Scott McNicol lifts a 300-pound boulder during last year's Canada Day Strongman Competition.

Testing all aspects of strength

The second annual Strongman Competition in Hope returns Canada Day

Come rain or shine… maybe even high water… Canada Day in Hope will see the return of the popular Strongman and Strongwoman competitions that hit the town like a storm last year.

Event promoter, Karen Scalise of Muscleworks Gym said on Monday, “We had 4,500 to 5,000 people there last year — and we’re hoping for even more this year.

“Last time, there had been a big rain before and there was a washout on Highway 1 and four guys couldn’t make it. The weather on the day ended up great, though. It was 30 degrees.

Scalise said the Classic Car Show won’t be squeezing the athletic event for space this year, as the cars will be parking on the grass by the bandstand.

“Hopefully, we’ll be having some grandstands for people to sit on,” added Scalise. People can also bring lawn chairs or sit on the curb.

“I’ve picked up eight more local sponsors this year,” she enthused. “So we’ve got bigger cash prizes for first, second and third place — and the trophies made by Don Wiens for first place in each division. Everyone loves those trophies.”

Event coordinator Robin Wright will be bringing his heavy-duty road show down from Kamloops and setting up the events in the 300-block of Wallace Street on Sunday morning. The competition begins at 10 a.m. and will go until 4 or 5 p.m., figured Scalise.

About a dozen competitors are signed up so far, but they can still sign up on Canada Day. Scalise said if the numbers get too large, they will shift to repetitions, rather than elapsed time for some of the feats, such as the car lift.

Wright said he’ll have the same six events as last year: the log press, tire flip, truck pull, car deadlift, static hold and Atlas stones.

He also has activities planned for the kids.

“We’ll have a mini log press for kids and a mini stone lift, as well as a tug-of-war for all the kids and athletes,” said Wright. “The kids’ log press and stone lift will be mid-way through the event but the tug-of-war will be at the end, as to not tax the athletes.

“Jamie Davis is supplying us with the same 31,000-pound tow truck as last year,” said Wright, “but he has a new truck of 75,000 pounds to offer up for the heavy-weight division.”

The remaining question is: who will enter from Hope? Scott McNicol was a crowd favourite last year but he hasn’t committed yet — nor has Destin Phillips, said Scalise.

Women are welcome, too. Only one has signed up so far and she needs some competition.