Motors and Muscles Powers Up Thunder Bay

Jake DiPaulo at Motors and Muscles 2014
Jake DiPaulo at Motors and Muscles 2014
Dave Lennox, Evan Merkley and Jason Girouard
Dave Lennox, Evan Merkley and Jason Girouard

THUNDER BAY – SPORTS – The return of Ribfest to Thunder Bay also means the return of Motors & Muscles, this annual strength and motorcycle tradition organized by John Trevisanutto is now in it’s 10th year and is always a crowd favourite. This was the final strongman competition of the year being held in Thunder Bay in addition to the Thunder Bay’s Strongest Man and Ontario’s Strongest Man competitions that were held in the Lakehead this year. In total, there were eleven strength athletes who participated in this five event competition, all in support of the local charity Our Kids Count.

The competition was well attended with a seated and standing crowd of over 800-1000 strong all day and featured several veteran strongmen along with a few new faces competing on their first competition.

The MC for the event was Kateri Skaarup with Ontario’s Strongest Man, Luke Skaarup, acting as the referee for the competition.

Kyle Rainer in the deadlift
Kyle Rainer in the deadlift

Several volunteers also helped to make this event possible including: Laine Gordon, Tom Murphy, JP Bourret, Nicolette Skaarup, and Dan Skaarup. Special Thanks to Naturally Fit and Halfway Motors for their event sponsorship as well.

Jake DiPaulo at Motors and Muscles 2014
Jake DiPaulo at Motors and Muscles 2014

1st Event- 250lbs log press for reps. The athletes had to clean a log to chest level and then press the log overhead as many times as they could with in a minute. This lift was very difficult with six of the eleven athletes failing to successfully compete a lift. Coming out on top was Thunder Bay’s own Kyle Rayner with 13 repetitions, followed by Dom Liontas from Winnipeg with 9 reps and Thunder Bay’s Dallas Hogan with 7 reps.

2nd Event- Carry Medley. The athletes had to carry a 250lbs steel block for 80ft and then pick up and carry 270lbs per hand (540lbs total) in the farmer’s walk for another 80ft for the fastest time possible. This time it was Dom Liontas who come out on top as he flew through the course in 25.3s, he was followed closely by Kyle Rayner who finished in 28.6s and Thunder Bay’s Rob Gordon who managed 29.9s for third place in the event.

3rd Event- Maximum 18” deadlift. The athletes each had to lift 600lbs and then could choose which weights to attempt as the bar was loaded with another 50lbs for each round. There were many impressive lifts performed for the crowd with Jake DiPaulo of Thunder Bay and Dom Liontas coming out on top in a tie for first place with successful lifts of 950lbs. They were followed by Dallas Hogan, Evan Merkley of Thunder Bay and Yanick Baillargeon of Elliot Lake who managed 900lbs for a 3rd place tie.

4th Event- Yoke carry- 680lbs x 80ft. This event is very difficult for new competitors, the thought of carrying nearly 700lbs on your back and attempting to run with it for 80ft while the weight crushes you into the ground with every step is painful to say the least. Dom Liontas got his third event win with a blistering time of 20.9s, followed by Kyle Rayner with 28.4s, and Thunder Bay’s Will Haskell with a time of 35.3s for third place.

5th and Final event- seated truck pull up incline. The athletes had pull a Nissan Titan truck up hill for 80ft while in a seated position and pulling with a rope as fast as possible. The incline made the course quite difficult and six of the athletes were unable to fully finish the 80ft distance. Coming out on top was Rob Gordon who set a blistering time of 39.5s, he was followed by Kyle Rayner with 42.9s and Dom Liontas with a time of 44.7s to finish the course.

The final standings were:
1) Dom Liontas- 51.5
2) Kyle Rayner- 47
3) Dallas Hogan- 40
4) Rob Gordon- 33
5) Evan Markley- 32
6) Yanick Baillargeon- 28
7) Jake DiPaulo- 25.5
8) Will Haskell- 20.5
9) Andy Saindon- 15.5
10) Dave Lennox- 11.5
11) Jason Gourard- 4.5

Next up for many of these strength athletes will be the final Strength Challenge of 2014 in Dubreuilville, Ontario. There will be an amateur strongman competition, Professional Strongman Competition, kids challenge, a Women’s Strength challenge, and a miss strongman beauty pagent. More information can be found at

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