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2019 Sponsorship Contest Winners
2019 Sponsorship Contest Winners
We have selected the winners for our 2019 annual sponsorship contest. We had over 1100 entries. We appreciate everyone that took the time to enter. It is not an easy job choosing the winner as there are many deserving athletes.
Unlike most of my peers, I was a chubby 200 lb computer geek through high school and hadn't touched a weight until I was 20yo. As an IT systems engineer, when I began lifting in my parents' basement, I was a perfectionist from the start. I weighed out my food, periodized my lifting, researched and experimented daily. Almost 15 years later of this consistency, never missing a beat, it's paid off. Every moment of every day I made sure what I was doing would be towards my goals in some manner. I switched from recreational bodybuilding into strongman in 2011. Over 40 contests later, I've earned my MW Pro card and compete among some of the best in the world. I've coached other strongman and strongwoman competitors to the world level, such as the Arnold. I love pushing the limits of the human body, perhaps past the point of what's healthy, but it's amazing to me to see what can be accomplished, especially as a middle weight frame in giant dominated sport. If you told the 200 lb chubby me that I'd weigh a lean 260lbs running with a 1000 lb yoke on my back, and would place 6th in America's Strongest Man, I'd never believe it.
Some lifts I'm proud of:
Trap bar DL 803x2
Yoke 700lb 50ft in 7.82sec
Yoke 1000 lbs 50ft (no time)
Farmers 360lbs per hand 40ft in 7.69sec
Log Press 340 lbs
Axle Press 355 lbs
Bench press (not typically lifted for strongman): 405x2
Favorite quote: "Strength doesn't care" - can't get stronger, regardless of legit excuses.
I am a 33 year old single mom of 2 kiddos. I grew up an athlete and competed in swimming for most of my life. I got married in 2005 and went through nursing school and had two children. I got back into the gym in 2011. In 2015 I got my certification to teach strength classes and in my class I had a student suggest powerlifting to me and I haven’t turned back. I have been a strength athlete for the past 3 years and a part of a team called East Race Muscle in South Bend, Indiana. I have competed in the USPA for the past 2 years in the 67.5kg weight class and hold my elite status in this weight class. I am also an Indiana State Referee for the USPA. Powerlifting is my love and my home. However, May of 2018 I injured my back severely on a heavy squat 2 weeks out from the Chicago Fit Expo. Surgery was recommended to me however, I did not quit I still competed in bench only and hit a meet PR. I then went straight into Physical therapy and training for my first figure show. I competed in the NPC and I am a nationally qualified competitor. I plan to compete in St. Louis in April 2019- I am currently in prep and have 12 weeks till this show. Bodybuilding is a different sport and has very different challenges for me, mainly food. I love food and I love to bake and I have not been able to do that in my last prep or this one. I do feel I am more prepared physically for this prep but mentally I have to go into my hole and shut all the bad out and focus on my end goal. Having to become extremely uncomfortable with my body in the offseason to make the gains and improvements I need to bring a better package to the stage. This offseason has been my biggest struggle but I am willing to be uncomfortable to acquire what I need and move past it. My coach and I have a plan for the coming weeks for my figure show and I have some ideas of some bigger shows I want to do but I will keep that under wraps for now.
I also plan on making my way back onto the platform this year. It is a place I love but it is a place I am afraid of. Fear is something that is in me since my injury. My coach and I am working on getting me back under the bar and under some heavy weight, Since we have introduced squats and deadlifts back into my program I have surpassed previous numbers and I am just getting started. I look forward to this year and the new challenges and goals I have set for myself. My only competition is myself, and I plan on winning.
I grew up with six brothers being super competitive. A “husky” kid I never was the first picked for team sports but often earned praise once my work ethic could be demonstrated. I was always reminded by my dad how much can be won simply by hustling to the ball and being on time to practice.
A year after buying my first e-book workout and training all summer before my first season of high school football I realized that team sports were not for me. I liked to lift more. I liked the ability to control my own destiny in the gym. I started watching strongman and powerlifting and google searched trying to find a contest. In 2009 I managed to find a contest two hours away that just happened to be were my dad was going for a convention the same weekend. I competed that weekend and got 9th of 10 in the open novice class at 16 years old. After getting my butt kicked I got in the car and the whole drive back I was plotting how I wasn’t going to let that happen again. I won my next contest (in the much more manageable) teen class.
In my tenth year of competing I have been blessed to win many accolades. In 2011 I accomplished my first dream of Teenage National Champion. In 2012 at 19 I broke the Men’s and Teen Amateur Axle Clean and Press record which still stands. In 2014 I won my Heavyweight Pro Card at the Arnold Classic being the second youngest Pro. In 2016 I won my Middleweight Pro Card being one of very few to hold both and second youngest to win both.
From summer 2015 to summer 2017 I perused some other sports interests, while still actively competing in strongman. I have competed in other strength sports like powerlifting and weightlifting placing as high as second in the University Nationals for the under 25 in 2017. I dove into running, indoor rowing, triathlons, marathons and even an ultra-marathon running 62 miles of an attempt 100-mile ultra-marathon being grossly unprepared with borrowed equipment, weighing 260 pounds and injured right foot. My longest run to that date was just my one marathon.
I often combined strength feats with endurance feats throughout this time from 2015 to 2017. I followed America’s Strongest Man in 2015 with a half marathon the next day and America’s Strongest Man (Middleweight division) with a full marathon the next day. I also followed my win of my middleweight pro card with a triathlon. This is how my “RunningStrongman” name came about.
After breaking the 105kg Circus Dumbbell Press World Record with 270 pounds in April of 2017 I knew endurance sports had to be put on the back burner. By summer of 2017 I took time away my endurance side to focus on strongman. In December of 2017 I won the 105kg World’s Strongest Man by a sizable margin. A month later I broke the Axle Clean and Press World Record for 105kg and was my last show in that division. For the remainder of 2018 I competed in the Open category getting to travel to Africa and Spain as part of the International Arnold Strongman Classic Pro Series were I placed 6th and 9th respectively. December of 2018 I capped off a long year with a win of the Giants Live Qualifier Strongman Games for my shot at a spot in 2020 World’s Strongest Man pending a top three performance come summer of 2019 in Indiana.
Of all my accomplishments my most notable however is training almost solely out of a garage gym. I have been able to make use of craigslist and homemade equipment to make it to one of the highest levels of the sport. It means so much to me to be on the cusp of a huge dream of mine and know I found a way with the resources I had. As my favorite motto goes, “If you can’t, you must”. I must!
Personal Best Lifts:
Log Clean and Press- 405 pounds
Axle Clean and Press- 420 pounds
Deadlift- 850 pounds
Atlas Stone- Series ending on 450 pounds
Yoke- 1215 pounds, 1003 pounds x82ft in 15 seconds
Circus Dumbbell Press- 270x1, 255x3
Mile Run- 5:32 (at 255 pounds)
Half Marathon: 1 hour 51 minutes
500m Row- 1:17.0
Air Assault (60 seconds)- 73 calories
I started my journey when a friend asked me to do a 30 day buddy challenge at a local gym, where you had 30 days to make the biggest transformation. After losing 7lbs of fat, I started thinking in the back of my head about bodybuilding. I did a lot of circuit and group training, and one of my coaches was a runner, which is how I got into running half-marathons. After a few weeks training this way, I joined the gyms weight lifting program.
I loved being able to push myself to see the improvement each time we tested maxes. At that point I started gearing my diet to weight gain instead of loss. Played around with Crossfit and Olympic lifting, but soon realized I was more interested in maximal strength. Especially after seeing Stefi Cohen deadlifting on Instagram, I immediately knew that's what I wanted to do.
I competed at a powerlifting meet for beginners and kept going from there. Eventually I met Bonnie Schroeder at a meet and decided to take her on as a coach. Since then, I can say that I've basically found where I belong.
Peter is a competitive USPA powerlifter in the 90 kg / 198 lb class. His day job is an Intel Process Engineer, but outside of this, he also currently co-owns PDX Barbell Club, a powerlifting gym based in Hillsboro, OR. Prior to powerlifting, he did not have much of an athletic background and was mostly in the books for the majority of his life. He became more health conscious around his junior year in high school where he would run on the treadmill for hours on end to lose weight. Realizing that he wanted to get stronger instead, he started off lifting weights for about 4 years while doing his undergrad at Virginia Tech. Towards the end of his senior year in college, he began to really develop an affinity for powerlifting, but it wasn't until his grad school years when he started competing. Having always been competitive as a student, he enjoyed the competition and the feel of adrenaline being on the platform and his powerlifting hobby then became a passion. He moved to OR in the summer of 2016 to start his new career after graduating from Virginia Tech with his Master's. At the time, the powerlifting scene was pretty small in Hillsboro, so he would make the drive to Kabuki Strength Lab to train and would do this for about 6 months. After sometime, he came to terms that the drive was too long and so he and his friend/business partner, Stephen Do, began an ambitious project they would later call PDX Barbell Club around January 2017. At the time, the gym was supposed to be a private storage space so that the two of them could train in with nice competitive equipment. Before they knew it, PDX Barbell Club would expand into the 2500 square foot space it currently resides in with over 50 members. The powerlifting team that they had developed would go on to win their first "Best Team Award" in Dec 2018, only their second meet as a team.
What inspires Peter everyday as a powerlifter, coach, and gym co-owner is seeing his passion for powerlifting develop and grow in the members at not only PDX Barbell Club, but also the strength community in OR and the PNW. He became a USPA state referee and a USPA certified coach in the summer of 2018 as a way to give back to the powerlifting community and to network with other powerlifting gyms as well as fellow powerlifters in hopes of growing the community. He and Stephen successfully ran their first powerlifting meet in January of 2019, where they were able to combine many of the PNW's best powerlifting teams under one roof at PDX Barbell Club. Outside of his USPA duties, he is looking into getting his Kabuki coaching certification later in the 2019 year to expand upon his coaching toolbox.
Peter's best lifts include a 579 lb squat, a 305 lb bench, and a 672 lb deadlift in the 90 kg class. He currently holds the USPA drug-tested (DT) National and World record of 666 lb in the 90 kg DL only class, which he broke at the 2018 DT USPA Nationals, where he also placed third in the open in an extremely competitive weight class. In 2019, he is looking forward to competing again at the 2019 DT USPA Nationals in July as well as taking his competition to the next level at 2019 DT USPA Worlds in late October.
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