Richard Lee of Williams Lake performs a deadlift at the B.C.’s Strongest Man/Woman competition, Aug. 1 in Courtenay. Mike Chouinard photo

Eight Comox Valley lifters podium at B.C. strongman/strongwoman event

Comox Valley athletes dominated the B.C.’s Strongest Man/Woman competition, Saturday, Aug. 1 at Valley View Park in Courtenay.

“It was a long contest on a very hot, sun-drenched day,” said organizer/competitor Sean Hayes, who runs the Hayes Garage Gym at his Courtenay home. “Athletes really had to push themselves to make it.”

The eight-hour competition consisted of the following events:

•Max deadlift: Three attempts to deadlift as much weight as possible.

•Farmers walk: Pick up implement in each hand and walk 90-feet as fast as possible, or as far as possible, in 60 seconds. Weights ranged from 105 pounds per hand for novice women to 295 pounds per hand for heavyweight (231-plus pounds) wen.

•Overhead medley: Pick up from ground and press five implements overhead in order — log, circus dumbbell, keg, axle bar, log — as fast as possible or as many implements as possible in 75 seconds.

•Sandbag toss: Throw three bags (15/20/25 pounds for women, 25/35/45 pounds for men) as fast as possible over a height of 12 feet for women and 15 feet for men.

•Sandbag medley: Pick up three sandbags in order, carry them 10 feet and throw them over a bar. Bags ranged from 140 pounds for the first bag for women to 310 pounds for the final bag for men.

Hayes was one of eight locals with a top-three finish. He was crowned B.C.’s strongest man by winning four of the five events in the men’s heavyweight division. A member of Team Canada that competed at worlds, Hayes was one of four athletes to complete every event Saturday. His biggest deadlift of the day was 807 pounds. He also recorded the fastest time in the overhead medley and the sandbag medley.

In his first competition, Cain Manton won the men’s novice heavyweight class. Andrew Tracey, another member of the 2020 Canadian world team, finished atop the men’s lightweight division. He won three events and tied for first in another.

Lataisha Maynard was second in the women’s middleweight class, winning two out of three events. Her best lift of the day was a 335-pound deadlift, setting a personal record. John Jesperson, 62, was second among men’s masters (40-plus) heavyweights. He one of the four people to complete every event, including the tough overhead medley. Daniel Carlson was second in the men’s lightweight class. He tied Tracey in the deadlift at 525 pounds for a personal record, and won the sandbag toss. Kalem Nygren-Hardy was second the men’s middleweight division. He won the deadlift (605 pounds) and sandbag toss, and came up just three seconds short on the last event of dethroning a world’s team member for first.

Mathieu Poirier placed third in the men’s heavyweight class. He finished second in the overhead nedley and the sandbag toss.

“The Comox Valley/Hayes Garage Gym athletes did absolutely amazing,” Hayes said. “We’re definitely an epicentre for strongman in the province.”

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