Massive crowd cheers for strongmen
CALL them Herculean hunks or beefed-up behemoths – either way, Lismore welcomed the national strongman titles at Oakes Oval with open arms on Saturday.
Ten monster musclemen failed to contain Australia's reining strongman and current titleholder, Derek Bayer, who kept the competition at bay for the 14th year in a row through a series of titanic trials, starting with the 22-tonne truck pull along Keen Street.
Mr Bayer, also known as Thunder from the Gladiator television series, claimed that event and most of the others, including a one-tonne wheelbarrow push, a 125kg overhead log press, a 315kg giant axle lift, stone lifting up to 180kg and a staggering 365kg super yoke.
Lismore mayor Jenny Dowell and Federal Page MP Janelle Saffin kicked off proceedings by getting the 22-tonne rig rolling with the help of the council's City Centre Manager, Stephen Nelson.
Despite a collective bevy of non-bulging biceps, not to mention a critical lack of triceps and quadriceps, the diminutive trio – better known for their intellectual brawn and political prowess – managed a respectable five metres.
“I'm sure they had it running in first gear,” Cr Dowell admitted.
“We were actually worried it would run us over,” added Ms Saffin, saying the five-metre feat felt more like 50.
While weighing up her colleagues' workload, a relatively athletic Cr Dowell complained she was left lumped with the lion's share of the pull, controversially claiming her City Centre Manager would be lucky to weigh in at 50 pounds wringing wet.
Nonetheless, an estimated 700 people cheered them along Keen Street, while about 500 filled the stands at Oakes Oval to soak up the testosterone-fuelled extravaganza in glorious winter sunshine.
There also was displays of karate, hip hop, aerobics, circus performances and Irish dancing.
The Lions Club, which catered for the fundraiser and ran the gate, declared it a great success, with all proceeds going to the Lismore Soup Kitchen.