Garfield County strongmen (and women) face a hot and heavy test
First John Langstaff of Rifle flipped a tire that weighed 300-700 pounds end over end for more than 20 yards, then he had to do the “farmer’s walk” carrying 135-225 pounds back to the start. He crashed to the ground after blowing through the course, saying, “It would have hurt more if I would have lost the race.”
Such were the scenes at the area’s first-ever Strongman competition on a blistering day Sunday at the Garfield County Fair and Rodeo.
Ten competitors in three different classes tested themselves in five events, including overhead lift, tire flip and farmers walk, dead lift, truck pull and atlas stone while about 100 spectators looked on.
In the overhead lift, for example, each competitor had to lift a stone above their head as many times as possible. The lightweight women lifted a 100-pound stone, while the sole heavyweight competitor, Jeremy Everding of Glenwood Springs was tasked with manhandling a 190-pound rock.
A more traditional show of strength was the dead lift. Rachel Orosz of Glenwood Springs excelled, lifting 275 pounds more then a dozen times to lead the lightweight women. The men’s classes tested brute strength at 405 and 495 pounds in the event.
After a short break, competitors put all their weight into the truck pull. A full-size pickup sat idle at the end of the course with a large toe strap attached to the bumper. Weighing in at 7,000 pounds without passengers, getting the vehicle rolling was the test for the competitors, but one by one they got momentum on their side and finished out the course.
With the sun beating down on the athletes, performing on asphalt, the final event, the atlas stone required each competitor to lift the stone over a bar as many times as possible, wrapping up the competition with a lot of sweat, a little blood and a lot of exhausted smiles.
Greg Orosz of Silt pushed for the competition, the proceeds of which benefited Brent’s Place in Aurora, a housing facility in Aurora for immune-compromised patients and their families during treatment.
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After experiencing online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, some Garfield Re-2 students don’t necessarily want to go back to traditional, in-person learning practices next year.