( ENSPIRE Man Code 101 ) The Record-Breaking Athlete Competed in this Years World’s Strongest Man for the 15th Time
ENSPIRE Contributor: Adriana Georgiades
They say age is just a number, and 54-year old strongman Mark Felix is a testament to that adage. Representing Great Britain at the 2020 World’s Strongest Man, Felix returned for his 15th appearance, making him the longest-standing competitor of the prestigious event that pushes athletes to their physical and mental limits. With weekly episodes of the entire competition airing on CBS Sports and Television Network, viewers can tune in for December 9th’s episode from 8-9 pm, in which Felix demonstrates how he earned his nickname as “The Miracle”.
Held annually since 1977, The World’s Strongest Man sees the sport’s top 25 strength athletes compete in challenges that test their stamina, skill, tactics, training, and strategy. From pulling trucks and lifting logs to carrying fridges and dragging anchors, the awe-inspiring list of events redefines the limits of the human body. Each competitor qualified by placing in the top 3 in Giants Live events, meaning Felix faced some of the most dominant athletes in his field. “I go to all competitions with an open mind,” he says. “I don’t take anyone for granted and concentrate on the job in hand as they are all tough competitors.”
While most strongmen begin their careers at an early age, Felix was 38-years-old when he entered strength athletics. Describing himself as “54-years-young”, the part-time strongman and construction worker works out and trains six times a week. “Other people worry about my age more than me,” he says. “I feel healthy and strong and will continue to train and compete at a high standard.”
Felix has demonstrated that strongman athletics is about more than just physical strength; it’s about having the mental strength to overcome obstacles. During the course of his 20-year career, Felix endured 2 torn biceps and a torn calf but refused to let that stop him. “The injuries took time and determination to recover from,” he says. Felix emphasizes the importance of mental prowess to other aspiring strongman athletes, as perseverance is key. “I would advise them to stay focused, not to expect too much too soon, and work hard on their weak events,” he says.
Felix is currently the world-record holder for the Hercules Hold, a challenge that requires athletes to hold up two giant pillars of 352 pounds each for as long as possible. This was the third time that Felix has broken the record, which currently stands at 1 minute and 32 seconds. Grip contests are his specialty, with Felix winning the Vice Grip Viking Challenge in 2011 and 2012 and the Rolling Thunder World Championship 2008 and 2009. “I am enjoying still breaking records and proving age is just a number,” he says.