Skaarup finishes second at Toronto event

Lucas Punkari

Although local “strongman” Luke Skaarup fell a few points short of nabbing top spot at the Toronto Pro Supershow last weekend, the level of competition at this year’s event was something that made him take notice.
“I was really impressed with how good all of the guys are getting,” he enthused.
“Each of the seven events were won by a different athlete, and guys like Ben Rucksthul and Maxime Boudreault have improved a ton over the last year, so the future for ‘strongman’ events in Ontario is looking bright,” Skaarup added.
“As for how I did, well I’m never happy with a second-place finish but sometimes you’ve got to accept it and move on,” he reasoned.
Going up against 11 other competitors, Skaarup got things started on the right foot Saturday when he finished in first place in the overhead press medley, lifting a 240-pound keg, a 280-pound axle, a 170-pound dumbbell, and a 300-pound “log” in 28.98 seconds.
“Kyle [Rayner] and Ben smoked right through it in 29 seconds and change, so I knew that I had to really go for it,” he recalled.
“I hit the keg quickly, made decent time on the axle, went fast on the dumbbell, and did the ‘log’ in one decent motion to finish in first place and get off to a real good start.
Skaarup followed that event with a third place in the farmer’s walk (in which competitors have to carry 340 pounds in each hand for maximum distance in 75 seconds) and then fourth in the Atlas stones event to hold a two-point lead in the overall standings heading into Sunday.
“I was happy with the third place in the farmer’s walk,” said Skaarup. “But unfortunately, my training tacky I had on the back of my hands wouldn’t stick to the final stone in the Atlas event.
“However, I was feeling fine about how I did going into the second day,” he added.
Unfortunately for Skaarup, his slim lead after Day 1 quickly disappeared in the opening event Sunday as he finished in ninth in the tire flip.
“I felt great about this event going in as I flipped that 840-pound tire before and had won the event that last time we used it,” he remarked.
“I was still close to the pace that the other fast guys had gone, but on the last flip, I ended up missing and in trying push more with my legs, I completely wiped out with the tire.
“I got up and tried to flip it again, but I ran out of time.
“In the end, my pace was too slow,” he admitted.
“I used the same pace as I would with a 950-pound tire and I didn’t give this tire any respect.”
After bouncing back with a fourth-place showing in the crucifix hold and a third-place finish in the car deadlift, Skaarup wrapped up the event with a third-place result in the log press event, which put him in second place overall behind winner Paul Vaillancourt.
“After the car deadlift, pretty much everyone was gassed out a bit, which is why the numbers were a bit lower than usual,” he noted.
“I did four reps quickly, but I couldn’t lock out on the fifth.
“I made several attempts for more, but I just didn’t have anything left in my back and hips,” he added.
With the Toronto event in the books, Skaarup now is preparing for the Ontario’s Strongest Man competition in Kitchener on July 21-22, with a spot at this year’s Canada’s Strongest Man on the line.