Going into his final event of the season, local strongman Luke Skaarup was hoping to end his year on a positive note at the Dubreuilville Pro Strongman Challenge and come away with a podium finish.
While his third place showing allowed to accomplish that goal, Skaarup picked up an added bonus during the weekend as he set a Canadian record for the heaviest atlas stone loaded.
In a special challenge event during the course of the competition, Skaarup was able to lift a 454-pound atlas stone and load it successfully, which won him an extra $300 of which he donated half to a local charity in addition to setting a new record.
“I had no idea that this was a record that I had set and I was pleased to load a 22-inch stone as I have never been able to do that before,” Skaarup said.
“I guess it’s time to go and make a new goal,” he added.
Competing in four events on each day of the tournament, Skaarup had a first place in the Ford Escape dead lift for reps event, a second place result in the 300lbs log clean and press for reps, third in the atlas stones, and a 12th place result in the Hercules Hold with Pillars.
“All I can say for that finish in the Hercules Hold was that I wish I could of had a mulligan on that one,” Skaarup said.
“I would like to try this implement a few more times just so I can get the hang of it, but I knew I could fight back in the dead lift because that was my best event.
“I wasn’t 100 percent sure that my 18 reps would until I saw Dallas (Hogan) hit 16 or 17 reps, and after that I knew that I had first,” Skaarup added.
Day number two of the event saw Skaarup have a pair of eighth place finishes in the Seated Truck Pull and Progressive Wheelbarrow events, but he bounced right back with a pair of runner-up finishes in the 850lbs yoke and medley events to eventual event winner Dave Ostlund.
“My 34 seconds time in the yoke event was smashed by Dave’s 25 second run, so it wouldn’t have mattered if I even had a flawless run, he still would of beat me by a few seconds,” Skaarup said.
“I thought that I might win the Medley event until I saw Dave come up, as he absolutely just destroyed the Fingal’s Fingers to finish with a 39 second performance, but there was no shame in losing to him,” Skaarup added.
In addition to his own performance during the weekend, the other highlight for Luke was seeing his oldest son, Brayden, compete in the strongman junior event, where he complete a medley of two tire flips and a mini-wheelbarrow run in 15 seconds.
“The whole time he was doing it he was running around with his shirt off and flexing, so that was pretty priceless,” Skaarup smiled.
Skaarup is now planning to shut things down for the year as he and his wife will be welcoming their fourth child into their family near the end of October, and at this point he has yet to decide what his schedule will be like for next season.
“I really don’t know yet if I will compete or not, as having four kids will be quite busy,” Skaarup explained.
“I’m not ready to quit and I feel that I have finally filled the holes in my strongman game, but I also don’t have anything left to prove either.
“I still enjoy competing and as long as I can balance that with my expanding family I will, and I would like to do the Canadian Strongest Man one more time, but I have competed at three Canadian Championships already so what does a fourth mean?
“Who knows though, I may end up doing a few select shows. We’ll just have to wait and see,” Skaarup added.