If you've spent much time channel-surfing, you've likely found yourself watching a strongman competition or two. You know, those events where the impossibly burly dudes with names like Magnus, Manfred, and Mariusz engage in feats of strength that would make an NFL lineman blush.
Well, at 10 AM this Saturday, the city of Des Moines will celebrate its 50th birthday by hosting just such a competition at the city's Marina (22307 Dock Avenue). Washington's Strongest Apple will feature amateur competitors of both sexes in several weight classes doing things like tire flips (where they flip giant tires for 100 feet, seeing who can do it fastest), keg-loading (where they take kegs full of water and sand and hoist them onto 50" platforms--the heaviest keg weighs 290 lbs), and farmer's walk (where they try to walk fast while carrying a ridiculous amount of weight).
The top three in each class will go on to compete in the national amateur championships. Asked to name notable contestants in this year's affair, tournament organizer Grant Higa (himself a professional competitor and also a trainer for Paul Allen's Vulcan) named former teenage heavyweight national champion Zack Nims and a guy named Breck Gault. Lest you be concerned that the amateur competition will lack the eye-popping charge of the pro shows, check out this pic of Gault, perched atop an enormous tire, showing the Steve Ballmers of the world what real intensity looks like.