April 28th marks the 11th year of the Beast of the Bluegrass. A contest that began with about 20 athletes has evolved into almost 100 competitors!! It not only showcases strongmen and women but it also has powerlifting and CrossFit. In combination with close to 250 athletes we also had nearly 500 spectators and 14 vendors. The vendors represented clothing apparel, supplements, food seasoning and so much more. Chiropractor on site and massage therapy as well. The contest has turned into a true show of strength that certainly tries to cater to the athlete. This year was by far the biggest and best!!
Before I discuss the contest let me thank Strongman Corporation for allowing me to have Arnold invites as well as national invites at this contest. I would also like to thank all my helpers, loaders, judges andspotters. They truly make this contest run smoothly. Also this contest wouldn’t be nearly what it iswithout all the great athletes that choose to be there. From the many strongmen and women to the powerlifters!!! They all create an atmosphere that is one of a kind.
The contest began with last man standing log. Literally the last person still pressing was the winner. The event showcased a big time battle between Brent LaPrietra and Jake Reynolds in the 231 class. Both going to 340 and Jake winning with 350. The 200 class was also exciting to watch with a tie at 300 with Tyler Young and Andrew Triana and old man strong Jes Reeve wining with 320. The women were also battling with 200 press from Emily Pernice in the 180 class to beat 190 from Jamie Schamma! In the end it was an exciting event that really pushed the athletes to one up the next athlete! Chris Vachio in the HW masters seems to have recovered from surgery with a nice 280 log! Polska strong Martin Wieckowski also looking good with 250 in the LW masters. Big time presser Kevin Clark coasted with an easy 330 as did Bobby Thompson.
The next event was the medley. Some nicknamed it the “Death Medley” however luckily no one died!LOL We did see some monumental efforts. Due to the slick floor I added 180 lbs to all the sleds. I’m sureeveryone was ready to cut me! HA Finishing this medley was really the true battle. The 140 women were fast as expected with the best time being 42.7 seconds from Emily Schnabel for the win. For the men the best overall time out of all the over 231 guys was Caleb Perkins with a super-fast time of 31.8 seconds.That’s really moving 300 bag, 300 keg and 480 sled all 60 ft!! The 265 men basically came down totenths of a second to separate the leaders. 27.9 seconds by Keith Cherry was blur to watch!
The 3rd event was the max 18 inch deadlift. I was excited to see the numbers that would be put up. Iwasn’t disappointed. We had 3 guys pull 1000 plus! The real battle in the 265 was Nick Rush pulling 1005 and forcing Anthony Pernice to pull 1010! Both were successful and it was an awesome battle to see. Not be out done by the 265 guys SHW Bobby Thompson went 1025 to just let everyone know who the big dog was! Very easy 1025 I might add!! Another battle was in the 200 Tyler Young went 905 (4 time bodyweight) only to be out done by Jes Reeve with 910! If we want to wilks on this event we would have to look down at the women. 140 women Emily Schnabel pulling 625!! She wasn’t only 600 female. JamieSchamma in the 180 pulling 600 and Sarah Cogswell pulling 605 in the HW women. The 175 men also put on a show as well. Next year I will certainly get them their shot at the Arnold spot.
The 4th event was the super yoke. 40 ft doesn’t seem like a long distance but when you have 500, 600,800 or 1000 on your back it makes for a long walk!! Thinking I put enough on there I was only blown away by some of the times! Emily Pernice almost getting in under 10 seconds. Sarah Cogswell making it in 9.35 seconds. Bob Sowers in the 175 going 8.7 seconds! 200 open guys were all almost under 13
seconds. Bobby Thompson going 16 seconds! Someone people didn’t finish yet others smoked it. It’samazing to see how some are just made to run with weight!! As a promoter it’s always a gamble to loadthe bar. You hate to see a zero but man is it impressive to see someone just fly with the weight!
The final event were 3 giant stones! Many shows have 5 but let’s be honest, who cares about the first 2stones. The make or break is in the last 3. Let’s skip the little stones and get right to the big ones!! Manyathletes needed to put up or shut up here. 140 women were only separated by .5 points. Emily Schnabel needed to beat Beth Nardoni in order to win. With just few seconds faster Emily was able to overtake Beth! It was awesome to see it come down to who wins the stones. Same for the 180 class. Emily Pernice was tied with Jamie Schamma. With 3 seconds difference Emily was able to get the ticket to the Arnold. 265 class Anthony Pernice needed to win the stones and hope for a miracle. Somehow he was able to find it and pull out the win. 300 class Caleb Perkins needed to beat Kevin Clark to win and just barely made it!
In the end there were so many battles it was a really exciting day. Very competitive from the start to the finish!! I plan to do the same next year!! Hope you can make it for the Beast XII!!