SANFORD — Think you’re the strongest man or woman around? The Sanford-Springvale YMCA is inviting athletes to step up and prove it.

They’ll be hosting a Strongman and Strongwoman Competition late next month on Aug. 29, during which folks can get down and show everyone just how strong they really, really are.

The competition will include several separate athletic events, broken into gender divisions and weight classes. Competitors will flip big tires, push a weighted prowler (think metal sled), clean and press a log, which involves lifting a weight in a particular way, and lift a 16-inch diameter concrete atlas stone ”“ which online sites typically estimate weigh 175 pounds. Lastly, competitors, properly harnessed, will pull a full-size truck donated by Marc Motors, said the YMCA’s marketing director Kristie Hurlburt.

Board member Brian Mucci, who took part in a New York competition a few years ago brought the idea to the YMCA as a fundraiser.

“It was such a fun day for me,” said Mucci recalling the New York competition. He said he knew it would be a fun event locally for everyone as well.

“People who don’t compete will watch,” Mucci predicted.

Hurlburt said she expects 30 to 40 competitors or more. Winners will receive awards for their efforts ”“ and bragging rights, of course.

Merilee Perkins, the YMCA’s senior program director, said the competition requires speed, endurance, technique and more.

“We hope to bring together athletes from surrounding gyms in the spirit of competition and camaraderie,” she said.

And to make it even more of a “wow” event, Howe and Howe Technologies of Waterboro will debut their high-speed tank, called Ripsaw MS3, that day.

As for Mucci, who will be among the competitors in the event ”“ he was raised in the area, and was a big fan of the YMCA from age 5, he said. When he retired from the Army and moved home with his family to open Bradford Block Bistro, he became a board member. He pointed out that there are many competitions for runners and swimmers and other athletes locally, but not so for weight lifters ”“ until now.

Not ready to compete? The YMCA is hosting a couple of training programs to help prospective competitors get ready.

On Saturday Aug. 2, there’s a free introductory clinic, which includes movement instruction, hands-on practice, and more. Pre-registration is required. Training is provided by light heavy weight strongman competitor Chris Gilman of Forge Fitness in Arundel.

Gilman will also provide fee-based open lift training at the YMCA Aug. 8, 15 and 22, where folks can train on the four events to be featured during the competition.

To learn more about the competition or to register, visit www.sanfordymca.org or contact Hurlburt at 324-4942. Vendor space and sponsorships are still available. Proceeds from the competition will support the YMCA’s expansion project.

— Senior Staff Writer Tammy Wells can be contacted at 324-4444 (local call in Sanford) or 282-1535, ext. 327 or [email protected]



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