My Second Strong(wo)man Competition Recap

My second Strong(wo)man competition is in the bag and it was ah-mazing! I ended up placing just outside the top 3 (out of a very stacked 8 women in my division – novice heavyweight – there were 23 women total!), I’m pretty sure I got 4th, maybe 5th, but I haven’t seen the official scores and results yet. update: I missed tying for 4th by one point and 0.75seconds. Regardless of my placing, I’m extremely pleased with my performance. It was such a fun day and I either exceed or met all of my goals for the day. Going into this event, my main goal was to put a score for every event. My last competition, I ended up not finishing 2 events and I really did not want to do that this time. I also had goals for every event (p.s. here is the event PDF so you can see all of the rules, weights, and events!):


  • Fingal Finger/Tire Flip Medley: Flip each thing at least once
  • Conan’s Wheel: Walk at least 2 laps
  • Duck Walk/PowerStairs: Finish within 60 second time cap
  • Axle Press: Get 5 reps
  • Atlas Stones: Load the 154#

The night before, I ate a big dinner since I didn’t have to worry about making weight, drank Pedialyte (hydration to the max), and packed up all of my gear and food. I had to get up around 6 to drive about 2 hours to the event location to weigh in so I tried to have everything ready to go the night before. I was pretty nervous that night but got a decent night’s sleep and headed out with my husband in the morning. I got to the event gym, got weighed in, attempted to eat some more but my stomach was in knots so I just drank more Pedialyte and had a protein shake and baby food puree, stretched, and hung around for about 2 hours. Once the rules meeting took place, I got REALLY nervous. Like, insanely kind-of-want-to-puke nervous, which is pretty unusual for me. I didn’t have any of the pre-competition nerves like I did last time and apparently, they all crept up on me 30 minutes before start time. I just put headphones on and zoned out until I had to line up and then it was go time.

Fingal Finger/Tire Flip Medley: The event was to flip the finger, then the tire, and go back and forth, as many times as possible in 60 seconds.  I was EXTREMELY nervous about this event because I have never practiced with the finger apparatus or anything close to it. I did get to practice putting it up (but not flipping) a few times before start time but wasn’t sure I would be able to do it. The tire was relatively light so I wasn’t too concerned there. I ended up getting 5 reps (3 finger flips, 2 tire flips) and exceed my goal. I was crowding the tire a bit and slowed down there but overall, I was really happy with this and after this event, my nerves went away.

Conan’s Wheel: The event had us walking a 250# Conan’s Wheel for max distance, with one drop. I’d practiced this without the actual implement so I was fairly confident this would be a good event for me. The main concern with this was simply not passing out – it’s tough to breathe when a giant bar is on your diaphragm and you’re wearing a belt and walking in a circle. I don’t know my exact distance on this but I think I did nearly 3 laps and did well. My calves were on FIRE afterwards but I had a really long rest time so I was able to eat and sit for a bit.

Duck Walk/PowerStairs: For this event, we had to walk a 120# implement 40 feet and then put it up 4 18inch stairs in 60 seconds. The implement and weight for this changed at the last minute so I was nervous about making the time cap – I had practiced with a 44kg/98lb kettlebell and was pretty fast but the implement change was ROUGH. That thing is brutal and bruises and cuts your inner thighs like crazy. I ended up doing well on this event too – according to my husband’s iPhone video, I ended up doing this in 27 seconds

Axle Press: Clean once (if you drop it, you’re done – I did NOT know that until the day of), and press 100# axle for max reps in 60 seconds. I was DREADING this event – pressing, particularly with an axle, is NOT my strength. In my first contest, a 100# axle clean & press was the max weight I could get.  My coach and I have been drilling this into the ground but I was still very nervous. I just wanted to match my PR of 5 split jerks in 60 seconds since after 5 reps, I kind of fall apart and end up losing it out front. Well, I ended up doing 8 really clean reps and was SO happy about this. There was a whole lot of hugging and high fives after this event – definitely the highlight of the day for me.

Atlas Stones: Load 100# & 135# stone to a 48inch platform, 155# to 44inch platform, and 170# to 40inch platform in 60 seconds. I was fairly confident about this event since I’ve been training stones to much higher platforms and recently loaded our gyms 157# three times. I got taped and tacky-ed up and went for it. I took me SO long to load the 155# because the stones were literally crumbling in my hands. By the time I got to 155#, I had no tacky left because it was covered in crumbling concrete. I ended up getting the stone to the platform and went to attempt the 170# but ran out of time. I’m confident a 170# stone is within my reach, just not on that day.


After driving home, eating an absolutely insane amount of food, and getting a good night’s sleep, I’m so ready to do it again. I’m very happy with my performance and feel like I’m in a good spot to continue climbing the ranks. Also, a huge THANK YOU to everyone who wished me well, came out and supported me, especially my friends, family, SR Bar sponsors, and my coach, it was truly an awesome day!

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Comments: 19

  1. MIZCarla January 6, 2014 at 8:19 am Reply

    NOTHING ELSE BUT YOU ARE FLIPPING AMAZING and such a fantastic role model.

  2. Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean January 6, 2014 at 8:22 am Reply

    so freakin awesome!

  3. Cori @ olivetorun January 6, 2014 at 9:21 am Reply

    I was just telling my husband about you this weekend. You are one of the people I look at for inspiration. You’re strong and you OWN you… love it.

  4. Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table January 6, 2014 at 10:21 am Reply

    This is so cool. You rock! I can’t even imagine hauling a crumbling stone at the end of a day like that. 170 time for sure!

  5. Tara @ Sweat like a Pig January 6, 2014 at 11:23 am Reply

    I should be working right now but I saw that you posted your recap and I couldn’t wait to read it!

    You are all kinds of awesome! Congrats :) Interesting about the axle press. Every comp I’ve seen in the UK is from the floor. Going up and down wears me out – I’ve never even tried repeatedly pressing the bar at a higher weight, so now I want to run to the gym and give it a go.

    I so want to try the Conan’s wheel. I have issues with my blood sugar and I can get dizzy pretty easily during training – something tells me walking around in a circle would be a disaster haha.

    I soooo want to compete again. I can’t wait six more months!!! Congrats again :)

    • gabbysgfree January 6, 2014 at 2:26 pm Reply

      Thanks! Conan’s wheel is definitely brutal but fun!

  6. Laura @ Mommy Run Fast January 6, 2014 at 6:48 pm Reply

    Wow! You did amazing- congrats!!

  7. Anne-Marie January 22, 2014 at 8:55 pm Reply

    It was great to meet you at this event! I had no idea you are “famous”!!! :)

    Hope we run in to you again soon!

    PS Love the blog!
    (That was a lot of exclamation points…)

    • gabbysgfree January 22, 2014 at 9:36 pm Reply

      It was so great to meet you! I’m sure we will run into each other again soon!

      And thank you :) Also, I promise I’m not “famous” lol

  8. […] [I had never flipped this thing before I competed.] […]

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