Relentless was the most surreal experience I have had in this sport..... there's a reason why so many big name guys chose this meet over the other meets this time of year.
As a whole I'm really amazed with the quality of this meet regardless of the amazing cause. I've never even heard of another meet being so well run. They ran 90 lifters through in under 12 hours on one platform. The meet started in the warm up rooms, two of them, both with good monolifts, a total of four competition benches, and good deadlift bars to warm up with. Both rooms had coolers of water that were always stocked for the lifters plus one of the guys helping out made sure to run water backstage for any lifter who needed it.
The judging was done primarily by three WPC judges who were calling everything ridiculously tight. Although I didn't agree with a few calls, they were always fair across the board, everyone got the exact same judging by the book. There were absolutely no doubts about any lifts given white lights.
The platform was solid, with a great monolift and Rob's bench, the music was loud, the announcing was great, and a live stream of the meet was projected on the wall in both warm up rooms so that you could time your warm ups, back stage we had TVs with the scoring program showing flight order for us to all keep track of where the flights were at. There was plenty of room and we had the best spotters and loaders I've ever seen at a meet. They even had a small cafeteria for the lifters, spotters, and loaders. We were all fed a legit lunch and dinner, volunteers were grilling all day.
I got to meet the young lady I was lifting in honor of just before I had to go start my warm ups. With her in the audience I wasn't going to put on a bad show.
Warm ups started in briefs with
230, 500, 680
added a suit for 830
I smoked 925 for an easy opener and jumped to 1008 for a 5lb PR on my second. When they pulled the rack I started to fall forward, but was somehow able to use my tiny calves to get my balance and start the lift on my heels for a good lift. My favorite moment came right after I got my 1008 - when I stepped through the monolift and saw my HopeKid honoree cheering right by the stage. I got a great picture of the post squat fist bump from her too.
I had a better set up for my third but folded under 1040#
Raw bench warm ups went well, but on my first shirted warm up the shirt rode up on my neck and I blacked out for a second under 550#. I reset the shirt lower and smashed my last warmup of 610#.
I was nervous about touching my bench opener of 683 so we pulled the shirt way up - bad idea. After the liftoff I heard Rob Luyando calling my in, he yells " 1 inch, straight in" and the next thing I know there are people standing over me. I blacked out completely and dumped the bar. Now's a great time to mention how great it was having the Lilliebridge family there to spot. My head hurt, I felt like garbage, and I seriously thought that I was going to vomit.. any other meet and I would have packed it in at that point, but there's no way I was going to tell my HopeKid honoree that I felt bad and couldn't go on..... so I retook 683 and smashed it on my 2nd. Luyando called a safe PR of 711 on my 3rd and it was easily the easiest bench I've ever had in a meet.
Deadlift warm ups were 225, 500, put on the suit for 600 and I opened with an easy 705. My handler called for a small PR of 744 on my 2nd and I nailed it, but I missed a 781 pull that would have gotten me a 2500# total. It'll be there soon, but for now I was just happy to make it through such a big meet and honored to lift with so many awesome lifters.
More importantly..... the best PR of the day was at the end of the night when Scott Nutter announced that the event had raised $102,000 for HopeKids.... that's a PR to be proud of.