The final of the UKSC England’s Strongest Man was held at the Royal British Legion village at Aylesford, Kent, on Saturday 9th June.
12 athletes went into battle with the stunning backdrop of Preston Hall behind them; representing the North of England were Gary Gardner, Tom Shaw, Mark Kingham and Mark Lawson. The Midland qualifier provided Mike Woods, Dave Meer, Luke Fullbrook and Paul Amor, whilst athletes from the South were Paul ‘Man Bear’ Carter, Lloyd Renals, Will Egan and fresh from his 3rd place in Britain’s Strongest Man at the Hercules Olympia only two weeks before, Chatham’s Chris Gearing.
Six gruelling events awaited the contenders, the first of which was the Farmers Walk, 150kg over a 30 metre course, Chris Gearing taking the win with a time of 12.88 seconds. The second event, a 380kg Axle Deadlift was taken by Mike Woods with an amazing 9 reps. Event three, the 450kg Tyre Flip saw three athletes tie with eight flips each, Gary Gardner taking the win in a time of 52.52 seconds, unfortunately Luke Fullbrook retired at this point with a bicep injury.
After a short interval proceedings recommenced with a 150kg Log Lift, several athletes achieved no reps, but Dave Meer produced six lifts, the final lift accompanied by a cry of “who’s the king of the press”! Event five was the Truck Push, a 7.5 tonne tractor unit courtesy of TNT Express was pushed down a 30 metre course, and Mark Lawson clinched the win here in ‘sprint’ of 14.37 seconds.
The final event was a mat-to-mat medley, consisting of two blacksmith’s Anvils, one of 140kg, the other 180kg, two 135kg Duck Walks and a 110kg barrel to be carried 10 metres between mats. All athletes except Chris Gearing completed the carry, Gary Gardner winning with a time of 1min 2.9 seconds, Chris however having made his own calculations just did the two anvils in a time of 26.5 seconds.
Final placings were as follows:
1st Chris Gearing 56 pts
2nd Gary Gardner 52 pts
3rd Mark Lawson 45 pts
4th Tom Shaw 42 pts
5th Lloyd Renals 39 pts
The top 5 athletes go through to the UK’s Strongest Man in Belfast at the end of August, where they will be joined by Ed Hall, last year’s winner.
6th= Paul carter 38 pts
8th= Paul Amor 34 pts
11th Will Egan 25 pts
12th Luke Fullbrook Retired injured
This event was promoted by Steve Winter of the Ministry of Muscle gym in Aylesford and refereed by former Scotland’s Strongest Man, Alex Hunter.