Our Rebecca discovers event isn't for faint-hearted
Heaving a giant tyre, falling back repeatedly before finally flipping it on my eighth attempt – it's not as easy as it looks.
Like most people I had seen pictures of strong men in action pulling enormous weights, lifting cars and towing trucks.
The tyres seemed the least onerous, but boy was I wrong.
Ahead of the bank holiday Belfast Ultimate Strongman Giant Weekend, I had the opportunity to meet local legend Glenn 'the Daddy' Ross and also to try my hand at what he makes look so easy. Glenn and Ulster's current strongest man, Sean 'the Giant' O'Hagan, had three tasks lined up for me – the Prowler Push, Farmer's Walk and tyre flipping.
First was the Prowler Push which saw me donning a harness and dragging a heavy tyre on a metal frame across the former exercise yard at Crumlin Road Gaol.
Thanks to a misspent youth competing in swimming pools, this task, demanding strong back and shoulder muscles, was fairly enjoyable. My swimmer's build and old, almost forgotten muscles also helped me with the Farmer's Walk in which I had to lift two heavy metal frames and walk across the yard and back, which even earned me a compliment from Glenn about my "strong grip".
I was starting to get cocky and thinking that I might have even impressed the strong men – but, as ever, pride comes before the fall. Because at that point, I met my nemesis, a giant tractor tyre.
I had to crouch, grip the tyre from underneath, lean my shoulders into the top of it and heave before stepping back expectantly. But the only movement I managed was falling on my backside. With one last explosive effort I clumsily managed to push it all the way over to be rewarded with a high five from Glenn.
eBelfast Ultimate Strongman Giant Weekend takes place at Writer's Square, Cathedral Quarter and Crumlin Road Gaol this weekend. For prices, visit www.ultimatestrongestman.com.