NEWCASTLE West has a new champion after Patrick O’Dwyer won the title of strongest man in the Republic of Ireland.
The 29-year-old fire fighter displayed Herculean feats of strength as well as battling the elements to lift the prize in Ballina on Sunday.
Patrick, who prepared for the competition by eating horse steaks for breakfast, amassing an incredible 8,000 to 10,000 calories a day, marched his way through six events, including flipping a 475kg tyre, holding an 80kg dumbbell over his head with one hand and holding up a car. He admitted it was “gruelling”.
“The events on a good day are hard enough, but the rain that fell down on top of us didn’t help at all, and made things a lot harder,” he said.
“The tyre flip – it is maybe half a ton of a tyre and that was wet and you are trying to flip that – the weather alone made it a lot harder, but other than that it was a good day, I won most of the events.”
Patrick, who has competed abroad and represented his country, will now go on to Ireland’s strongest man in August, and the UK version later in the year.
“I was second in Ireland last year and made it to fifth in the UK, so I am hopefully going to improve on that a small bit,” said Patrick, who has been competing in strong men events for three years.
“I was into weightlifting. I started to lift weights in the local gym and found out then that I was a bit stronger than everyone else around me. Then there was a local strong man competition and I won that. It went on from there it and went higher and higher.”
The fire fighter, who trains at LPC gym in Galvone with Shane Brodie, said he tries to “get as much meat into me as I can” to prepare for competitions.
“I would eat mostly horse steaks and venison for breakfast and maybe two or three times a day. There is a chef in Newcastle West that helps me out, he is a big believer in you are what you eat and he is right, since I switched to his diet, it has helped me a lot,” he said.
“I would be averaging 8-10,000 calories a day in the run up to competition. I would still put away about 4-5,000 calories a day, but I am just taking it easy this week and then I will go back to training,” he laughed.