I just sent off my registration form for my first Highland Games competition. Why? Because it sounds fun and I’ve grown bored with a lot of my training. And I get to wear a kilt, which gives me a reason to do some direct calf work in hopes that my strong-but-thin legs won’t get me laughed off the field.
Payson, Utah, July. If you live around here you should probably come too. And throw the match so I don’t get last place. (I don’t really care about placing, but I do think you should come compete)
If you’re unfamiliar with the Highland Games, the events all involve throwing or heaving rocks, sheafs of hay, various weights on chains or poles, or cabers.
How often do you get to go to the store and buy a pitchfork for an athletic competition? Not often enough, that’s the answer.
Here are the events I’ll be training for and competing in:
These are just stone heaves. One is called the “open stone” and is pretty much the shot put with a rock. The open stone weight is 16-22 lbs. The other stone put is called the “Braemer stone” and weighs 20-26 lbs for men. You don’t get to run up to the line or spin for the Braemer.
Throwing weight for distance
There’s a light and a heavy weight. 28 lbs and 56 lbs. You throw the weight with one hand as far as you can, with lots of swinging and grunting. The end.
Hammer throw, light and heavy
Here’s a video:
Throwing a bag of hay with a pitchfork, for height. Throw it the highest and you win.
The one everyone seems to have heard of.
The goal is not to throw it the farthest, but to tip it end over and and have it land as near to the 12 o’clock position as possible.
Weight for height
One-handed weight toss for height. Everyone throws over a pole. Then the pole gets higher. Whoever throws the highest wins.
I’m very excited for this. As I start training specifics (probably tonight), I’ll write about how it’s going and what I’m learning. I suspect that there’s a lot more technique to all of this than I realize. should be interesting.
Then I’ll be competing again in Spokane in August.