Northern Ireland news

Strongman enjoys big breakfast ahead of Belfast competition

Michael McHugh, Press Association

A NORTHERN Irish strongman taking on some of the UK's giants has said he is looking forward to pulling a lorry as he tucked into a breakfast of champions.

Sean O'Hagan (26) warmed up for the Rudridge Ultimate Strongman Giant Weekend which begins on Thursday in Belfast.

The near 7ft tall heavyweight took a break from his normal healthy eating to munch through nearly four plates of Ulster fry - groaning platters of bacon, sausage, soda farls and potato bread at Crumlin Road Gaol.

He joked: "I am always hungry."

Mr O'Hagan downed the best part of a fried feast of 400g of baked beans, 400g of chopped tomatoes, soda farls and potato bread, 12 rashers of bacon and 12 sausages. He left most of the black pudding.

Strongmen eat a 10,000 calorie mountain of food every day and most consume about a kilogramme of steak a day alone.

The shopping bill can come to up to £400 a week.

Mr O'Hagan said he ate a healthy diet 90% of the time and consumed mainly fresh meat and vegetables, not fried fatty food.

His favourite food consists of rice and meat. He washes cars to make ends meet.

"The sport is so small and everyone wants to see big guys lifting all this big weight but the council in Banbridge does not even recognise the sport as a sport, so it is hard."

The fuel is used to lift dumbbells the size of two adults and carry some of the world's heaviest Atlas stones, super-sized and created specially in Northern Ireland.

He is aiming for a podium top three finish.

His favourite events are the tyre flip, farmers' walk - lifting two weights on either side and carrying for a distance - and lorry pulling.

"I have not been beaten in the last four years at the lorry pull so it is a good event."

He has been competing across Europe with more trips planned for the coming weeks.

This weekend's competition has been organised by renowned strongman Glenn Ross from Bangor in Co Down.

Mr Ross said: "People can die doing this, it is as simple as that. You are lifting a thousand pound tyre and if it falls on you it will crush you to death.

"They are pulling seven tonne trucks, planes, trains; it is the sort of sport that has people in awe of them.

"They are superhuman these guys, they train hours a day, seven days a week at times.

"The preparation is pretty brutal leading to the event and the competitions normally are brutal as well.

"But it has to be to find the strongest guy."

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