Brawn on the Beach: Nine competitors make strong showing on Bradenton Beach

Strong competitors heft impossible loads for charity

rdymond@bradenton.comDecember 10, 2012 

BRADENTON BEACH -- Eight strong men and one strong woman sweated, strained and competed for the title of champion of the second Brawn on the Beach competition at the Beachhouse Restaurant in Bradenton Beach on Sunday.

When the last 280-pound stone settled Sunday afternoon, the first-place winner was Tim Prichard, a speech and language pathologist at Bradenton's Westminster Manor.

"Tim has a great mind set," said Laura Hum, one of Pritchard's support crew. "He's very dedicated."

Prichard credited the strength training he has received over the past two years at Bradenton's City Fitness, which co-sponsored Sunday's event,

and Bradenton's Muscle Works.

"Both places are terrific if you want to get strong," Prichard said.

A crowd estimated at 800 showed up for the event, which benefits domestic violence victims from Hope Family Services. The crowd was also entertained by Amaya Harker, 10, a Gangnam Style dancer from Palmetto Charter School.

First, during the Truck Pull, the nine were put in a harness and had to pull a 7,000-pound GMC extra cab truck on sand for 60 feet, seeing who could do it the fastest.

The winning time was roughly 35 seconds.

Then, in the Log Lift, they competed to see who could press a 205-pound metal "log" the most times over their head in 60 seconds. The winning tally in that event was 26 times, by fan favorite Billy "The Tank" Tutko of Bradenton. The next highest total after Tutko's was 10.

The third event was the Farmer's Walk which pitted the contestants against each other to see who could carry two 150-pound weights the farthest.

Then, in the Atlas Stone lift, they had to see how many times they could pick up and drop a 205-pound concrete ball over a 51-inch bar in 60 seconds.

Finally, they picked up a Husafel Stone weighing 280 pounds and were judged on how far they could carry it before it dropped.

Prichard won the Farmer's Walk and Husafel Stone Lift, was second in the Atlas Stone Lift, third in the Log Lift and fourth in the Truck Pull,

Underdog Daniel Somodi, an 18-year-old Lakewood Ranch High School senior, shocked everyone by coming in seventh place in his strongman debut.

"What Daniel did was spectacular," said Brawn on the Beach coordinator Ian Harrison, owner of City Fitness. "He got two third place finishes in the event, including a third in the Farmer's Walk, which is amazing for never doing this before. He did great in the carrying events with his speed and long arms."

In second place was Bradenton's Brandon Hardy, a 2008 Lakewood Ranch High School graduate and a former Mustang center fielder on the baseball team.

Jeremiah Chambers took third. Fourth through ninth went to Todd Nolan, Tutko, John Bailey, Somodi, Ann Vanderbush and Chad Barkhouse respectively.

"I'm here to keep the guys honest," said Vanderbush of Port Richey with a grin.

Last year, the winner was Scott Weech, a professional strongman. The event is now purely amateur, Harrison said.

Richard Dymond, Herald reporter, can be contacted at 941-748-0411, ext. 6686 or tweet @Richard Dymond.

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