Sixteen brave men competed against each other and the elements on Bank Holiday Monday (May 7), as the Ulster’s Strongest Man competition, organised by Cookstown District Council and sponsored by Signworks came to the town.
The winner of the coveted title of Ulster’s Strongest Man went to Pete McCallan. The runner-up, Clark Beck put up a strong fight to the finish, as both men were tied going into the last challenge with Beck losing the title to McCallan by only one point. Pearse O’Kane took third place and was awarded the Cucullan Warrior Prince Medal for his efforts.
Sixteen qualified to compete in six spectacular challenges to test strength, endurance and stamina.
Competitors ranged in age from 17 to 47 and weigh in from 16 to 24 stone and travelled from all over the North of Ireland from Fermanagh to County Down to compete for the title. Last year’s winner Jonathan Kelly was not in attendance, but had already secured his place in July’s All-Ireland Final.
The event was launched with a very special parade, as Cookstown District Council Chairman Sean Clarke, Master of Ceremonies Glenn Ross and the event competitors, cheerleaders from the Caroline Creggan Dance School; and sponsors were led into the event arena by a lone piper.
The six challenges (sponsored by Signworks, Evolve Fitness and Mid Ulster Sports Arena, Daddy Promotions, Cookstown Town Centre Forum, LaFarge, and the Mid Ulster Mail and Tyrone Times) followed as the competitors battled until late afternoon to see who would win the coveted title of Ulster’s Strongest Man.