News: Competitors muscle through competition
Story by Lance Cpl. Jennifer Pirante
IWAKUNI, Japan - Sixteen Marines, sailors and station personnel put their strength to the test during the annual Iwakuni Strongman Competition at the Penny Lake field here, April 30.
Marine Corps Community Services and the Wellness and Fitness Center here hosted the event by providing all equipment, energy bars, water and Gatorade for competitors, volunteers and spectators.
Four female competitors participated in two weight class divisions and 13 male competitors participated in three.
Kelly Kelemen took first place in the 130-pound women’s weight group division. Mandy Apple placed first in the 131-pound weight group.
Chris Junkins won the 160-and-under pound men’s weight group division competition, John Manke grabbed first in the 161-190-pound weight group and Anthony Saenz placed first in the 191-and-over pound weight group.
“I thought everyone did a great job,” said Barabara Roman, Semper-Fit fitness coordinator. “The best part about it was the tie breakers. It’s always exciting to see some tie-breaking going on.”
The competition consisted of five events: Farmer’s walk, tire flip, iron cross, steel log press and Humvee or 2-ton truck pull.
Once all competitors were weighed in and divided into groups, MCCS coordinators explained the rules.
During the farmer’s walk, scoring was based on distance traveled without time limit. Females in the 130-pound women’s weight division had to carry 152 pounds as far as possible. Females competing in the 131 pound weight group carried 172 pounds.
Males competing in the 160, 161-191 and 191-and-over weight group divisions carried 250 pounds, 270 pounds and 280 pounds.
During the tire flip, female competitors had two minutes to flip a 200-pound tire as many times as possible. Men had to flip a 7-ton tire.
The iron cross, or crucifix hold, was a timed event where competitors had to hold a cement block in each hand with palms facing down and keep arms out extended at shoulder level for as long as possible.
During the steel log press, competitors had 60 seconds to push out as many standing repetitions as possible. Women in the 130-pound weight class division lifted 62 pounds and the 131 women’s weight division lifted 72 pounds. The 160-pound and under men’s weight division lifted 82 pounds, the 161-191-pound men’s weight division lifted 102 pounds and the 191 and over men’s weight division lifted 153 pounds.
During the Humvee pull, which was a timed event, Female competitors pulled a 2-ton truck. Males pulled a Humvee truck.
Those who tied in any one event got to take another stab at the Humvee pull to settle the score.
When it came down to the end of the competition, Menzies and Lopez were forced to break the tie for second place in the 191-pound men’s weight class division.
In a mad race against time, Menzies managed to cross the finish in 23 seconds, beating Lopez by just two seconds.
“The Humvee pull was pretty fun,” Menzies said. “A lot of guys come out here thinking it is more about strength, but endurance is definitely big.”
Kelemen went all out when she pulled the 2-ton truck to the finish in just 35 seconds.
“You just push yourself until you can’t go anymore,” Kelemen said. “The most challenging one for me was the crucifix hold. It tests that back and shoulder strength.”
Kelemen carried 152 pounds during the farmer’s walk across 107 meters, performed 62 200-pound tire flips, 21.84 seconds during the iron cross, 16 reps during the steel log press and 35 seconds during the 2-ton truck pull competition.
Mandy Apple, 131-pound women’s weight group division competitor, carried 172 pounds during the farmer’s walk across 78 meters, 59 200-pound tire flips, 1.69 seconds during the iron cross, and 22.68 seconds during the 2-ton truck pull competition.
Junkins carried 250 pounds during the farmer’s walk across 100 meters, 30 7-ton tire flips, 31.03 seconds during the iron cross, 35 reps during the steel log press, and 25 seconds during the Humvee pull.
Manke carried 270 pounds during the farmer’s walk across 104 meters, 24 7-ton tire flips, 50.22 seconds on the iron cross, 31 reps during the steel log press, and 26 seconds during the Humvee pull.
Saenz carried 280 pounds during the farmer’s walk across 122 meters, 35 7-ton tire flips, 40.46 seconds on the iron cross, 8 reps during the steel log press, and 29.02 seconds during the Humvee pull.