When Bigg told me that we had an opportunity to spend the day at the beach and watch a Strongman event, I thought it was a trick. For those of you who don’t know him, Matt avoids the sun more than a Bram Stoker main character. Lucky for us both, this past Saturday on the beaches of Lake Michigan had cool temps, enough sun to make me happy (and had Bigg ducking in the shade), but enough cloud cover that he didn’t turn to ash when he ventured out to sit with me.
The Strongman world proved again it has some of the friendliest folks around as I was able to connect with a couple of people I’d met on brief visits and met new friends in the strength game. The Swede (above) fits in both categories as I’ve briefly met him before and instantly warmed to his sense of humor, great energy, and obvious love of all things strength related but he and Bigg go back a ways. Obviously.
We arrived to the party late due to my getting out of a morning session later than expected and a stop for breakfast at Hamburger Mary’s Milwaukee. By now, it was past 11 but we hadn’t ate yet so we needed a brunch burger. And Mary delivered! Bigg had a double meat French Toast burger that came with bacon, peanut butter, and homemade strawberry jam that came between two tasty pieces of cinnamon french toast. I had the ‘Gouda Morning’ burger that came with Gouda (duh!), bacon, and an egg. It was delicious. I highly recommend hitting Mary’s if you’re in town. The food and the atmosphere are top notch. We’ll be going back for more burgers and Bingo after training soon.
Anyways, onto the competition. We missed the first two events and came just as the Husafell event got underway. We knew how tough this was from recent experience but add the fact that these guys are walking in the sand and that’s just nuts. The crowd did a great job cheering on the competitors and NAS State Chair and event organizer Sam McMahon made sure these guys went as far as they could possibly go with his constant chatter at them with each lap. It was very cool.
The Keg toss afterwards was lots of fun as some of these guys made it look as if they were throwing baseballs over the bar. Now, understanding that I’m limited in my experience in attending these events, the Atlas stone load reminds me of the old saying at powerlifting meets, “The meet doesn’t start until the bar leaves the ground.” And this one didn’t disappoint. The placings were such that five people were vying for third place so loading the six stones prior to getting to the 405# stone as quickly as possible was very serious business. Local favorite Jacob Bodi (above) smoked the event in a very steady, no nonsense fashion. It was very impressive. Congratulations to all of the competitors, organizers, and helpers. It was a blast and I’m already excited for next year.
One of the best things about having a Strongman event on the beach? Beach bars…of course.