PORT Macquarie bodybuilder Ian Conway registered a top two overall finish at Saturday’s Remember September Strongman competition at Port Panthers.
Conway claimed first position in the men’s physique category, second in the bodybuilding and was second overall after his three routines.
He admitted he exceeded any expectations he set himself.
“The experience at actually being on stage was a bit different to what I’m used to,” he said.
“But I learnt a lot that I can use in the next competition I go in and that is that every stage is different.”
He said he enjoyed the experience and was non-committal about competing in a similar event in Newcastle in two weeks.
“I think I will be better prepared for next time, but I might have a rest for the next little while,” he said.
“I’m not sure about going to Newcastle.”
Conway said there was not much that separated himself and first place, but he was more than happy with his runner-up position.
“I just wanted to have a bit of fun with it and I had the audience whistling and yelling which was good,” he said.
He met his goal of finishing in the top five which was set before the event.
“There were probably about 10 others in the bodybuilding, so being my first time I didn’t expect to finish second,” he said.
Organisers were left impressed by the overall performance of all the competitors in both the strongman category and the bodybuilding.
The event’s first appearance in the Hastings was well-supported by competitors and spectators alike, leaving competition organiser Richard Barnes to declare it would return next year.
“The benchmark has been set for the event in Port Macquarie,” he said.
“We were really happy with how it went overall, but our crowd numbers were down a little bit.”
Barnes said the feedback he had received from competitors was that it couldn’t have gone better.
“There was a national event on at the Central Coast at the same time, but the quality was still there for us in Port Macquarie.”
Of the 22 competitors, Barnes said six personal best records were set and he attributed that to the layout of the auditorium.
“We set out to create a platform which would create an atmosphere in the auditorium which would get personal bests,” he said.
“It’s a pretty big thing to have that many PB’s set for the first-time competitors.
“We had a 300 kilogram deadlift which is not an easy lift. The only other person in Port Macquarie that could do that headed to the national titles.”
Barnes admitted the arena for the event would now be in the auditorium at Port Panthers in coming years.
“The main thing for us was to make sure Panthers were happy,” he said.
“We did that and we’ll be back next year.”