Oregon's Strongest Beaver Competition!

With 5 'traditional' strongman events and some great prize money, there was top-notch effort put forth by all of us. See what happened at the last event of the year!
On October 29th, I competed in Corvallis, Oregon on the campus of Oregon State University (OSU). The competition, as the title says, was for the title of Oregon's Strongest Beaver. Promoted by Grant and Michelle Higa of Washington, this was the last competition I did in 2002. There were eight (8) competitors in the competition, all of which weighing 275-300lbs. With 5 "traditional" strongman events and some great prize money, there was top-notch effort put forth by all of us.

The Events

  • Truck Pull-each competitor had to tow an Atlas Van Lines moving truck 100' as fast as possible using a rope and harness system. Truck wt-38,000lbs (!)
  • Log Clean and Press-each competitor had to clean and press a 295lb log as many times as possible.
  • Tire Flip-each competitor had to flip an 800lb log 100' as fast as possible.
  • Farmer Carry-each competitor had to lift a 275lb cylinder in each hand, then carry them 154' as fast as possible.
  • Stones-each competitor had to lift a series of stones weighing from 245lbs to 350lbs onto platforms of descending height, as fast as possible.

The Competition

It was a beautiful setting on the OSU campus and with a home football game that day, the crowd was really into all of the events and activities. We started the day with a rules briefing and then the announcers introduced the competitors to the crowd. The first event, the truck pull was going to be tough. Not only is it a taxing event that can really wear a competitor out, but the truck was HEAVY! Now, 38,000lbs may not mean a whole lot, but generally trucks used in this type of event weigh around 18,000-22,000lbs. So, this was significantly heavier.

That means that it's tougher to get the truck moving, but once it's moving you just have to work on accelerating with every step to get the best time. I went first (by drawing numbers, the order was decided) and I posted a time of 45 seconds. This was a great time for me and I was very pleased with my performance. However, my time would not keep me in first place for long as Jon Anderson (California) would post a time of 42 seconds and Jesse Marunde (Washington) went the 100' course in 40 seconds. It was a heavy, but great event and we were onto the log press.

The log press event is one of my weaker events, but I've improved dramatically this year so this would be a good test for me. Since I placed 3rd in the first event, I got to go 3rd to last in the next event (winner going last). None of the first competitors could press the log one time and some had a hard time cleaning it. This psyched me out a little and when it was my turn, I got pretty nervous. The whistle blew and I lifted the log to my thighs, and then cleaned it with relative ease. However, the press was not as easy. I got it over my head with my elbows almost locked when I lost control of it and dropped it. I had plenty of time. I took a few deep breaths and tried it again. This time the clean was faster and easier than the first, but the press was not. I dropped it, rested and cleaned it one more time…I then set it down without even trying to press it. I was spent. The truck pull had fatigued me more than I had thought and having my weakest event next showed to be too tough for me. Jon Anderson got 5 reps and Jesse went last getting 6 easier than pie. I had cleaned 295-3 times, fairly easily but that didn't count because I didn't lock out a press. On to the Tire Flip...

The tire flip is one of the coolest events to perform and watch. Not only is it impressive to watch, like the truck pull it's physically taxing. You can tell the athletes that are good at it and that aren't as conditioned to the event. What made it even better in this competition was that Grant and Michelle had two identical tires so competitors could race. This made for a great race that staff and spectators talked about for long after the competition was over-Me vs. Jon Anderson. We were both competing for the 2nd place finish and we both laid it all out on the line on this grueling event.


(Above: Me taking the 800+lb tire the 100' course/Scott Hughes as the volunteer staff member timing me)

The farmer carry is one of my stronger events as it tests grip, back and leg strength. I placed a very close 2nd in the tire flip so I got to go second to last in the farmer carry. Many competitors had trouble finishing the course. Carrying 275lbs in each hand gets a little tough on the hands. Not only were the implements heavy, but also the course required 2-90 degree turns. The total distance was 154', but with two turns you have to slow down then speed up numerous times. This is much more difficult than a straightaway course. Jon A. went and finished in around 40 seconds. However, the dragged the implements across the finish line instead of carrying them which the promoter decided would cost him a 2 second penalty. This fueled my fire, to make a fast run at the turn-filled course. I easily finished the distance in just over 30 seconds with Jesse smoking us all with a sub-20 second time (just showing why he's #5 in the USA for pro strongmen).


(Above: Me sporting my Bodybuilding.com "Size Matters" T-shirt)


(Above: Jesse eyeing the first turn and easily carrying 550lbs. Notice his high-performance strength shoes, socks and belt...NOT!)

The last event was the Stone loading event. This is a very traditional and popular strongman event that really tests back, arm and hip strength. As I finished 2nd in the farmer carry, I got to go second to last again in this event. This was (I think) the first time for Jon to perform this event, so we helped him with his tacky application. I do think a new pair of Oakley sunglasses were sacrificed for the cause though. (Note-Tacky is a pine tar-type product used in different sports for grip enhancement. After placing it on your hands/inner forearms, you can hold onto the stones a lot easier.

You can purchase what I've found to be the best tacky at www.jackalsgym.com. Anyway, Jon did a great job and got the first 3 stones up in a little over a minute. The first platform, where the lightest stone was to be placed, was 6' tall. This made it tough for the slightly shorter competitors. I went next, second to last. I got the first 3 stones up in just over 40 seconds. While I got the 4th stone off the ground, I was unable to place it on the platform.


(Above: Me squeezing the 3rd stone before tossing it on the platform)


(Above: Jesse lets out a big cheer, before taking a victory lap, after placing all 5 stones)

Even though I'd placed 2nd in the truck pull, tire flip, farmer carry and stones, my poor log performance (and Jon's great log pressing) shoved me into a 3rd place overall finish to two great strength athletes. After the competition, I had a little grip exhibition setting the Northwest record on the Rolling Thunder with a 240.5lb lift and closing the #3 Captain of Crush.

  • Thanks to Bodybuilding.com and all you do for fitness, bodybuilding and strength worldwide (and in Boise, Idaho of course)
  • Thanks to Julie Havelka and Tod Becraft for the great pics and support (More info can be accessed: www.juliehavelka.com/osbresults02.html)
  • Grant and Michelle Higa for putting on another AWESOME competition in the Northwest.
  • Thanks to J.V. Askem for his support in strength athletics and for the write up on your website.
  • Special thanks to my family for your support in a great year of competitions for me. 2002 season:

Please feel free to email me with any questions! Keep training hard!

Train hard!