I arrived just in time to Tinley Park to grab a selfie with the Lumbersexuals. They just graduated to lumberjack after training with lumberjack Adrian Flygt and competing against each other. With the selfie, it was obvious that even though they were no longer lumbersexuals, they have not strayed too far from their roots.
The lumbersexual competition was just the beginning to the weekend’s festivities. I entered the convention center, and grabbed my media pass. This lumberjack championship was my first, so I was excited. ESPN covered the event, and in fact, Adrian Flygt, who trained the lumbersexuals was one of the broadcasters.
The Stihl Timbersports Lumberjack Championship
This year marks the 31st year of the Stihl Timbersports Series. The event challenges lumberjack athletes from around the world in the disciplines of hot saw, single buck, springboard chop, standing block chop, stock saw, and underhand chop. All eyes were on Matt Cogar, for he won the last three championships. Could he win a fourth championship in a row?
The first event of the evening was the springboard. Competitor chop wedges into a log about ten feet high. A board is inserted into the wedge and lumberjacks propel themselves up the log until they reach the top. At the top, they chop the top of the log off. The event showed how lumberjack athletes not only have to be strong, but also agile as they jump up on the boards with one quick leap.
Although the crowd was not large, they were really into the event. The children were especially vocal. The next two events involved lumberjacks sawing off the ends of logs. The first event was the stock saw and later was the single buck. The children lined the railing around the media cage trying to get a coveted cookie sawed off from one of the competitors. The ones with the RAM insignia painted on were especially desired.
Hats off to all who participate in the event
Seeing an event like this live, you really get the perspective of how many people are involved in pulling it off beyond just the athletes. Of course the athletes are the core, but there are so many other people involved in making sure it is a success. There are security, sponsors, people who work the booths for the sponsors, broadcasters like Adrian, people on hand that deal with the press, and then the media including bloggers like me who promote and share their stories on social media. Although the participants and audience make up the main aspects of any event, many others all play a small part.
One group of people in particular that play an important role are the individuals that set up the competition and clean up afterward. After every event a group of workers sweep up to clean up the wood carnage and set up the stage for the next group. Check out my timelapse below. It shows the frenzy of activity after each participant knocks off a piece of wood in the Standing Block.
Stopping by the Dinty Moore Stew tent
One of the highlights for me was stopping by the Dinty Moore tent and twirling the wheel. I won a free purchase of Dinty Moore stew. While I was at the tent a man came up and told the people who were manning the tent that he had enjoyed the stew since childhood. I too have had many Dinty Moore stew meals while camping with the parents when I was a child.
Congratulations to Matt Cogar who won his fourth straight championship and to Lumber Jamin for taking first among the lumbersexuals. It must have been that handlebar mustache. Congrats to all who participated and to all four lumbersexuals for graduating to lumberjack. They can now change their Facebook status to “I am a lumberjack, and I am ok.”
I really enjoyed taking part in this year’s Stihl Timbersports Championship. Many thanks to Hormel Foods Dinty Moore® brand for sponsoring today’s story. Thanks also for encouraging me to attend the lumbersexual competition at the STIHL® TIMBERSPORTS® Series U.S. Pro and Collegiate Championships as well as the rest of the games.
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