Weighty success for strongman event

Stuart Whyte (right) with competitors who travelled from across Scotland (left -right) William Middleton, Ryan Wisely (3rd), Fraser Brown, Brian Gerrard, Brett Gillies (2nd), Andy Grant, Drew Surkitt , Mark Gibbert (1st) and Tom Baillie. Photograph: Iain Ferguson, alba.photos.

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The first Novice Strongman event held at Fort William’s Iron Therapy Gym last Saturday proved to be a great success, writes Iain Ferguson.

Competitors from across Scotland flexed their muscles at indoor and outdoor events.

Starting with the Axle press, each athlete took turns at lifting 90kg from floor to above their head, locking their arms into position, repeating this as often as they could in a set time.

Outside the gym they carried a 240kg weighted bar for 30 metres, followed shortly afterwards by deadlifting a 250kg van, weighted progressively with sandbags, adding 80, 90 and 100kg as the competition continued. The winner of this event lifted it 13 times in just a few minutes.

Former twice winner of Scotland’s Strongest Woman Lisa Gippert demonstrated her prowess at this event before the start.

After a break for lunch, Atlas stones weighing 100, 120, 130 and 140kg were lifted in an impressive display of power, before results were complied and awards presented.

Organiser, gym owner and strongman champion Stuart Whyte hopes this will become an annual event for novices, encouraging more people to take up the sport.

He said: ‘I am delighted and relieved that everyone said the event was a great success.

‘Competitors came from as far away as Aberdeenshire and Fife alongside several local people including Tom Baillie from the town who was awarded the ‘Warrior’ trophy for effort and Andrew Surkitt from Fort Augustus who trains with me. It was great to see how much they all enjoyed it.

‘Many thanks to all of our sponsors who also played a big part in making this happen.’

The ethos behind the gym is to promote physical and mental health and the £600 raised on Sunday will be donated to Lochaber Hope.

Main photograph: Stuart Whyte, right, with competitors, left to right, William Middleton; Ryan Wisely, third; Fraser Brown; Brian Gerrard; Brett Gillies, second; Andy Grant; Drew Surkitt, Mark Gibbert, first, and Tom Baillie. Photograph: Iain Ferguson, alba.photos. NO_F26_StrongmanCompetition 01

Extra pics

NO_F26_StrongmanCompetition 02: Local strongman Tom Bailie who was first recipient of the Warrior Trophy for outstanding effort. Photograph: Iain Ferguson, alba.photos.

NO_F26_StrongmanCompetition 03: Overall 3rd placed Ryan Wisely managed to lift the weighted van ten times within the alloted time. Photograph: Iain Ferguson, alba.photos.

NO_F26_StrongmanCompetition 04: Tom Baillie locks his arms on the 90kg weights Photograph: Iain Ferguson, alba.photos.