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The day started off as a typical fall day, cold and rainy. Since we are both new to the event, Adam Thatcher and I travelled down to the contest early to get familiar with the caber toss implements. After taking several tosses with the smaller cabers we decided we had learned enough to be competitive in this event. After a brief rules meeting, event director, Ken Crum got us started with the Braemar Stone put.
Braemar Stone Put – For anyone that is not familiar with the Highland Games, the Braemar Stone is a 22lb stone that must be put from a complete standstill. I had taken a couple warm up throws and felt comfortable with the implement and was looking to start the day with an event win. My first two throws were in the 30’ range and good for the lead in the Heavyweight class but second best throw overall. I had the opportunity to get the best throw of the day on my last put, and did! With a toss of 32’6”.
Farmers carry – This event required us to carry a pair of 280lb tanks for 50’, then turn around and bring them back. My goal here was a time 20seconds. With the grass and some uneven ground I knew this would be tough but made a dash for it when the whistle blew. I overshot the turn a little bit and finished with a time of 21 seconds which was still good for 1st place.
Caber Toss – The caber we were using was about 17-18’ long and my best guess is it weighed about 125lb. This was the next size up from what I had practiced with and I knew only a perfect throw would get me a full flip. (The goal in the caber toss is to get it to flip end over end in a straight line.) This event was probably the most fun, however it wasn’t meant to be and I finished with a score of 85 degrees (about as close as one can get to flipping it without it going over).
Log Press – a weight of 250lb was to be picked up to the shoulders and pressed overhead as many times as possible. I breezed through a quick 4 reps although pressing in the grass was tricky and set the log down to regain my footing. At this point I banged out 4 more quick reps and regrouped again. I had plenty of endurance left here and started in on the log again, but slipped a little on the 10th rep and ended up finishing with 9reps for the event win!
Weight Over Bar – The next event was the 56lb weight thrown over a bar for max height. I decided to take every height hoping that the starting heights would be a good warm up. This strategy worked out well. I have a lot of work to do to get the top of the arc of the throw over the bar, but my height was good. I got 13 feet on the third throw and had the height for 14 feet but the arc was short of the bar!
Keg Loading – We had 5 kegs to load to a flatbed tow truck, Weights were 160lb up to 250lb. The kegs were staggered from 10 feet down to 5 feet away from the truck. My goal here was 20 seconds and in knew it would be important to transition quickly between the load and grabbing the next keg. I was quick the whole way for a time of 19seconds! Another event win and first place overall.
Crucifix Hold – This was a bonus event. Two 23lb sledge hammer had to be held out to the side at arms length for maximum time. I put up the best time here at 48.9seconds despite being one of the first competitors to go.
Overall it was a good day and a great time. Since starting to supplement with HMB I’ve had plenty of strength and endurance to handle anything a competition has thrown my way and this one was no different. I look forward to doing another Highlander competition, but for now it’s on to training hard for strongman.