Well, it may have been in the novice category, but I can't complain! I entered with only 3 days' notice and 5 hours' sleep from last night and managed to come in 1st, edging my friend out by one single point (it really was close at the end!) It went like this:
First event was the log clean & press - not my strongest event, not my weakest, but it was the one I sprained my back on in my first contest this summer so I was a bit worried going in. Most of the novice weight guys were opening around 170-180, so I felt I had a chance to do fairly well. Opened at 180 and made it, then made all 3 following attempts at 200, 220 and 240 lbs. for a 5 lb. PR over my previos best log lift. I felt I could have been good for 250, but no need to ask for an extra lift to wear myself out more. My friend tied me at 240, so we were even from the start.
2nd event was the farmer's walk and tire flip medley - a true endurance tester, this one left me feeling ill for an hour afterward and gasping for air long pas the time I was done. It was a lighter weight for the novice category on the farmer's walk - 170 lbs. per hand for 50 feet, drop the weights, then flip a 650 lb. tire back to the original starting point. Everything went really smoothly - had a harder time finding hand holds on the tire on the first flip, then it was good to go from there. Can't remember my time, but I think I beat out the next closest competitor (my friend) by about 8 seconds or so.
3rd event was the Axle Deadlift for reps, with a fairly light 315 lbs. on a 2" thick bar axle. With how fried I was from the previos event I'd hoped to get 10 reps before collapsing, but the first few people to go made around 12-13 on high end so I figured I'd have to do better. Then my friend goes and slams down 22 reps in 60 seconds, nearly doubling the previous record for the event. Now, if I'd gone before him I'd have probably failed at about 15 reps, but since I wanted to whoop him good (we're extremely competitive) I managed to make 22 reps in the time limit to tie things up in the event. Another 4 seconds would have gotten me one more, but that was all it would be. Tie again for first in the event.
4th event was the arm-over-arm truck pull, done with a thick rope attached to a pick-up truck that was about 75 feet away. Did fairly well at 32 seconds (some of the guys in the next class up managed times in the mid 20s, definitely a lot faster than me!) but I managed to snag 2nd place in this one by missing the winning time by only 1 second.
Finally, the 5th event was the Atlas stone loading on to a 50" platform that was about mid-chest height. I did miserable at my first contest with this event, but this time we were allowed to use tacky (a pine tar resin that's stick as hell), which keeps the stone from slipping out of your arms so easily. I made the first 4 stones with excellent speed (180, 200, 225, 250 lbs.) but the last one weighing at 280 lbs. stopped me. I lost the grip on the first attempt, applied more tacky to my hands and forearms, then got the stone in my lap and heaved it up to the ledge. Of course, I was too far away and the stone hit the edge and fell down before I could do anything to save it, and by this time I was spent. In the end, it was good enough for 3rd place and I made 2 stones heavier than I'd done before and almost a 3rd, so I was definitely pleased. My friend got 1st with a really great load time (can't remember exactly what), which was all the more impressive considering he'd never lifted round stones before.
A great day, but next year I'll have to be ready to bump up to the seriously hard competition to add to the challenge. However, here are the marks for what were winning on the events for the heavyweights:
Log press - won by someone with 330 lbs (he tried 360 to tie the amateur record but couldn't quite get it)
Carry and flip - the farmer's walk handles were 290 lbs. each instead of 170, which I may have been able to pick up but would not have moved much with, if at all.
Axle deadlift - the weight was a massive 540 lbs., which is 5 lbs. shy of my best deadlift at my prime for that lift. This is on a thick axle, making it far harder - the winner got 10 reps and stopped purely because he didn't need any more to win (probably would have gotten 14-15 easily if he'd wanted to!)
Truck pull - the truck was the same, but they put 6 of us in the back gate to add some more weight and the heavies still pulled it faster than my time
Stone loading - This is where I'd have gotten beat really badly as the stone weights were 250,280,300,340, and 365 lbs. I'd have made the first, the 2nd if I got lucky, and that would have been it. All others made the first 4, one guy did all 5, and from the size of the stones when you see one weighing in at 365, let me say that it is amazing that anyone can even get them off the ground! That thing is huge, and hopefully someday I'll manage to get them moving.
Best of all, we met the guys who put the event on and we were invited to start training with them, so hopefully that'll start soon. So, now I start the winter cycle of training for next year's events to do better than ever!