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Battle of the Belles XII

by Warren Rosenberg, MetroSports Magazine - October 1, 2022

The rains that hit New York on the morning of Saturday, October 1st, remnants of the devastating hurricane Ian, did not dissuade a hearty group of 27 women who gathered under the picnic shelter at Port Chester New York’s Abendroth Park to compete in the twelfth Battle of the Belles strongwoman contest.

With the rains turning the park ground to mud and with water running off the roof of hastily erected vendor tents, the lyrics of Bob Dylan came to mind. It seemed no coincidence that these same lyrics were broadcast on the local radio station, 107.1 The Peak, at 9:18am that same morning as the competitors gathered.

'Twas in another lifetime, one of toil and blood When blackness was a virtue the road was full of mud I came in from the wilderness, a creature void of form Come in, she said I'll give ya shelter from the storm (c) Universal Music Publishing by Bob Dylan

Hosted by Fem and Fierce, a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to empowering women and creating opportunities for women to shine, this twelfth undertaking of the Battle of the Belles, a nationally-sanctioned Strongwoman competition, highlighted the progress that women have made in the traditionally male-dominated strength competitions.

The Battle of the Belles was one of the first all-female competitions in the Sport of strongman. First organized by Dr. Stefanie Tropea, the Battle of the Belles tradition continues under the guidance of Fem and Fierce. Women ranging from teenage years all the way up to the masters class with women in their 40’s and 50’s, will compete in 5 events which include a Log Clean & Press, Axle Deadlift, Iron Cross/Duck Walk, Tire Flip, and Max Stone.

Cara Brennan, the 1st place winner in the Open Middleweight division summed up the day as, “Unbelievable blessing to get to compete today with wonderful people. This was so cathartic and fun; honestly this stuff is pure joy for me. Any day I get to compete is an absolute gift.”

Masters competitor Mack Your Weights commented “What a great day, despite the shitte weather. As usual @cranetechnique and @femandfierce put on a well-oiled show with not a single hiccup. Many thanks to all the staff, helpers, and various strong folk who came to support,”

Third place winner in the Novice Lightweight division, Maxyel Acevedo, posted on her Instagram site, “Got 3rd place… out of 3 in my category. Most importantly I had a blast hanging out w my strong friends and meeting a bunch of amazing strong women!”

Once again, and quickly becoming a favorite event in the competition, were the Junior Belles - an event for athletes under the age of twelve who showed strength, heart and courage as they pushed through four events and this year included some male competitors.

In addition to being a U.S. Strongman sanctioned event, Battle of the Belles XII supported fundraising activities for the Strong Paws Dog Sanctuary and for Breast Cancer.

A full posting of scores can be found on the Iron Podium website at:

Photographs can be viewed and purchased at:


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