Each fall we look forward to the cooling weather, the bucket loads of candy, and lifting heavy things in ridiculous costumes at A Viking Halloween in Morgantown, WV at Viking Performance Training. With the help of our title sponsor Apex Counseling, we were able to once again offer the wackiest, spookiest, and most outlandish strongman show of the year for a sold out roster of kind folks that for some reason also think this all sounds like a great idea. The fact that so many people want to participate in such madness as lifting a motorbike over their heads whilst dressed as a man-baby or a comic book villain gives me hope for the future of humanity.

But enough about my thoughts on how to save the world, what about the action???

Ask and ye shall receive! While I cannot possibly cover every great performance on every event, I’d love to highlight some of my favorite moments from the show. Let’s kick it off by talking about something that simply doesn’t get enough love in strongman – squats! One of our new events for this show was a Max Axle Box Squat (“From the Depths It Came”) with two huge wagon wheels, and the apparatus was decorated with spider webs, ghosts, and other various spookery. Our undead athletes had to squat to a box adjusted to get them as close to legit powerlifting style squat depth as we could, wait for an “up” command, and then stand up. This was a frightfully difficult way to squat, but this didn’t stop 13yr oldSamantha Davis from putting on a show. Samantha smoked her first attempt at 250 pounds with haunting ease, then she repeated the process at 270, and on her final lift, Samantha sent a whopping 300 pounds screaming to its grave as she buried the lift successfully to a raucous round of applause.

In the Jack O’ Lantern Over Bar event (stones), Mitchell Cady added his name to the very short list of middleweights to ever load the nearly 300 pound original pumpkin stone, named J. Oliver Lantern. This event is contested without the use of any sticky substances or aids whatsoever, so such a lift is trulyimpressive. Four HW’s also etched their names in history by completing the entire series and loading Mr.Lantern: John Shaffer, Jacob Bobbs, Zack Stoughton, and James Brooks III.

In the Dawn of the Deadlift (deadlift medley) event, our voracious vampires sunk their fangs into 4 different stations: a normal barbell to start, a frame lift, an 18in axle lift, and finally a 13in axle lift. Anyone that made it to the final apparatus was charged with hitting as many reps as possible with it. The most reps achieved by anyone was 9 on that final implement, a mark that both Amie Sexton in theMasters women’s class and Sean Fuller in the Novice HW category achieved.

A few unfortunate zombies had their arms pulled off their lifeless torsos in our “Torture Rack” event(Hercules Hold), but luckily we were able to reattach them with the help of Dr. Frankenstein. Times were impressive here across the board, with quite a few competitors able to fight through the excruciating

pain to break the one minute mark. The longest hold of the day regardless of division came from the Masters HW class, as the corpse of Jason Sowards was able to keep his hands clamped on the handles for a whopping 1min 31.96seconds via the miracle of rigor mortis. Some say his hands are so strong from all the grip work he receives strangling his victims!

The one event that our guys and ghouls looked forward to more than any other was the “Ghost Rider”motorbike press. The ladies had the option to carry the bike instead of pressing it, and all of them took advantage of the option. Heather Moore rose from the grave to carry the motorcycle 248ft, the furthest of any female all day. Among the men, who had to press it, it was Chris Oswald and Anthony Tesauro that had the most reps at 18 apiece, both in the Novice Middleweights. The final group consisted ofOpen Middles and Open Heavies, so we added the “engine” back onto the bike to conjure moredifficulty for the event, and this resulted in the most reps being 10 amongst the big boys, a mark set by Mr. Zach Stoughton.

Lastly, let’s talk about this “Hellraiser Medley” (Hell Raiser was our theme this year by the way – Pinheadshirts and trophies!). These victims, er, athletes, had to carry a Mouser Block (Pinhead’s puzzle box) uphill, in the dark (it was an evening show), deposit said block, then run back to the start and drag a gigantic chain (since the Cenobites loved their chains so) up the hill to complete the course. When asked about the difficulty of this event, referee Jerry Handley stated that “more people ended up on the ground after this than didn’t”. In the Novice 180 ladies’ class Megan White had a blistering time of 24.47sec, the fastest of any female in the entire show. Anthony Tesauro in the Novice 231’s had the fastest men’s time, as he screamed through the course in 23.19 seconds.

Perhaps most importantly, the Best Costume award went out to Charlene Scott for her epic homemade She-Ra ensemble!

Huge thank you to Apex Counseling, Anderson Excavating LLC, Strong Kids, Saucy Jo, and Replica Screen Printing for their support of this show! Thanks to them we were able to give out high quality event tees, provide sweet custom awards, give out prizes to our winners, and just have a really fun time.

Be sure to visit mouserpower.com and vikingperformancetraining.com for upcoming events, and keep your eye on strongmancorporation.com for a full list of results!

See yall at Power for a Purpose!

Happy training, -Paul Mouser