Gothenberg, Sweden – December 12th
Brian Shaw wins 1st Place in the 2010 World Strongman Super Series Swedish Grand Prix. Brian’s official score was 44.50, and 2010 World Strongman Super Series final score was 33.0.
Thoughts from Brian
I didn’t really get too much of a chance to train specifically for the Super Series finals. I only found out the events about 3 weeks before the actual competition which was kind of close to plan any specific training. I was confident that I could do well in this event because I am somewhat familiar with all of the equipment they use for the super series. My flight schedule was kind of rough going over to Sweden with two connecting flights through Chicago and London before getting to Gothenberg. Luckily all of my flights were on time and I didn’t have very long layovers so it took me about 17-18 hours total from when I left Denver. I got off the plane and felt alright overall with just a slight headache and some normal pains from being stuck in small airplane seats for that long! I got stopped by the customs officers and they really searched my bags. Not sure what the deal was but it was a big pain to deal with! I was as patient as I could be but lets just say I wasn’t sad to get rid of them! We made it to the hotel in about 20 minutes drive which wasn’t bad at all. I met up with a few of the guys there and said hello before heading to my room for a short nap. I only got to lay down for about 1.5 hours before I had to go over to do a TV interview for the competition.
This was very tough to do because when I woke up from my nap my head was pounding and I felt like I had been hit by a truck! Anyway I was as upbeat as I could be and then did a few TV shots from the gym after the interview. When we finished up I headed over to eat some food with Dave Ostlund and Nick Best. We asked Svend Karlsen if he wanted to join and his girlfriend as well as one of his old friends came along as well. After a pretty good meal I was done and exhausted so I called it a night and went straight to bed.
Since the next day we had the contest starting around 3:00 pm I tried to sleep as long as possible and luckily I did pretty well. I woke up feeling good and my headache had gone away. I headed down to eat and saw the rest of the competitors at the meal. Everyone looked to be in good shape and it seemed as though everyone was excited to get the competition started! I tried to eat as much as I could because I knew I would only do one more light snack before the contest started. After breakfast we had a rules meeting and all of the events were explained in detail.
When we made it down to the contest there were a lot of people at the expo where it was being held. There was definitely some tension and excitement in the air and I started getting mentally ready to go. The first event was going to be the super yoke at 915 lbs for almost 40 meters. Since the yoke has been good to me in the past I knew I would do alright even though I only did one light training session with it before this contest. All of the guys got to go warm up on the yoke and get their height settings. I did a couple short runs with about 750 lbs and then shut it down to wait for the start of the contest. I was the last guy to go on the yoke because I was the overall points leader in the super series coming into this competition. There were several very quick times before I went out and I knew I would need to go quickly. I got a great start and finished the first length of the course no problem. I set the yoke down and picked it back up easily but didn’t get it comfortable on the way back. I still moved pretty well but only finished in second place. Laurence S. had the best time and I think he got me by about 1 second or so. Not a bad start to the contest.
The second event was a 400 pound shield carry for max distance. This is a brutal event because it takes so much out of you! I knew the rest of the contest would be tough after having this as the second event. I came out 2nd to last on this event as that was the reverse order from the first event. Of the guys before me Nick Best had put up a really great distance of almost 100 meters. Dave Ostlund had done 4 lengths of the course and about half of the 5th and I knew he was the guy I needed to beat. I picked up the shield and it just never got in a good spot for me. I just kept my feet moving and got through the 4 lengths before starting on the 5th and my hamstrings started to lock up. I just tried to gut out a few more meters and when I dropped the shield I had just passed Dave’s mark. That ended up being good for 2nd place in this event.
The third event was the farmers walk with 385 lbs in each hand for 20 meters. I knew this would be a good event for me but when I saw all of the guys struggling so much before me I wasn’t sure what was going on. The handles of the farmers seemed to be tough on this day for everyone. I finished the course with 2 drops in about 20 seconds which put me in 1st.
Since we had done the first three moving events on the ground in front of the stage we moved onto the stage for the 4th event which was log press. For this event we had to clean and press a 330 lbs log for as many reps as possible in 60 seconds. I really wasn’t sure what a good number on this event would be. There were several guys on 4 and 5 reps before LPJ (Canada) stepped up and pressed the log 6 times. I knew I would be good for that so I just tried to keep a good pace and matched the 6 reps before going for number 7. I heard the whistle blow just before I could clean the 7th rep so I ended in a tie for first.
I had been really looking forward to the fifth event which was the deadlift. In this event we had a giant axle with wheels on it that weighted 903 lbs that had to be lifted for reps. I had hoped the bar height would be around 15 inches but instead the wheels were placed on mats so the starting height was closer to 19-20 inches! It makes it very tough on the taller guys from that height and very easy for guys that are a bit shorter. Anyway I got to watch all the guys go again and Nick Best put up a big 10 reps on this event. The next best number behind him was 5 reps and because I was out to quite a lead I decided to go out and do 6 reps for second place and let Nick have the win on this event. Sometimes it is smart to only do what you need to do to win!
The last and final event was the atlas stones which is my best and favorite event. Before the event the announcer basically made me call myself out saying that I would have the best time on the stones and I did. I think I was around 10 seconds faster than anyone else in this event which was a big gap in time.
After the contest I was presented with a trophy for winning the contest and then my second World Championship belt. It was a great moment in my strongman career up to this point!
The trip home was a bit of a nightmare with fog delays in and out of London which caused me to miss my connecting flight back to Denver! These delays also caused me to loose my checked bag! I was alright with all of it and made it back to Colorado in one piece!