HARRISBURG - Mike Jenkins can now be called the strongest man in the world.
Jenkins won the prestigious Arnold Strongman Classic this past weekend in Columbus, Ohio, and in the process, set three new world records.
The records are nice, but he's more proud of earning the overall title.
"Winning (is more important); because your name is etched in stone forever," said Jenkins who played football at James Madison University and now lives and operates his own gym in Dauphin County. "They can't take that away from you."
Jenkins beat a world-class field of competitors, including Zydrunas Savickas, the "Michael Jordan" of his sport, as Jenkins calls him. Savickas, who won the Arnold Classic championship six-straight years (2003-2008) finished third; behind Jenkins and two-time winner Derek Poundstone. The defending champ, Brian Shaw, tore a bicep muscle during this year's competition.
Among the records Jenkins established: a new mark in the Circus Dumbbell; he lifted his 255 lb. dumbbell seven times, breaking the old record he set last year.
The 6'5," 395-pound Jenkins won the competition by posting a world-record time in the Timber Carry; he carried approximately 881 lbs. (400kg) up a 36-foot long inclined ramp in a mere 7.4 seconds. He also set a world record in the Austrian Oak.
Jenkins also carried home a check for $50,000 and a huge 50 lb. trophy depicting Louis Cyr, a famous Canadian strongman from the early 20th century. "In my sport, its the Super Bowl trophy," said Jenkins, who claims the trophy is worth around $10,000.
"There's one a year; given to one person in the entire world."
Before getting married later this month, he'll travel to Australia for a qualifying event for 2012 Met-Rx World’s Strongest Man (WSM), which is held in September.