Kevin Murray from Tipperary shows what it takes to win the Republic of Ireland Strongest Man title.

Kevin Murray, a lorry driver from Borrisoleigh in County Tipperary is the Republic of Ireland’s Strongest Man and lifting a 30 stone cross is all part of the preparation for the contest.

in his early twenties Kevin Murray started working out in the gym because of a back problem. The weight training built him up and he found it was,

Something to do, I wasn’t into drinking or smoking.

His social scene revolves around lifting weights twice a week at the Powerhouse Gym in Thurles where he has developed great friendships. When the chance to train for the Strong Man competition came up, Kevin Murray and his friends decided to give it a go.

The Strong Man started in Ireland in 2000 and is still a relatively new sport at a world class level. However Vice President of the Irish Strongman Association Paul Roberts is confident the Irish men will soon be,

Matching the English guys and hopefully beating them.

Training for the contest takes a lot of time and effort so months of preparation are required to build physical and mental strength for this extreme sport. There are sessions four nights a week and on Sunday afternoons closer to the competition there is practice for the event itself.

Advice on diet from Kevin Murray is to,

Eat normal healthy foods that you were told to eat when you were young and you wouldn’t eat them.

At the weekend he would rather go for a meal with his wife Mary than to go out drinking.

A night out might cost you two weeks of hard training.

Mary Murray is supportive of her husband but worries that he will injure himself carrying heavy weights.

Kevin Muray has built up his back, legs, shoulders and chest but dismisses the notion than if he stops working out his muscle will turn to flab.

The only way you could get fat is if you keep eating when your body don’t need it.

Also training for the Strong Man contest is Pat McNamara, the oldest member of the Irish team. He came third in the 2002 contest and will be competing again in 2003.

So watch out young lads.

The finals for the Republic of Ireland’s Strongest Man took place in Thurles on 19 April 2003. The title was won by Ray O’Dwyer from County Tipperary. Kevin Murray came in second place and Pat McNamara retained his third place position.

A ‘Nationwide’ report broadcast on 18 April 2003. The reporter is Helen McInerney.