The 55th Maine Wild Blueberry Festival and 145th Union Fair began their week-long festivities on Saturday, Aug. 16 in style as men and women lined up to demonstrate their strength, endurance and mental fortitude — and hopefully to win cold, hard cash — in the annual and popular He/She-Man Competition.

In an event held in one of the fairground's buildings, 10 men and six women competed, as Ronald Stevenson emerged victorious for the men and Caityln Allen for the women.

Stevenson finished the challenging gauntlet with a time of one minute and 22.30 seconds, while Allen finished in 1:29.06.

Click for photos from the event.

Finishers among the men were: 1, Ronald Stevenson, Knox 1:22.30; 2, Ross Baker, Worcester, Mass., 1:23.01; 3, Elijah Hupper, Union, 1:35.78; 4, Neil Pascal, Union, 1:46.59; 5, Iam Kynd, Searsmont, 1:47.57; 6, Brian Day, no town listed, 1:48.31; 7, Anthony Collins, Appleton, 1:50.75; 8, Norm Campbell, Camden, 1:53.03; 9, Connor Winchenbach, Rockport, 1:55.12; and 10, B.B. LaFreak, Warren, 2:23.9.

Finishers among the women were: 1, Caitlyn Allen, Bowdoin, 1:29.06; 2, Sarah Ricker, Pittston, 1:38.97; 3, Stacey Boudreau, Brunswick, 1:33.47; 4, Rachel Stevenson, Readfield, 1:33.75; 5, Lynn Chadwick, Pittston, 1:38.97; and 6, Amber Lu Gibson, Appleton,1:39.26.

The top five four in each class were paid, with the first-place winners earning $100 each, second $90, third $80, fourth $70 and fifth $60.

The course began with each participant moving a bundle of stacked wood from one crate to another, followed by twice throwing a piece of wood over the he-man/she-man contest sign.

Each participant then had to stack large rocks on three separate oil drums, followed by lugging two heavy weights 50 feet and haul, with their legs with a strap around their waist, a dog-sled another 50 feet to finish the competition.

Lighter weights, blocks and rocks, along with less wood, was used for the She-Man Competition.

The men's boulders weighed 70-90 pounds each and the women's 40-60; the men's weights 85 pounds and the women's 45 pounds; and the sled held 110 pounds of cinder blocks for the men and 70 pounds for the women.

Robert Gibson of Bowdoin, a former champion, performed a demonstration of the course to kick off the competition.

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