Alabama’s Strongest Man/Woman Contest Aug. 19-20 at Hangout
Alabama’s Strongest Man/Woman contest will be held August 19-20 beginning at 9:30 a.m. each morning in the courtyard at The Hangout at Gulf Shores Public Beach. Admission is free to the public and a portion of the event proceeds will be going to the family of McKinley Turner, who is currently fighting a rare case of childhood brain cancer (see below).
The competition will include five events: max axle press (for state record), axle deadlift for reps, duck walk, sandbag carry for max distance, and keg carry and load. There are six divisions competing: Women, Novice, Masters, Lightweight Open, Middleweight Open and Heavyweight Open. It is an amateur event.
Festivities on Sunday, Aug. 20 include an atlas stone-loading event for cash prizes.
“We have athletes coming from Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Florida and Louisiana,’’ said Chris Slater, owner of Alabama Strength in Foley and the state chair for Alabama with the North American Strongman Corp. “Part of my job is to host a contest every year and also try to promote the sport of strongman in the area. This is our 5th year running this contest and we went form 14 athletes in year one to 73 last year. Both days are family friendly, and we would like a big crowd.’’ For more event info, call 517-812-4143 or visit facebook page.
On January 24, 2017, three year old McKinley Turner was diagnosed with a brain tumor. On February 1, she underwent an extensive surgery to remove approximately 70% of the tumor. Shortly after, McKinley was diagnosed with Anaplastic Ependymoma, Stage 3, a rare childhood brain cancer, which is very aggressive in McKinley’s case.
Between February and May, McKinley underwent several more surgeries to include a port placement, a shunt placement, feeding tube placement, several lumbar punctures, and two cycles of chemotherapy.
In May, McKinley underwent two more extensive brain surgeries to remove more of the tumor. After the second surgery, the neurosurgeon was confident that he has removed almost all of the tumor, but a follow-up MRI revealed that McKinley’s tumor had grown exponentially between mid-April and early May.
After recovering from her 3rd major brain surgery on May 5, McKinley was referred to MD Anderson in Houston, where doctors discovered that McKinley’s cancer had metastasized to her spine and she had a new spot on her brain that was not there two weeks prior. She has gone through six weeks of Proton Therapy (5 days a week) to her entire brain and spine to try and eliminate her tumors and kill the cancer.
The results of her radiation treatment have not been confirmed. In the meantime, McKinley continues to receive speech therapy on a weekly basis while she is evaluated for any long-term damage that has occurred as a result of her condition and the extensive treatment that she has received.
Pictured: Competitors at the 2016 contest.