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PHOTOS: Competition of comradery at strongman, strongwoman championship in Victoria

James Bay hosted the sport’s provincial championships on Saturday

With a 330-pound metal log resting across Tom Dobson’s upper chest and shoulders, Josh Cloherty is just to his left and little behind him, but he’s really in Dobson’s ear.

Cloherty screamed at Dobson, encouraging him to complete the lift. The two were the last competitors left during the log press event at the B.C. Strongman and Strongwoman provincial championship in James Bay on Saturday (Aug. 7).

“That was an absolute battle,” Dobson said as he tried to suck in some air between words. “That was all gas, man.”

After a spectator stops to say how inspiring the final log press lift was to watch, the Cranbrook lifter said that’s what strongman is all about.

“It’s about coming out and putting on a show for people, it’s about coming out and showing what is possible,” Dobson said.

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As much as it’s about getting the weight up, the competition is really about comradery. When you’re not lifting, you’re lifting up the competition.

Cloherty and Dobson said much of their strength comes from feeding off the competition’s energy and the crowd’s cheers. But that energy is how the pair found themselves pushing the 330-pound log overhead after their pact to stop at 300 pounds was quickly nixed due to peer pressure – coming from the small group of family and friends watching on.

After the log press event, competitors were preparing for the dinnie hold, yoke carry, sandbag toss and capping the day off with deadlifting a truck for as many reps as possible.

“Maybe someone can do the tires while we’re doing it,” Dobson said.

All the events take hours, so staying fueled throughout the day and between lifts is key. Breakfast is also important and that’s why each of the two lifters started the day with more than half a dozen eggs, a couple of cups of rice, and over a cup of oatmeal – peaches and cream flavoured for Dobson – some fruit and a protein shake.

After eating quick-digesting snacks all day, the post-competition dinner is one of indulgence.

“Burgers tonight boy,” Dobson said, to which Cloherty responded with another “burgers tonight.”

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Jake Romphf

About the Author: Jake Romphf

In early 2021, I made the move from the Great Lakes to Greater Victoria with the aim of experiencing more of the country I report on.
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