Tamara Nolan of Comox won the women’s 82 kilogram division at the Amateur Strongman Canada National Championships, Oct. 22 in Thunder Bay, Ont.
By so doing, the 41-year-old earned an invite to the prestigious Amateur Strongman World Championships at the annual Arnold (Schwarzenegger) Sports Festival. She also received her professional card — in her novice year in the sport.
“Pretty wild,” said Nolan, who holds a few B.C. and national records in strongman. “Hardest competition I’ve ever done. I literally feel like I was dragged behind a vehicle.”
The day-long competition consisted of an overhead press medley (185-pound axle press, and 100-pound circus dumbbell); a 225-pound sandbag/330-pound frame medley carry (50 feet); a 60-second car deadlift (335 pounds) — which Nolan did “17 times until blackout” — a 440-pound yoke walk, 50 x 50 feet; and a 240-pound Atlas Stone, which she nearly lifted six times in one minute.
“It was the most gruelling competition, physically and mentally, that I’ve ever even conceived,” said Nolan, who prefers not to look at her competitors during the event. “I just get in there and do it. It was the mental that was the hardest for me, the noise. Seeing celebrity lifters everywhere. It was intimidating.”
She thanks the Chances Courtenay casino for donating money to cover her airfare.
Nolan now has her sights set on the Arnolds — which she refers to as the “Olympics of strength” — March 3-5 in Columbus, Ohio. She also received an invite to the 2023 Official Strongman Games in Florida.
•Fellow Comox Valley athlete Andrew Tracey also competed in Thunder Bay. He placed second in his division, and also earned a trip to Arnolds. He and Nolan both train at the Hayes’ Garage Gym, operated by Courtenay strongman Sean Hayes.