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Local gym owner James Campbell took second place in the Battle of the Borders Strongman Competition in Montpelier, Ohio, on Saturday.

James Campbell participated in the Battle of the Borders Strongman Competition. James Campbell | Courtesy

Despite owning Prime Fitness Studio in Hillsdsale, Campbell said he is a rookie at strength performance and was pleased with the results of his first competition.

“I’ve never competed professionally in any contest, powerlifting or otherwise,” Campbell said.  “A friend of mine and I had talked about it a lot about a year or so ago, and we just tossed around the idea. Like most things in life, you talk about things with your friends and it always gets put off. I just decided, you know what, just do it.”

The competition lasted eight hours and consisted of five exercises: a wheelbarrow race, a squat, a log press, a car deadlift, and the stone of steel. He earned first place in the wheelbarrow race, second place in the squat, car deadlift and stone of steel events, and third place in the log press.

In the wheelbarrow race, Campbell pushed a weighted cart over an 80 foot distance, adding a 200 pound sand bag or 250 pound keg every 20 feet. Campbell set a record of 32.06 seconds in this event.

“The place went crazy, it was loud and nuts. It was awesome,” Campbell said.

For the squat, competitors in Campbell’s weight class had to squat jeep tires — which weighed 450 pounds — as many times as possible.

The log press was similar to a shoulder press, but with a 14 inch diameter steel log weighing 250 pounds.

“After that we went to car deadlifts.They have a steel apparatus they put the back end of a car on. For our car, they added weight. They say is was between 430 and 500 pounds in our hands that we actually picked up. I got 27 reps on that one,” Campbell said.

The last event was the stone of steel. Campbell had to lift a 300 pound cement boulder over a 52 inch bar.

“That’s the most exciting one for me. There’s something to be said when you just pick up this giant boulder. It’s round, it’s awkward to hang onto, and you just lift it up and put over this bar.”

“This one was an amazing experience and I’ll definitely be going back for more,” Campbell said.

Campbell will be going on to compete at the national Strongman event in New York in June 2018.