Highlighted in regions around the Tri-Cities and during Elizabethton’s Celtic Festival, Highland Heavy Athletics is a branch of games dedicated to traditional physical competitions related to heavy-lifting. The games will feature men’s novice and open classes in addition to a women’s division.
Event organizer Brenden Bohannon said in addition to simply enjoying competing in and watching heavy athletics, he wanted to give the area a chance to shine as a niche for Highland Games competition.
“I would love to see more chances for guys to compete in our area,” he said. “My goal is to make a really high quality highlands event for competitors to come to.”
Bohannon said he’s had 20 athletes register for the games scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 21, pushing the original noon starting time of the games back to 10 a.m. to accommodate the rush of athletes competing. In addition, a free workshop will be led by world-class heavy lifter Michael Nease from 8-10 a.m.
The games will feature five traditional Scottish heavy lifting events including:
• Caber toss, where competitors will toss a large, tapered pole.
• Sheaf toss, orginally considered an agricultural event performed at county fairs, in which competitors use a pitchfork toss hurl a 16-pound burlap sack full of straw over their heads to clear a horizontal bar. If an athlete does not clear the bar, he or she is disqualified, and the bar is raised each round until only one athlete remains.
• Stone throw, similar to modern-day shot put in the Olympic games, but athletes throw a stone instead of a steel shot.
The games will held at PEAK fitness, 103 LP Auer Road, and Bohannon said registration will be accepted up until the games begin. Pre-registration is $25 and day-of registration is $30, while spectator tickets are $5. For more information, call 306-5406, email [email protected] or visit www.tennesseehighlandheavyathletics.com.
Email Jessica Fuller at [email protected]. Follow Jessica on Twitter @fullerjf91. Like her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jfullerJCP.