Holly Ford achieves second place at the Ultimates.

We met with Holly to learn how she’s feeling after achieving the title of England’s second-strongest woman.

England’s second-strongest woman

What a weekend, I still don’t think I can process any of what happened at Ultimate Britain’s Strongest Woman, and I haven’t returned to Earth yet. I’m officially the second-strongest woman in England. It’s mind-blowing!

The Ultimates was fantastic. When I arrived all of the participating athletes received our official competition kit and completed our media links for the TV production.  

When I entered the pitch to check out the kit, the atmosphere was electric. It took a second to sink in, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a few butterflies in my stomach. There were fireworks, fire, lights, and TV crews. The crowd was just incredible, and my senses were heightened.

Husafell Stone Carry 

First up was the Husafell Stone Carry for 50 metres, originating from Iceland. I love this event as it’s a historic test of strength. I carried a replica stone weighing 100kg, thrilled this was the first event I was doing. My main aim was to put everything I had trained for into practice. The whistle blew, the flames went up, and off I charged coming in second with a time of 20.3 seconds. 

Block press

The second event was block press for reps. Overhead events have been my weakness since starting my strongwoman journey. However, I had focused on everything my coach had drilled into me “Take each rep as it comes… work in sets of two… reset, dip and drive”. I won the event with five reps. I couldn’t believe it! I almost cried. I had never won an overhead event before. It was a huge win.  

Cerberus Kratos bar deadlift

The third event was the max Cerberus Kratos bar deadlift. I started at 160kg and increased in 20kg jumps. 160kg was easy as always. 180kg moved like a weightless bar. It was only when I reached 200kg, I started to think about the weight, but completed it. Myself and two other athletes were left to decide our next jump. We moved to 210kg. The grind was hard, but I was able to pull it off. While 220kg was not meant to be. I gave it my all and placed third.

Bullring wrestling

The fourth event before we broke for lunch was bullring wrestling. I have never competed in this event and couldn’t train for it. The event involves two athletes entering a rope ring. One is the master and the other the bull. The bull has to try and pull the master out of the ring with a giant metal ring that both athletes are holding. Athletes can choose whatever tactics they like. I let the other athlete anchor themselves in and then walked toward them, which meant they landed squarely on their bum, enabling me to reach the line. It was fun as well and silly, and I placed fourth.

The break gave me some time to decompress and dance with my children.  I couldn’t believe the number of little girls that were running up to me, asking for a photo and wanting to talk. I can’t articulate how incredible it was to have the crowd's support.  

Farmer’s run

The final event was the farmer's run. I worked out the points and solidly sat in second place. To retain my place, I had to place fourth or above. And that’s what I did. It wasn’t my best farmers' run, but I achieved what I needed to retain the second-strongest woman title in England. 

Holding the trophy with pride

The ceremony was fantastic and to hold the silver trophy in my hand was such an amazing feeling. I also did an official meet and greet with the spectators, which gave them a chance to say hello, take pictures with me and chat about strong women.  

On to the Worlds

I’m now recovering from the Ultimates and prepping for the World's Strongest Natural Woman which occurs on the 9 to 10th of September in Finland. My main goal is to listen to my body and not overload it too much. I’m currently working on light weights and speed reps so my body settles. I’m also eating and sleeping well and maintaining a positive mindset to prepare for another massive competition.

I’m super excited for Finland. Both the location and the event are going to be amazing. I’ll create a vlog to keep you posted on everything from travel, drug testing and the event, so watch this space.

Thanks Airelogic. I’m forever grateful to be part of your team!

Find out how we’ve supported Holly’s journey and Holly’s training ahead of the Ultimates.