TORONTO – SPORTS – The Ontario’s Strongest Man competition took place this past weekend in Toronto as part of the Toronto Pro Supershow on June 6 & 7th at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. In total, 13 Ontario athletes were competing for four spots at Canada’s Strongest Man.
In the first event the athletes competed in a deadlift event where they had to deadlift 640lbs on a standard gym barbell for as many repetitions as they could in 75s. All of the athletes managed to lift this huge weight at least once with Luke Skaarup coming out on top with 11 reps, followed by Ben Ruckstuhl with 10 reps and Paul Vaillancourt with 8 reps to round out the top three.
Strongman Competition in Toronto
Next it was the giant farmer’s walk, this event was particularly difficult as the athletes had to lift up and carry two implements weighing 340lbs each with 1.5” diameter thick grip handles for a total of 80ft. Many of the athletes struggled to complete the course with only four of them managing to complete the full distance. Max Boudreault set the pace with a blistering time of 17s, followed by Ben Ruckstuhl with a time of 33s and Luke Skaarup with a time of 34s.
In the final event of the first day, the athletes had to press a 300lbs yoke from chest level to overhead for as many repetitions as possible in 75s. With the strong pressers in this field, many of the athletes were able to register double digits. In the end it was top presser, Ben Ruckstuhl who won the event with 18 presses, followed by Luke Skaarup with 16 and Max Boudreault with 14 presses with the 300lbs weight.
After the first day of competition the top three were Ben, Luke and Paul, who happened to be the winners of the last 6 Ontario’s Strongest Man Competitions (2009 to 2014), no coincidence there.
The second day started off with a new event in Ontario and one of the world’s favourite events to watch, the keg toss over a 16ft bar, the athletes were to attempt to throw all 8 kegs over the bar for the fastest time (weights 40 to 55lbs). Most guys were able to do at least four kegs and many struggled to get the kegs over in one attempt. There was a three way tie for second place with 7 kegs between, Joe, Max and Luke with Ben showing why he was the king of the kegs finishing all 8 of them easily. Notably, Ben actually threw the first five kegs over the 20ft safety netting. Wow.
The next event was the circus dumbbell press in which the athletes had to lift a 180lbs 12” diameter dumbbell from ground to overhead as many times as possible within 75s. Max set a blistering pace with 7 reps quickly and then ran out of steam, Luke followed with 8 steady reps, and Ben won again with 9 dominant reps with this huge weight for another event win.
In the sixth event the athletes had to deadlift the maximum possible weight from a bar height of 15”. The bar started at 690lbs and rose up from there with the athletes picking which weights they wanted to attempt, with their largest successful lift as their final score. There was a four way tie for 3rd place with a lift of 780lbs completed by Ben, Lance, Paul, and David. Luke managed 830lbs for 2nd place and the event winner Joe deWitt managed a massive 870lbs lift.
Next the athletes competed in the maximum weight log press, the log was 13” diameter and was loaded to a opening weight of 300lbs, then 310, 330, 350, 370 and 400lbs to determine the winner. After a long competition, 5 athletes failed to complete the opening lift, despite this, there was a record tying performance to come. Tied for 2nd were Max and Ben with a lift of 370lbs, but it was Joe deWitt who led the pack with a Ontario record press of 400lbs. What made this lift even more impressive is that Joe did not use any leg drive and simply strict pressed the weight overhead.
In the fan favourite, and final event, the athletes had to load five stones weighing 250 to 400lbs to varying heights from 72” to 64” to 56” for the fastest time. Most athletes were able to load 3 or 4 stones with only Karl Hjelholt and Big Ben Ruckstuhl being able to complete all 5 stones. Ben did it the fastest for the win in 42s, with Karl at 43, followed by Max who managed the first four stones in 18s.
The winner of the 2015 Ontario’s Strongest Man is Ben Ruckstuhl from Trenton Ontario, winning his second title (the other victory being in 2013). Luke Skaarup followed in 2nd Place, with Maxime Boudreault in 3rd place and Joe DeWitt in 4th place. These athletes will be representing Ontario at Canada’s Strongest Man in Dubreuilville, Ontario this September.