Ryan Macintosh competing at Scotland's Natural Strongest Man.
THURSO still has the strongest man in Scotland as athlete Ryan Macintosh powered his way to defend his national title.
The 29-year-old muscled his way to retaining Scotland’s Natural Strongest Man after beating off challengers in the under-105kg division at the competition in Huntly.
Macintosh competed in five events, starting with the 105kg overhead log press in which competitors had to do as many repetitions as possible in 60 seconds.
The second event was a deadlift medley followed by a 190kg bar, a 200kg axle, 240kg 18” barrels and a 250kg frame, all lifted as many times as possible.
In the first two events, he finished in second place before he powered his way to the title by winning the final three events.
This included the notorious Farmer’s Walk, when he carried 120kg in each hand for 30 metres.
He also flipped over the 350kg tyre in the fastest time.
He made sure of victory in the Pole Push in which saw competitors sought to push one another out of a sumo-style ring using a telegraph pole with added handles.
Macintosh lives in the town’s Murkle View with his wife Katie and their two beagle dogs.
He works as a production instrument technician with Maersk oil and spends three weeks offshore at a time.
He trains hard when he is back home in Thurso but even when offshore, he finds time to work out in what is a dedicated schedule to ensure he is in top condition for competition.
He said: “A typical week of training would consist of five weight-training sessions, lasting two hours each.
“I train at Naver Gym in Thurso during my leave, and after shifts in the oil rig, I work out at the gym.
“It was my first title defence and I am glad to get the Scottish title back.
“I was pleased with how I performed and delighted to retain the title as I train for it all year.”
The Thurso powerhouse has become recognised as the top strongman athlete in Scotland in an incredible rise to fame after just getting involved in the sport six years ago.
He organised strongman competitions in Thurso and due to his repeated wins has gone on to achieve success at Scottish and UK level.
He said: “I started competing in strongman competitions back in 2011, when myself and a few other local gym-goers decided to organise and host the Caithness Strongman Competition.
I went on to win the competition that year, and continued to take the title the following years.”
He first won the title of Scotland’s Natural Strongest Man under-105kg in 2016.
But even bigger success was to follow when he claimed the title of Britain’s Natural Strongest Man Under-105kg 2016 at Turriff Show last August.
The latter success qualified him to take part in the world championships in Finland but due to work commitments he was unable to compete.
Macintosh, who weighs in at 103.5kg said after successfully defending his Scottish title is focussed on defending his British title next month.
He said: “The win has granted me a qualification spot through to Britain’s Natural Strongest man Under-105kg 2017, which, this year, will be held in Newcastle, where I will attempt to defend the title I won last year.
“It will be tough, but I will try my best to win like I did last year and reclaim that title as well when the competition takes place at the end of July.
“The format of the British championships is similar to the Scottish championships so I know what to expect.
“The top five from the British championships will qualify for the world championships in Finland later this year.
“Last year I couldn’t go due to work commitments but it would be my intention to go over and compete if I qualify and if I can fit it around my work as it would be great to take part in.”