 reps for the win and stopped. 1st - McMahon. 2nd - Ford. 3rd - Grammar.
"Petta Er Ekkert Mal Fyrir Jon Pal - This is no haul for Jon Pal"
The real Husafell stone in Iceland was lifted and carried by Dr. Bill Crawford to fullsterker status. This same stone was used in Iceland during 1992 World's Strongest Man. Magnus Ver Magnusson was expected to win his next title on his home turf but failed to do so because he stumbled and dropped the stone short of the mark he needed. Because of that Ted Van Der Parre won the 1992 WSM. Dr. Bill is a huge fan of stone lifting and has traveled the world to do it. Since we obviously could not use the real Husafell, and Dr. Bill is a sick bastard, he found a chunk of granite over 450lbs for us to carry. To mark the stone he had "Petta Er Ekkert Mal Fyrir Jon Pal" - This is no haul for Jon Pall engraved on it. Jon Pall Sigmarrson was a Icelandic strongman who, like Magnus, won the world championship 4 times. He used to hollar out this saying before he would prove time and time again that he was the strongest man alive. During warm ups all of us were very concerned about not being able to lift the stone at all. I was the unfortunate one that had to go first. So as I'm standing there at the starting line with Magnus in my ear about not dropping it as he did I gave it a hoist and started to walk. I had a good lean and the next thing I knew I was 50 ft into the course. Then 100. Then 150. Then they were clearing the fence out of the way. Then Dana (the best equipment man ever) was moving the crowd. With the crowd going berserk and my mom chasing me down the course I got almost all the way to the parking lot and I figured that was enough so I dropped it. Total distance was about 190ft. It wasn't enough. Most guys did have trouble but then comes Zolk and with my mark in his eye, he caught me and passed me up. Ford then did the same by surpassing the 200ft mark with a 450lb slab of granite. 1st - Ford. 2nd - Zolk. 3rd - McMahon
Caber for distance
Glassmann made all us Strongmen look bad by finishing in the top 3 with the likes of Barron, Nieghbor, Zolk, and Lolkema. Outstanding job by Jim.
We carried the stones to high boxes but the stones were light. Only up to about 350lbs or so. No matter though, they were still hard. I hoisted my first stone and carried it in to the platform only to black out and drop the damn thing. I stood there a minute to figure out what the hell was going on and then I started again. Ended up being one of 3 to finish them all. Ford won with a slow very mistake free run that he needed to pull 1/2 half point in front of Zolk. Hans Lolkema was 2nd and I was third.
Overall the final placings were:
As always Loon is the best strength sporting event that there is. The camaraderie, the performances, the parties. There is no contest like Loon Mountain.
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