The 4th Annual Charlotte Bohn Charm City Strongwoman Memorial Contest 2015


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Strongwoman refers to either a woman performing feats of strength in a show or circus, or a woman who competes in strength athletics.

Traditionally, strongwomen have had a special appeal, as women involved in demonstrated feats of strength were exceptions.

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2015 Charm City Strongwoman Contest

On Sunday, September 13, 2015, Fivex3 Training hosted the 4th Annual Charlotte Bohn Charm City Strongwoman Memorial Contest in Baltimore to benefit the Susan Cohan Colon Cancer Foundation, Susie’s Cause, a non-profit organization founded by David Rodman Cohan and his daughter, Susan Cohan, before her tragic death in 2004. Susie’s Cause, named in honor of Susan, has raised $15 million since 2004 and has successfully worked to be an international leader in colon cancer prevention, screening and treatment. My sister Charlotte was diagnosed with Stage III Colon Cancer in September of 2011 at the age of 35 and thanks to the organization’s outreach programs and support, Charlotte always stood strong, knowing that she is not alone in her battle. Unfortunately, Charlotte lost her battle with cancer this year. On February 11, 2015, after a 3.5 year struggle with colon cancer, Charlotte died at the age of 38, leaving behind two beautiful children, my niece Eleanor, age 4 and her brother, my nephew Jack, age 8. Five months before her death, she was still running and throwing 100# sandbags over a bar at my gym. Despite the fact that she was living with cancer, Charlotte continued to live her life to the fullest thanks to her positive outlook on her life. She was running, strength training, biking with her children… her LIFE. 😉 Strength is NOT  just physical. It is mental, emotional, even spiritual. When you are strong, you are unstoppable. And you never know when your strength will be called upon.

Our first year, we were only able to donate $200 (out of pocket) to Susie’s Cause. In 2013, between First Giving pages, donations from sponsors and registrations and donations taken in the day of the contest, we raised over $6,000 for the Susan Cohan Colon Cancer Foundation. In 2014, we raised over $13,000. I knew things were going to be even bigger this year.

However, I truly had NO idea how successful THIS year would be. Last year, we had 19 sponsors. This year, we had 23 sponsors: Seven Platinum Sponsors ($500): Stevenson University, East Coast Gold Weightlifting, H&S Bakery, Jasa Kabob, Baltimore’s Child, Cafe Latte Da, and Teavolve Cafe and Lounge; Three Gold Sponsors ($300): Totten Training Systems, York Barbell and Becket Hitch; Two Silver Sponsors ($200): Baltimore Tattoo Museum and Clark-Morley Salon; Four Bronze Sponsors ($100): Simas Salon and Spa, Charm City Massage, Dance Happens Inc. and Niles, Barton and Wilmer LTD. We had gift card donations from Bertha’s, Teavolve, City Sports, kegs donated by DC Brau Brewing, a trunk show donation from Lululemon, and lots of swag from 180’s and Kiss N’ Make-Up as well as engravings donations from The Baltimore Trophy House for our trophies. Sponsorship money totaled over $5000. On top of this, each and every day, I eagerly watched as our numbers continued to go up on my First Giving Page as well as the First Giving pages of the other women. $3000. $4000. $5000. $6000. Molly’s bake sale. Lululemon’s trunk show. And let’s not forget the t-shirts designed by Jennifer Milesky of Crossfit Retribution – “DNB and Charm City Strongwoman.” 😉

The grand total once everything settled down and I had done the math was: $19, 212.26.

Almost $20,000.

Last year, I announced that in 2015, we were going to shoot for $15,000. This year, I decided that we should aim for $20,000. Ambitious? Yes. But we just about did it. Charlotte would be so proud of us.

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2015 Charm City Strongwomen

With 45 women registered for the event, we knew we were going to see some really awesome lifting. Our competitors included women from all across Maryland, from West Virginia and from Pennsylvania.

One of our Gold Sponsors, Adam Smith from York Barbell in Pennsylvania, came down to set up his tent and sell t-shirts, tanks, wrist guards, chalk, bars and more! And once again, Geoff Pritchard from Charm City Massage, another one of our sponsors, came for the morning to give the competitors and spectators a taste of his magic hands. 😉

This year, we divided up the groups into weight classes: Lightweight Novice, Lightweight Open, Heavyweight Novice and Heavyweight Open.  All the divisions rocked the house and there was some pretty impressive lifting going on throughout the day.

After introductions were made by our awesome emcee, Sally Van DeWater of McKenna’s Gym and the rules were reviewed by her husband, Mike McKenna, owner of McKenna’s Gym, we got right to our first events. Because of the number of competitors we have every year, our events run simultaneously. This allows for the contest to always run smoothly and quickly and also gives the spectators a lot to watch! And let me tell you…there was never a dull moment!

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Our emcee, Sally McKenna and her minions!!

2015 Charm City Strongwoman Events

This year’s events were as follows:

Press Medley

Each competitor had 6o seconds to press a kettle bell three times, a water filled keg two times and a sandbag one time.

(Ascending weights for descending reps.)

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Kettlebell press
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Keg press.
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Sandbag press.

Truck Pull

Each competitor had 60 seconds to pull a 10,000lb H&S Bakery delivery truck over 50 feet.

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H&S Bakery Truck Pull

Deadlift medley

Each competitor had 60 seconds to deadlift a barbell three times, an axle two times and farmers handles 1 time.

(Ascending weights for descending reps.)

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Barbell deadlift.
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Axle deadlift.
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Farmers handles.


Keg Carry/Duck walk Medley

Each competitor had 60 seconds to carry a water filled keg 5o feet and then duck walk back 50 feet with weight.

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125lb keg carry.
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200lb Duck walk.

Stone over Bar

Each competitor had 60 seconds to pick up a concrete stone and put it over a 42″ bar for as many reps as possible.

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115lb stone.
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135lb stone.
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165lb stone.


The weights for each group were as follows:

Lightweight Novice

Press Medley: 20kg kettlebell x3; 70lb keg x2; 70lb sandbag x1

Truck Pull: H&S Bakery Truck

Deadlift Medley: 155lb barbell x3; 185lb axle x2; 210lb farmers handles x1

Keg Carry/Duck Walk: 100lbs/150lbs

Stone over Bar: 115lbs

Heavyweight Novice

Press Medley: 24kg kettlebell x3; 90lb keg x2; 90lb sandbag x1

Truck Pull: H&S Bakery Truck                                                                                                                                                                                      

Deadlift Medley: 185lb barbell x3; 215lb axle x2; 250lb farmers handles x1

Keg Carry/Duck Walk: 125lbs/185lbs

Stone over Bar: 135lbs

Lightweight Open

Press Medley: 24kg kettlebell x3; 90lb keg x2; 90lb sandbag x1                                                                                                                           

Truck Pull: H&S Bakery Truck

Deadlift Medley: 185lb barbell x3; 215lb axle x2; 250lb farmers handles x1                                                                                                      

Keg Carry/Duck Walk: 125lbs/185lbs

Stone over Bar: 135lbs

Heavyweight Open 

Press Medley: 28kg kettlebell x3; 100lb keg x2; 100lb sandbag x1

Truck Pull: H&S Bakery Truck

Deadlift Medley: 215lb barbell x3; 250lb axle x2; 300lb farmers handles x1

Keg Carry/Duck Walk: 150lbs/200lbs                                                                                                                                                                      

Stone over Bar: 165lbs

We were ahead of schedule the entire day which made everyone very, very happy, including the host. 😉 Everyone had a blast. Our incredibly agile and strong Fivex3 Training volunteers loaded weights for the deadlift medley, spotted the ladies in the press medley, re-adjusted the kegs and core blaster for the carry medley and cheered for all the women!  They worked non-stop the entire morning and afternoon. 😉 Thank you volunteers!!!

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Fivex3 Training Volunteers!

And finally, after three years, we had an event for all the guys who always come out to support their ladies!  We decided to do a max hold contest with our circus dumbbell. The dumbbell has a 3 inch handle and weighs around 70lbs. It was certainly a popular event with our men.  Our winner was none other than Beau Bryant of Westminster Strength and Conditioning.  Beau held it for over 3:30 minutes. Tracy Williams, one of our volunteers and husband of Hieu Truong, a Fivex3 competitor, held it for over 5:00…but he was not allowed to compete due to the fact that he was 1. A volunteer and 2. Has the unfair advantage of being able to actually touch his fingers while holding the dumbbell.  That is a big hand as well as some crazy grip strength. 😉

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Our winner, Beau Bryant. 😉
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Diego tries his hand at the dumbbell.
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All the guys gave it a try.
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Tracy holding the dumbbell for over 5:00. Notice how casually he has his left hand in his pocket. 😉

After all the points were added up, it was time to announce the winners. It was a really close contest!!! We had trophies for all first place winners, gift cards from Berthas, Teavolve and City Sports for all first, second and third place winners.

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1st, 2nd and 3rd place LW Novice winners!


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1st, 2nd and 3rd place HW Novice winners!


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1st, 2nd and 3rd place LW Open winners!


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1st, 2nd and 3rd place HW Open winners!

And just like last year, the women were amazing. Everyone cheered for each other. Everyone clapped and screamed “You can do it!” to every single lady, whether they knew her or not. There was a lot of hugging. There was an incredible amount of of high-fiving. And there was a lot of cheering, whistling, screaming, shouting…by ALL of the spectators.

It was not just a day to watch women lift weights. It was a day to celebrate strength. It was a day to celebrate women. It was a day to celebrate life.

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The 2015 Fivex3 Dream Team!

Together, we made a difference in the lives of so many people. We helped raise a lot of money (A LOT of money!!!) for a great, great cause. We sent a message to all of those women and men afflicted with cancer that they are not alone in this fight. We are with them, and we will help them. We will fight for them. We will honor them. We will stand STRONG beside them.

Thank you for all of your support, generosity and strength.

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My niece, Eleanor.

All photography courtesy of my friend and Charlotte’s friend, Gary Godbey.

Thank you for your amazing talent Gary. 😉 

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