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England’s Strongest Man U80kg Report and Full Event Video

England’s Strongest Man U80kg Report and Full Event Video

Posted on by PTS

England's Strongest Man U80kg 2015 GroupEngland’s Strongest Man U80kg 2015


This event was held at Progressive Training Systems in Northampton on Sunday 21st June 2015. It’s the first time we’ve held a national level competition for the U80kg scene, but we have been holding regular U80kg competitions for a little while and have been building up the success so we thought it was time to offer something bigger for the smaller guys, so England’s Strongest Man U80kg fitted the bill!


Because it was a national level event and title we decided to make this event tough. Nice and heavy! If you’re entering a national level competition then you can expect to be tested by the events alone, let alone the other athletes.


We decided on 5 events; For the national athletes a max log overhead lift, a deadlift medley, a yoke carry, a carry medley and an arm over arm rope pull. For the novices a log lift for reps, a deadlift for reps and then the rest similar to the national guys, just lighter. We wanted to get a max log in there to see if we could get some numbers set as a national record. The current U80kg strongman log lift British record at the time of the start of the competition was 122.5kg lifted by Mike Neale (as listed on the Starting Strongman record section of their website).


Deadlift medleys are great fun to watch and you can get some interesting variations on these. We went for a series of 4 lifts that got heavier in weight but also changed in leverage to challenge the athletes. We wanted to do a really heavy yoke run for just a single length, because heavy yokes are grim and entertaining. We came up with a nice little medley of items to carry with strongman classics of farmers walk, kegs and sandbags. And then a bit of vehicle action to finish the day off, an arm over arm rope pull of a 3.5 tonne van and then push it back to the start.


We also hired Les Wiltshire to MC the day. We’ve used Les before and he’s MC’ed at competitions we’ve competed at and we’ve always loved his style of presenting and he works well with us so it was good to have him on board to help get the crowd and the athletes going!


The first event on the day was the log lift. The novices had to lift a 70kg log from the floor to overhead as many times as possible in 60 seconds. Because we wanted the national athletes to lift the most amount of weight they could we went for nominated weights, powerlifting style. Three rounds so each athlete got roughly the same amount of rest. Max lift events in strongman competitions tend to have a bit of bad reputation for being long, drawn out and a bit boring, but if your platform crew are on it then it doesn’t need to be this way!


We had had a few of the athletes coming down in the previous weeks building up to the competition so I had an idea of what to expect from some of the national field. The British log lift record was certainly being eyed up by at least one individual!


We are fairly strict on our rulings for lifts, we like everyone to be on the same page. We were allowing 30 seconds per attempt on the max lifts to get a ‘Down’ command that signified a good clean lockout of the log overhead, with as many attempts as you could summon if needed in that 30 seconds.


I have to say that as an organiser I was very happy with how the max log lift went. With Faye reffing, Karen Sutherland and her friend Laura keeping the area and mats in check and myself and Mike Starkey acting as the safety buffer and switching weights it went wonderfully smooth! F1 pit teams eat your heart out! What a dream team!


Event 1 Results:                                                                                               Place and points after 1 event:


1st:          Dean Barker = 9 reps                                                                      1st place 7 points

2nd:         Christian Hilton = 8 reps                                                                2nd place 5.5 points

Ricky Byrne = 8 reps                                                                        2nd place 5.5 points

4th:          Lee Crockford = 7 reps                                                                   4th place 3.5 points

Lee Sharp = 7 reps                                                                           4th place 3.5 points

6th:          Will Brown = 6 reps                                                                         6th place 2 points

7th:          Dean Barnett = 5 reps                                                                    7th place 1 points

Guest:  Crag Brookes = 3 reps                                                                    Guest 0 points



1st:          Daniel Ashcroft = 123.5kg BRITISH RECORD                          1st place 12 points

2nd:         Paul Dudley = 110kg                                                                        2nd place 11 points

3rd:         Andy Smiles = 105kg                                                                       3rd place 10 points

4th:          Graham Smith = 102.5 kg                                                              4th place 9 points

5th:          Dave Neill = 100kg                                                                           5th place 7.5 points

John Carter = 100kg                                                                        5th place 7.5 points

7th:          Sean Cole = 95kg                                                                              7th place 5.5 points

Tommy Chivers = 95kg                                                                   7th place 5.5 points

9th:          Chris Sober = 90kg                                                                           9th place 3.5 points

Dom Crane = 90kg                                                                           9th place 3.5 points

11th:       Chris Kirby = 87.5kg                                                                         11th place 1.5 points

Stephen Wilkinson = 87.5kg                                                        11th place 1.5 points


So as you can see Daniel Ashcroft succeeded in his bid to break the British U80kg log lift record! It was a tense few seconds but a very solid and determined press and then a celebratory war cry with the weight still overhead meant no arguments as to the legitimacy of the lift, which gave Faye a huge feeling of relief as referee!


The second event for the novices was a standard deadlift of 160kg for as many reps as possible in 60 seconds. Going into this event we were able to pair up the athletes who were equal on points from the log lift and make them go head to head for more excitement and drama!


The second event for the nationals was the deadlift medley. This consisted of 4 lifts that needed to be completed as quickly as possible, with 60 second time limit. The first lift was on a 200kg axle bar from the floor, the second was a normal 220kg Olympic bar from the floor, the third was a 240kg trap bar with a 12 inch height pick up and the final lift was a 260kg Olympic bar but from a 15 inch pick up. Each lift was heavier than the last, to test the pulling power of each athlete! This was a great event to watch, very exciting and a clear way for the crowd to see who was doing well! There was a really good spread of abilities with some guys struggling to do the first and second lifts all the way to the guys sprint hopping between bars to get the fastest time! Very exciting!


Event 2 Results:                                                                                              Place and points after 2 events:


1st:          Christian Hilton = 17 reps                                                              1st place 12.5 points

2nd:         Lee Crockford = 16 reps                                                                4th place 9 points

Lee Sharp = 16 reps                                                                         4th place 9 points

4th:          Ricky Bryne = 11 reps                                                                     3rd place 9.5 points

5th:          Dean Barker = 10 reps                                                                    2nd place 10 points

6th:          Will Brown = 8 reps                                                                         6th place 4 points

7th:          Dean Barnett = 6 reps                                                                    7th place 2 points

Guest:  Craig Brookes = 11 reps                                                           Guest 0 points



1st:          Daniel Ashcroft = 16.75 seconds                                                    1st place 24 points

2nd:         Sean Cole = 17.31 seconds                                                           3rd place 16.5 points

3rd:         Paul Dudley = 18 seconds                                                             2nd place 21 points

4th:          Tommy Chivers = 18.75 seconds                                                  5th place 14.5 points

5th:          Stephen Wilkinson = 21.09 seconds                                         9th place 9.5 points

6th:          Graham Smith = 24.78 seconds                                                  4th place 16 points

7th:          Andy Smiles = 3 lifts                                                                        5th place 14.5 points

Dave Neill = 3 lifts                                                                            7th place 12 points

Dom Crane = 3 lifts                                                                          10th place 8 points

John Carter = 3 lifts                                                                         7th place 12 points

11th:       Chris Sober = 1 lift                                                                            11th place 5.5 points

DNS:      Chris Kirby = 0 lifts                                                                           12th place 1.5 points


Ah, event 3. The really heavy yoke for the nationals! We think this may be the heaviest yoke in U80kg history in this country, as 300kg is no joke! With only one length to do it was just a test of determination to get it over the line in time! The novices had to handle 200kg for two lengths, so they had the added fun of a drop and turn.


Event 3 Results:                                                                                             Place and points after 3 events:


1st:          Ricky Byrne = 23.84 seconds                                                        1st place 16.5 points

2nd:         Will Brown = 28.53 seconds                                                         6th place 10 points

3rd:         Lee Crockford = 30.75 seconds                                                   3rd place 14 points

4th:          Christian Hilton = 36.53 seconds                                                1st place 16.5 points

5th:          Lee Sharp = 36.66 seconds                                                           4th place 12 points

6th:          Dean Barker = 48.65 seconds                                                      4th place 12 points

7th:          Dean Barnett = 1 length + 8.23 metres                                   7th place 3 points

Guest:  Craig Brookes = 38.44 seconds                                                   Guest 0 points



1st:          Daniel Ashcroft = 13.62 seconds                                                 1st place 36 points

2nd:         Andy Smiles = 18.82 seconds                                                      4th place 25.5 points

3rd:         Sean Cole = 45.22 seconds                                                           3rd place 26.5 points

4th:          Stephen Wilkinson = 45.28 seconds                                         7th place 18.5 points

5th:          Paul Dudley = 48.60 seconds                                                       2nd place 29 points

6th:          Tommy Chivers = 49.78 seconds                                                 6th place 21.5 points

7th:          Graham Smith = 16.20 metres                                                    5th place 22 points

8th:          Dom Crane = 10.40 metres                                                          10th place 13 points

9th:          Chris Sober = 9.65 metres                                                            11th place 9.5 points

10th:       John Carter = 8.55 metres                                                            8th place 15 points

11th:       Dave Neill = 5.60 metres                                                               9th place 14 points

12th:       Chris Kirby = 4.55 metres                                                              12th place 2.5 points


Event 4 was a really fun event in my eyes. A carry medley over a fairly short distance of 10 metres of a farmers walk, a keg carry and then a sandbag carry to finish. With the items being so different to grip it was a tactical nightmare for a lot of the guys. It’s quite common for kegs in strongman to be quite manageable, but we had got our hands on an absolute bastard for the lads in the national category for this event! The farmers were 105kg in each hand, the wonderful large keg was 100kg and the sandbag was also 100kg for the guys in the national class, the novices had to contend with 85kg each hand farmers walk, an 80kg keg and an 80kg sandbag. Stephen Wilkinson made this event his own, compared to everyone else he made the implements look like they had been emptied!


Event 4 Results:                                                                                            Place and points after 4 events:


1st:          Christian Hilton = 33.66 seconds                                                1st place 23.5 points

2nd:         Ricky Byrne = 33.71 seconds                                                        2nd place 22.5 points

3rd:         Lee Sharp = 35.62 seconds                                                           4th place 17 points

4th:          Lee Crockford = 37 seconds                                                         3rd place 18 points

5th:          Dean Barnett = 47.63 seconds                                                    7th place 6 points

6th:          Will Brown = 48.63 seconds                                                         6th place 12 points

7th:          Dean Barker = 52.94 seconds                                                      5th place 13 points

Guest:  Craig Brookes = 2 items + 6.62 metres                                    Guest 0 points



1st:          Stephen Wilkinson = 37.19 seconds                                         5th place 30.5 points

2nd:         Daniel Ashcroft = 46.65 seconds                                              1st place 47 points

3rd:         Tommy Chivers = 47.66 seconds                                               4th place 31.5 points

4th:          Paul Dudley = 47.78 seconds                                                       2nd place 38 points

5th:          Andy Smiles = 48.94 seconds                                                      3rd place 33.5 points

6th:          Graham Smith = 55.28 seconds                                                  7th place 29 points

7th:          John Carter = 59.19 seconds                                                        8th place 21 points

8th:          Chris Sober = 2 items + 4.93 metres                                         11th place 14.5 points

9th:          Sean Cole = 2 items + 0.26 metres                                            5th place 30.5 points

10th:       Dave Neill = 2 items                                                                        9th place 16.5 points

Dom Crane = 2 items                                                                      10th place 15.5 points

DNS:      Chris Kirby = 0 items                                                                       12th place 2.5 points


Event 5 was a trip outside for a bit of vehicle action thanks to the wonderful guys at Brackmills MOT Centre (because the sun was out and it wasn’t pouring with torrential rain like the day before.). Now originally there was supposed to be 2 events outside, with an arm over arm rope pull and then a harness pull on a truck, but several of the lads were starting to look a bit fucked so we took a vote and the majority wanted to do just one more event so we finished with an arm over arm into a push on a 3.5 tonne van over 20 metres. I have to say that Andy Smiles broke my heart! He jumped the gun early on the transition from pull to push and the van didn’t cross the line in so doing the ensuing faffing around probably cost him his third place!


Event 5 Results:                                                                                              Place and points after 5 events:


1st:          Cristian Hilton = 27.90 seconds                                                   1st place 30.5 points

2nd:         Lee Sharp = 31.53 seconds                                                           3rd place 23 points

3rd:         Lee Crockford = 31.82 seconds                                                   3rd place 23 points

4th:          Ricky Byrne = 31.91 seconds                                                        2nd place 26.5 points

5th:          Will Brown = 34.91 seconds                                                         5th place 15 points

6th:          Dean Barker = 37.41 seconds                                                      5th place 15 points

7th:          Dean Barnett = 38.19 seconds                                                    7th place 7 points

Guest:  Craig Brookes = 41.65 seconds                                                   Guest 0 points



1st:          Graham Smith = 26.66 seconds                                                  4th place 41 points

2nd:         Tommy Chivers = 26.91 seconds                                               3rd place 42.5 points

3rd:         Stephen Wilkinson = 27.28 seconds                                         5th place 40.5 points

4th:          Paul Dudley = 28.82 seconds                                                       2nd place 47 points

5th:          Sean Cole = 28.84 seconds                                                           6th place 38.5 points

6th:          Dom Crane = 29.28 seconds                                                        9th place 22.5 points

7th:          John Carter = 29.65 seconds                                                        8th place 27 points

8th:          Dave Neill = 29.81 seconds                                                           10th place 21.5 points

9th:          Chris Kirby = 30.60 seconds                                                          12th place 6.5 points

10th:       Daniel Ashcroft = 31.44 seconds                                                    1st place 50 points

11th:       Chris Sober = 33.78 seconds                                                        11th place 16.5 points

12th:       Andy Smiles = 34.16 seconds                                                      7th place 34.5 points


After this event we had a tie in points for third place with two of the guys in the novice category; Lee Crockford and Lee Sharp. These two guys had been swapping places with each other the whole competition and so them being tied for a podium spot after the final event meant one thing to us; TIE BREAKER! We decided on a face to face farmers lift and hold. Whoever held on the longest won! In the end Lee Crockford won this battle of wills, but it was such a close fight all day that Lee Sharp shouldn’t feel too bad as it was very exciting for all to watch!


Final placings and points:


1st:          Christian Hilton                                                 30.5 points

2nd:         Ricky Byrne                                                         26.5 points

3rd:         Lee Crockford                                                    23 points + winner of tie break

4th:          Lee Sharp                                                            23 points

5th:          Dean Barker                                                       15 points

Will Brown                                                          15 points

7th:          Dean Barnett                                                     7 points

Guest:  Craig Brookes                                                    0 points



1st:          Daniel Ashcroft                                                 50 points

2nd:         Paul Dudley                                                        47 points

3rd:         Tommy Chivers                                                 42.5 points

4th:          Graham Smith                                                   41 points

5th:          Stephen Wilkinson                                          40.5 points

6th:          Sean Cole                                                            38.5 points

7th:          Andy Smiles                                                       34.5 points

8th:          John Carter                                                         27 points

9th:          Dom Crane                                                         22.5 points

10th:       Dave Neill                                                            21.5 points

11th:       Chris Sober                                                         16.5 points

12th:       Chris Kirby                                                           6.5 points


The final points showed that the winners were fairly dominant, consistently winning their events or placing very high. However the fight beneath them was a vicious one! Places changing back and forth with every event, meant nothing could be taken for granted!


The top three in each class got a trophy made of glass, some USN goodies, and everybody that competed got a certificate and instead of the usual t-shirt we went for high quality vests and these went down very well! We like to take care of our competitors!


At this point I would like to answer some criticism we received (from one person) in particular to their comments of a ‘bad atmosphere’. First of all, what competition were you at? Not the same one I was at! I had a great fucking time and literally every other single person I have spoken to or have heard from said they loved it. But to help this situation, take this advice. If you go to a competition and you feel the atmosphere is ‘bad’ or not encouraging enough try these manoeuvres; take your hands and hold them in front of you with the palms facing each other, then proceed to thrust them together in fairly fast and steady rhythm. This is called ‘clapping’ and when done can encourage others to also clap. The sound produced shows appreciation. You also have a hole beneath your nose, you can make sounds with it. Sounds like ‘Yes!’, ‘Go on!’, ‘Up!’ and so on are quite acceptable when produced at loud decibels in competitions and act as encouragement, not just to the competitors but also to the other spectators. So what I’m saying is, if you feel like the atmosphere needs improving then try not to be a miserable wanker!


If you wish to see what other events are on at PTS then go to this link: where you can enter our next upcoming competitions and also purchase spectator tickets.


The best way though to sum up this write up and the day in general is to watch the video we made as we did our best to capture every lift and attempt, so enjoy!