Competition Write up; Burn Showdown

This weekend I put some posts and videos up on social media from a competition I took part in on the Faroe Islands. A few people seemed surprised to hear a competition was being held there, but this is something they've been doing for years, and while it's not a big televised comp, it has attracted plenty of big names over the years such as Thor, Zydrunas and Eddie.

This has been my fifth year competing in the Faroe Islands. Originally it was ran as an independent comp, but last year they turned it into the Burn Showdown, which is a bit like a fitness festival. So, they've got MMA, arm wrestling, bikini, bodybuilding, strongman, powerlifting, etc.

Backstage with Ryan England

This year they had 8 guys competing; Myself, Lalas, Radzikowski, the local athlete Bjarni Nielsen, Ryan England, Mikkel Liecht, and two new guys, John Wiberg and Kim Lorenzen.

I didn't have the best start to the weekend. After landing in the Faroe Islands, it turned out my bag had decided to take a little holiday in Copenhagen. It had everything in it, my competition kit, my clothes, toiletries... and already feeling a bit rough thanks to picking up a cold from my baby daughter, all I wanted to do was have a shower and change into some clean clothes after a long day of traveling.

So I had to go to the hotel tired, smelly and a bit grumpy. I spent much of the following day (comp day) tracking my bag on its big adventure. We were due to leave for the comp venue at 5pm, and my bag was landing at 2pm. It was eventually delivered to a bus station at 5:15pm a 10 minute walk from the hotel, so while the other athletes set off for the comp, I (kindly accompanied by Bjarni) walked to get my bag, went back to the hotel to quickly get everything sorted and then eventually arrived fashionably late.

I didn't stress about it as it was something outside of my control, and this was a low pressure competition that I planned to treat like training for the upcoming Britain's Strongest Man in January, as the events were quite similar.

Faroe Islands 2014 - 1st and 2nd place

The Competition

The first event was a 150kg log for reps. I did 6 reps fairly comfortably and I'm confident I can hit 7 at the British, which will be a PB for me with that weight. Unfortunately Lalas felt something pull in his leg during the log, so made the decision to withdraw from the competition.

150kg Log for reps

Radzikowski - 7 reps

Ryan England - 7 reps

Me - 6 reps

Mikkel Liecht - 6 reps

Bjarni Nielsen - 5 reps

Lalas - 3 reps

John Wiberg - 3 reps

Kim Lorenzen - 0 reps

Faroe Islands 2015

Next up was the frame carry, 20 metres distance in total with a turn in the middle, with 370kg. The handles were quite thick, which was causing a lot of guys some grip issues and torn calluses. Bjarni was up before me and he's really world class in this event and set a blisteringly fast time.

When testing the frame, I picked it up a few times and it tilted, so I ended up picking it up quite close to the front of the handles. If the frame tilts forward while you're moving it then it'll dig into the floor, whereas if it tilts backwards you can almost drag it if it hits.

I ended up winning the event getting just ahead of Bjarni, but no one else managed to get half way with the frame - it was a genuinely tough event.

370kg Frame Carry

Me - 11.28 seconds

Bjarni - 11.84 seconds

Radzikowski - 8.5m

Ryan England - 7.35m

Mikkel Liecht - 3.85m

John Wiberg - 2.85m

Kim Lorenzen - 1.75m

Next up was the deadlift for max. They used a standard bar and it was bending like crazy, but I'm not sure it was as heavy as they thought it was. At one point I was pulling what was thought to be 420kg, but it felt more like 320kg. Bill Kazmaier who was refereeing ended up cancelling the event as the bending got so bad that the shorter guys were locking out their lifts but the weight was still on the floor (lol).

We then moved onto the loading, which was good practice for me as I haven't trained it much and we have a loading event at the Brits. We were loading 4 110kg kegs and I placed second, which I was happy with. The first three were nice and quick and I could feel myself slowing down on the fourth where my conditioning isn't quite where it needs to be yet.

Loading Race

Mikkel Liecht - 33.66 seconds

Me - 34.19 seconds

Ryan England - 34.84 seconds

John Wiberg - 37 seconds

Bjarni Nielson - 39.75 seconds

Kim Lorenzen - 44.34 seconds

Radzikowski - 45.97 seconds

Taking the win in 2016

Next up was the Hercules Hold, a cool looking set up holding a car in each hand. Grip's always a good event for me. As I came second on the loading, I had the advantage of watching most of the other guys go up first so I knew what I needed to beat. Bjarni set the best time with 38 seconds, with the other guys coming in around 20 odd seconds. I got to 30 seconds and felt absolutely fine, and once it was confirmed I'd passed Bjarni, I put the weights down.

Hercules Hold

Me - 41.59 seconds

Bjarni - 38.34 seconds

Ryan England - 26.75 seconds

Mikkel Liecht - 25.18 seconds

Kim Lorenzen - 12.22 seconds

John Wiberg - 10.66 seconds

Radzikowski - 7.66 seconds

As long as I didn't have a complete disaster on the stones, then I knew at this point I'd pretty much secured the win. Because of this, I was a bit lazy putting my stones sleeves on and didn't do them up as tightly as I usually would, and they ended up slipping down to my wrists. I still managed to win the stones by putting 4 up in the fastest time. The stones were 120kg - 180kg but they were brand new stones and quite dusty.

Atlas Stones

Me - 4 in 22.27 seconds

Mikkel Liecht - 4 in 23.68 seconds

Bjarni - 4 in 26.36

Ryan England - 4 in 47.09

Kim Lorenzen - 3 in 1:04:65

John Wiberg - 2 in 7.64 seconds

Radzikowski - 0

2018 podium

Final Results

Laurence Shahlaei 36.5

Ryan England 29.5

Mikkel Liecht 29.5

Bjarni Nielsen 28

Krzysztof Radzikowski 17.5

John Wiberg 16.5

Kim Lorenzen 13

Vytautas Lalas (withdrew)

It was a good fun comp that I was really relaxed about. Even if it's a 'for fun' comp, I still always want to win and it still feels good to win. It was really good seeing Ryan England do well and nice to see the guys and catch up. All in all a great chance to practice and a nice little confidence boost leading up to Britain's Strongest Man in January.

If you haven't got your tickets yet, you can buy them here

Tickets are likely to sell out once Strongman is shown on TV over Christmas, so bag them now as a Christmas present to yourself.

Until the next one,


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