The 1999 Back Alley Challenge

By Mike Pinyerd

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On October 23", 1999, the first ever Back Alley Challenge took place at Powerhouse Gym in Kokomo. Indiana. Seven athletes, mostly from the mid-west, met to show their strength and measure up against homeland competition. By the way, Back Alley, in no way means the through traffic would be denied access. In fact, the looks from the average mortals looking in made for some good laughs.


The events were judged and mediated by Bryan Neese, 1999 I.F.S.A. United States Strongman Champion, along with his wife Erica. I can assure you, no one found it difficult to get motivated in Bryan's presence. Five events and plenty of great food (BBQ ribs by Tony Scrivens), provided for a thrilling Saturday, afternoon. The events were 308lbs- 1 3/8 inch handles Farmers Walk for distance. 811 lb Yolk Walk 60 feet. 262 lb Log- Press for maximum reps-. 5 Atlas-type Stones (Bryan Neese makes these stones: See weighing 200. 230, 250, 280, 300lbs. and a Medley with 300 lb weight carry 40 feet, 700 lb tire 5 flips, and load 3-250 lb kegs/ 15 feet between kegs and truck.


Brian Sclioonveld won the Farmers Walk with an impressive 150 ft stroll. followed by, Chad Coy's over shadowed effort of 109 ft, John Beatty-83.5 ft. Mike Perrv-78.8 ft. Tony, Scrivens-42 ft. Shawn Smith-3 I .8 ft. and Mike Pinyerd was unable to lift the cylinders.    

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The Yolk Walk was won by Coy using 27.21 sec. to cover the 60 feet course. followed by Scrivens 50 sec time. Schoonveld-38.8 ft. Beatty,-24ft. and the others were unable to move the 811 lb weight. 

Smith had the most repetitions in the Log Press with 9, followed by Schoonveld's 8. Coy-7. Scrivens-4, Beatty-2, the others unable to complete a full rep. 

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Coy won the Stones with a time of 27 sec,. Schoonveld 78 sec. Beatty completed 4 stones in 67 sec. Smith got 3 in 22 sec. Perry, got 2 in 29 sec, while Pinyerd and Scrivens both completed the first stone with Pinyerd being I sec faster with 5 sec. 

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The last event, the Medley won by Coy. The winning time was 50 sec. Beatty, took 63 sec. followed

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Final scores were Coy 32. Sclioonveld 29. Beatty 23, Smith 19. Scrivens 16. Perry 14.5, Pinverd 6.5.


Luckily, no one was hurt. Maybe just our pride was wounded by the world class weight we used. We all would have liked to stay to hang out in the alley and eat all weekend. But, instead we had to get back to our homes and wait until the next opportunity to test our limits. So, it's back to our own "Alleys" to train for the next time.


Competing with these 'international' weights will only prove to be beneficial by closing the gap between the United States and the rest of the Strongman world. In any strength competition, winning naturally means taking the body to extreme limits. -After securing the victory by winning the Medley, Coy ended up behind the rock loading platform doubled over and dry heaving. If this is what it takes to win, I believe we all want to end tip behind the platform choking our guts out! Coy says there will be more Alley, Challenges in the future. The Harvest and Planting Back Alley Challenges will each be held once a year in Kokomo.

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All Photos Copyright 1999 Chad Coy, Mike Pinyerd