A gruelling competition in Sudbury at the weekend has resulted in the crowning of Suffolk’s new Strongest Man – and raised £1,400 for two charities in the process.
Hundreds of spectators gathered outside Tesco supermarket on Sunday, as dozens of male and female competitors performed many impressive feats of strength, in a bid for the title of the competition, now in its fifth year.
Featuring World’s Strongest Man competitor Rob Frampton as the special guest referee and Strongest Man commentator Martin Cree as the MC, the contest was won by Dan McNamee, who also helped to organise the event.
Mr McNamee, a member of staff at Sudbury’s Tesco store, said this year’s event was particularly significant, as he was not sure if he would even be able to compete this time, after he was diagnosed with an enlarged heart and cardiomyopathy, a disease which results in the weakening of the heart muscle.
He explained this had provided an even bigger motivation to help support the British Heart Foundation, one of the charities benefitting from the competition, along with Diabetes UK.
“It means more to me than anything this year,” he said.
“British Heart Foundation does great work and funds research into heart conditions. I have a form of heart failure, so I never know when I might need them one day.
“The atmosphere was fantastic. We probably had 800 people there throughout the day, and we maintained a steady crowd of about 300 to 400 people.”
Mr McNamee also thanked Zest Gym in Sudbury and its owner Melissa Kilkey, not only for helping with his training, but also for providing staff, donations and advertising for the contest, stating: “I couldn’t have put any of this on without their help.”
The event saw competitors taking part across three different skill levels, with challenges including pulling trucks and lorries and carrying out a deadlift on a car.