Photo Information

Sgt. Lester Peterson with 1st Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment, Task Force Military Police, reaches deep down inside for everything he has to hold two ATVs during the Hercules Hold event of the Al Asad Strongman Competition, Aug. 12. Competitors were split up into various weight classes and competed in events like the Atlas Stone carry and Farmer?s Walk.

Photo by Sgt. Anthony Guas

Al Asad StrongMan Competition tests service members, civilians strength, endurance

10 Sep 2007 | Sgt. Anthony Guas

Whether it’s running, biking and swimming various miles to test their endurance, or demonstrating raw power by bench pressing 325 pounds fifteen times, service members pride themselves on their physical fitness. Recently service members were presented with a different way to test their mettle.

Service members and civilians competed in the first ever Al Asad StrongMan Competition, Aug. 12.

“I watched (the World’s Strongest Man) on TV and just loved it,” said Kyle Harmon, a Morale Welfare and Recreation technician at the Al Asad gym. “I see all these people that work out here and thought it would be a good idea.”

The MWR staff wanted to provide the service members and civilians here a chance to test their strength and endurance outside of the normal routine.

“A lot of the competitions are leg and core strength,” explained Harmon. “I was trying to show people that they don’t just need the gym to have a good workout. They got a good workout just flipping those tires.”

To make the competition fair, competitors were split into different weight classes from 175 and under, 200 and under, 225 and under, 226 and over and a women’s class.

“The biggest difference is that in the actual competition it’s open category, but we couldn’t do that here,” said Harmon. “So we split it up. We were just shooting from the hip and if it came out good we would try to do it again.”

The hardest part was trying to get the different materials for the event, but with some modifications the MWR staff was able to pull it together.

“I went by (Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office) and saw the tires and they said that I could have them,” explained Harmon. “The welders helped put together the poles for the Farmer’s Walk. I bought a mold for the Atlas Stones online, but it was too much to make them all so we changed that.”

In the World’s Strongest Man competition, competitors and spectators are used to seeing events like the Fingal Fingers or the Car Dead Lift and although the events in the Al Asad competition were different, they are not too far off.

The first event was a modified Atlas Stone carry where competitors walked back and forth along a line to get the most distance.

The competitors then tested their will with the Humvee Pull, where they tried to achieve the fastest time. Following was the Farmer’s Walk, where competitors carried loads in each hand from one point to another in the fastest time possible.

Testing their core strength was the Tire Flip, where competitors flipped a tire from a 7-Ton truck from one point to another in the quickest time possible. The competitors displayed their determination and grip in the Hercules Hold, where they held two ATVs on ramps for as long as they could. The final event of the day was the Tire Pull.

At the end of the day the competitors could be proud of their efforts, but only one could be named strongest man in their weight class.

175 and under: Staff Sgt. Kevin Graving, 1st Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment, Task

Force Military Police.

200 and under: Cpl. Christopher Watson, Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 352.

225 and under: Cpl. John Woolard, Marine All-Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 121.

226 and over: Tom Martini, Kellogg, Brown and Root.

Women: GS-12 Celsea Marin, Combat Logistics Battalion 2

“This was outstanding,” said Staff Sgt. Kevin Graving, 1/12 TFMP. “The equipment that they used was really good and they put a lot of time into it. I just feel fortunate to be able to come out and compete.”

The first ever StrongMan competition was a success and there are plans for another in the future.

“It went really, really well,” said Harmon. “We are trying to make things from scratch and next time we can improve on it.”

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