Two Twin Cities residents prevailed among dozens of ultra-fit men and women from all over the country who tested their athleticism and strength in a timed competition for the titles Alpha Male and Alpha Female.
Brandon Schwartz, 31, of Chanhassen, and Jen Nordic, 37, of Excelsior, won their respective National Alpha Showdowns on Saturday at the Life Time Fitness center in Colorado Springs.
The athletes ran through three challenging gauntlets in tests of power, strength and endurance.
Here is just a slice of what was required: Pull a 50-pound sled with 90 pounds of weight for 80 yards; jump rope with a weighted bungee cord; do 10 225-pound dead lifts (135 pounds for women); complete 10 kettlebell swings; row 500 meters, and run 60 yards with a 40-pound bucket of water tied to a wooden log.
Schwartz finished in 16 minutes and 16 seconds, edging his closest rival by 41 seconds. Nordic's time of 16:45 gave her a four-second victory margin.
"It was a tough competition that taxes all areas of your body," said Schwartz, a former hockey player for Michigan Tech University who works in Oakdale as an attorney. "There were a number of people who had to quit halfway through the competition or who could not complete all of the exercises."
Schwartz and Nordic received more than $1,000 in prize money and promotional items for the victories.
The competition is sponsored by Life Time Fitness of Chanhassen, with 87 of its facilities holding initial competitions that led to regional contests before the national showdown.