Backdropped by Conan’s Wheel of Pain, Sean Hayes completes a deadlift at the Arnold Amateur Strongman World Championship. Photo supplied

Courtenay strongman holds his own at Arnold Amateurs

Courtenay strongman Sean Hayes had a 12th-place result at a recent world event in Ohio — and had another go at an historical lifting challenge.

The 6’2” Hayes, 29, who tips the scales at 300-plus pounds, placed in the top 10 in most events at the Arnold Amateur Strongman World Championship in Columbus. The highlights were completing three repetitions of 340 pounds within 60 seconds in the overhead log press, four reps on a deadlift to 735 pounds, and walking 60 feet in 12 seconds carrying 940 pounds on a rack in the yoke walk.

“Very happy considering I tore a part of my hamstring off a few weeks out and competed with strep throat,” he said.

Hayes was not happy with the grip event, which took place 12 hours after he competed in the Dinnie Stones hold — a separate grip event — that dates back to 1860 when Scottish strongman Donald Dinnie carried two stones, with a combined weight of 733 pounds, across a bridge.

“The Dinnie hold, I dropped around 19 seconds when my thumb skin tore off,” said Hayes, who first completed the Dinnie challenge last year in Scotland. “The world record is still around 31 seconds.”

His result in the grip event dropped Hayes to 12th place. Ten competitors advanced to the finals.

Hayes, who won two gold medals last fall at the world powerlifting championships in Ireland, trains out of his garage in East Courtenay. Julianna and Andrew Tracey, a couple who train at the Hayes’ Garage Gym, had also qualified for Arnolds but did not attend due to injury and travel concerns.

Hayes is hoping the Comox Valley Strength Festival will makes its return May 30 at Lewis Park in Courtenay. Pending the coronavirus situation, the event will include sanctioned strongman and strongwoman competitions, Scottish Highland heavy events and a crossfit team challenge.

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