Experience the Strong Man Challenge in No. Ontario
By Karl Friday, August 24, 2012
Friends always send me links to weird videos like a dog riding a bike, two toddlers talking to each other in gibberish, and moose being scared by field mice. One video a friend sent me back in 2010 really caught my eye. The video was of a man pulling a bus, filled with people, with his teeth, from a complete stop. I was intrigued, so I decided to do some research. What I found was a lot of these guys, that do crazy stunts involving what would appear to be super human strength, also participate in strong man competitions around the world. The first question that came to my mind was, “Where is the strong man competition in Ontario?”
It turns out there is a strong man challenge in Dubreuilville, in Northern Ontario and has been for the past 10 years! I had the chance to go to last year’s Strong Man Challenge and I brought 2 friends who consider themselves “gym rats”. They had also been watching some of these events on television and wanted to see it live.
We got to the Dubreuilville Recreation Centre, in Northern Ontario, a couple of events in but we hadn’t missed the main events yet. The majority of events are held under a tent in the parking lot of the Centre. The first thing we saw was the tire flip. These aren’t just regular tires, they are huge tractor tires that are taller than most of the competitors. They flip the tire as many times as possible within a time limit, the person with the most flips gets the most points. The whole competition is based on cumulative points.
There were a few events that are hard to describe. They involved weights and some wood being loaded onto strange contraptions that you wouldn’t use on a daily basis. I guess it was almost like a wheelbarrow race with a lot of weight. The competitors carried some of these contraptions by hand and others across the back of their shoulders. They would also carry large metal suitcase looking objects as fast as they could from one spot to another, with a few having to set them down multiple times.
There was also a pole raising where the competitor had to walk a pole up and flip it over.
While we enjoyed seeing these feats of strength we wanted to see people pulling trucks and lifting cars and right on cue our patience had paid off. The SUV and car lifting began. There were cars and SUVs and they were parked on top of what looked like a specialized trailer. The competitor stood with his back to the car, grabbed two handles attached to the trailer, and lifted. The competitor who held the vehicle up the longest got the most points.
The grand finale, crème de la crème was the pulling of a semi truck with a large rope. The rope was attached to the front of the huge truck and the competitor laid on his back with his feet braced against a board about 100 feet away. The board was attached to the ground somehow and the competitor could push with his legs without the board moving. It was amazing to see this type of strength on television but to see it in person was awesome. My two friends and I stood in shock and the truck slowly began to move and inched its way closer to the strongman pulling the rope. We were in awe.
After we got home from the event it was literally all we could talk about for a week. Yes, that does make us kind of nerdy, but it was that cool to see. This year’s competition is coming up quickly and it reminded me that I should try to spread the word. The 11th annual Strong Man Challenge is held this year on September 7th, 8th, and 9th at the same location, the Dubreuilville Recreation Centre in Northern Ontario.
The competition also includes amateur and women’s events so if you know a bunch of strong muscle men or women make sure to invite them out to not only see but also try out some of these events! You can get more information at their website, www.strongmanchallenge.ca
Visit our festival and events page for other fun things to do in Ontario!