Celtic Carnage February 4th 2012

This was our first event and it was supposed to be a pretty small scale event, just a competition for the local boys we told ourselves as we carried on plotting and planning for an audience of some 50 or so.

Just a few weeks later news of the comp leaked out onto Sugden Barbell and we suddenly found that we had Wales' top strongmen asking to compete. Another couple of days and we have some of the top UK strongmen including the UK Strongest Man. Suddenly we needed to raise our game.

Check out our list of competitors: -

Novices Opens
  1. Jeremy Wray
  2. Tony Jackman
  3. Karl Malarky
  4. Steve Bracewell
  5. Paul Platton
  6. Jim Gilbert
  7. Chris Graham
  8. Paul Lawrence
  9. Matthew Fay
  10. Hywel Owen Thomas
  11. Hywel Adams
  12. John Campbell
  13. Tyrone Jones
  14. Kevin Morris
  15. Mark Stead
  16. Joe Willis
  17. Daniel Bishop
  18. Matthew Richardson
  19. Dan Evans
  20. Stuart Flynn
  1. Chris Melling
  2. Mark Jeanes
  3. Owen Lewis
  4. Mariusz Pilinski
  5. Rich Cooper
  6. Graham Plimbley
  7. Jamie Leigh Redwood
  8. Kelvin Gardner
  9. Ross Stone
  10. Chris Morgan
  11. Danny Loudon
  12. Rob Bush
  13. Richard Smith
  14. Simon Johnston
  15. Eddie Hall
  16. Paul Carter

With just under two months to the competition we had a venue booked but very little else. January, just over a month from the comp and we now have to shift a gear. We worked out the costs for the event and realised we needed about 400 spectators to make the event pay for its self.

We had no past experience of putting on events or promotions and were clearly out of our depth, getting sponsors in Carmarthen was like getting blood from a stone, though a few local businesses did share our vision, we'd just like to list them here:

  • Siop Tanerdy Shop - for being our first big sponsor and picking up the ticket sponsorhip
  • The Spilman Hotel
  • The Ivy Bush Royal Hotel
  • Owen Sports
  • Blush Hair & Beauty Salon
  • Nail Talk 'n' Tan
  • Tu-Me Health & Fitness
  • Aardvark Whole Foods
  • Radio Carmarthenshire
  • And Finally... Bassetts Citroen, Carmarthen for picking up our Radio Advertising bill at the last moment allowing us to gain valuable air-time with Radio Carmarthenshire.

Despite our best efforts however we were flying by the seats of our pants right up until they day of the competition, several big businesses locally had shown interest in supporting the event but as the date came closer it became apparent that the wheels turn very slowly with the bigger companies and they just weren't able to turn around any help at such short notice, with the real costs of insuring the event becoming clear we also found that just days out from the event we needed to shift closer to 600 tickets just to break even.

The night before the Carnage, we were up the showground still trying to work out where everything was going to go. It was bloody freezing up there and we were all tired. 10:30pm and we decided to call it a night.

Night became day and we hadn't really had any sleep. Back up the showground, terrible news, it had been snowing. This was the last thing we needed! Resigned to making a possible loss and preparing to chalk the day up as "experience gained" we pushed on and got things going.

By the end of the day we had what felt like a reasonably successful competition, a couple of the competitors picked up injuries which wasn't nice and the venue was absoloutely freezing but we managed to get some 600 - 700 visitors and scraped a small profit during the day. Excellent news for our first competition and many very important lessons learned.

Bring on the next comp!