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Put to the strongman test


RIVER JOHN - After strategically positioning three heavy stones, Johnny Jollimore jumped at the word 'GO' and began tossing them into a tractor bucket like they were cotton balls.
In 12.33 seconds the River John teenager, who helps his father onboard a lobster fishing boat, managed to lift the rocks weighing 160, 170, and 230 pounds.
"I didn't think I could do it," said
Jollimore. "But I wanted to try it to see if I could."
The teenager was the first of about a half-dozen young men who tested their mettle in the stone-lifting event at an amateur strongman competition and demonstration in River John Monday, hosted by professional Atlantic Canadian strongman competitor Dan Sutherland.
Sutherland and four-time Canadian Strongman champion Grant Conners, of Kentville, demonstrated how each feat was carried out then welcomed members of the crowd to join them.
"It was pretty good," said Jollimore, checking his arms for scrapes after tossing the stones. "It shows people's strengths and how it compares to others. It tests everybody."
West Branch teenager Matt Pearl is looking forward to competing in strongman events during the Pictou County exhibition and was pleased to have an opportunity to see professionals demonstrate proper
"I think it's really good for people who want to get into it to be here," said Pearl.
"I've been lifting weights for a couple of years but never had the opportunity to try out at this type of event."
Pearl made an attempt in the farmer's walk event, carrying 200 pounds of steel in each hand but dropped the load short of the finish line.
This was the first time Sutherland hosted the demonstration in River John as part of the community's summer festival and was very pleased with the crowd of more than 50 who came out to watch.
"To give them a chance to see if it is something they could do, or something they want to pursue ... well it makes me feel pretty good," said Sutherland.
He was surprised by the number of young men who stepped up to the challenge and asked to train with him.
"Once they try it and they know they can do it they'll think, 'Why can't I do the next step and keep moving up,"' he said.
The Hedgeville resident has been participating in strongman events since age 16 and has made all his own training equipment to prepare for competitions.

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