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Aizkolariak, Basque axemen competitions and bets, and more

Discussion in 'Axe, Tomahawk, & Hatchet Forum' started by Ugaldie, Jan 14, 2016.

  1. Ugaldie

    Ugaldie Gold Member Gold Member

    265
    Feb 27, 2013
    Hello @garry3, yes they can't be seen in some devices. Open the video in Youtube just clicking the title and turn on the subtitles.

    @Square_peg its fun to see it first times. And yes it's hard for the body, azdes are light and have a wide bit so you have to swing them strongly in order to make them bite deep. Not allways but a lot of times those "azdes" are simply sharpened hoes, that is detrimental too.

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    If you want my recommendation for San Fermin axemen events, I would go to see the 14th of July exibition were two axemen will cut each one a kana log. Kana is Basque log measure consisting in a log 2,5 meters in circumference or 80 cm (31,5 in.) in diameter.

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    Last edited: Jun 28, 2017
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  2. Kevin Houtzager

    Kevin Houtzager

    213
    Jun 25, 2017
    It's still on my bucket list to run with the bull's, but haven't had the time to go there. One day.... One day....
     
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  3. Moonw

    Moonw

    Nov 19, 2014
    I'd stay away from anything bigger and meaner than me. (I also try not to corner anything that will give a good scrap. For example, rat bites are kind of nasty. I use science for dealing with such things; science, one particular day, may manifest as a big stick :) ).
     
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  4. Kevin Houtzager

    Kevin Houtzager

    213
    Jun 25, 2017
    I'm the other way around: I want to conquer anything thats bigger then me. Kind of a thrill seeker. I don't think even een big axe would have an effect on one of those anyway when it's running and full of adrenalin. It'll probably die, but long after you're dead ;)
     
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  5. Moonw

    Moonw

    Nov 19, 2014
    You are right, an axe wouldn't be enough :). I've been enough around big and small animals (and continue to do so, to some extent) to know what they are capable of. I wouldn't trade my childhood for one full of modern life's conveniences.
     
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  6. Ugaldie

    Ugaldie Gold Member Gold Member

    265
    Feb 27, 2013
    You will be wellcomw @Kevin Houtzager. Remember some vital points when you run, take all the curves allways from the close side and be aware of the people, they can be as dangerous as the bulls. To make this event to be higher in your list here you have the last run of the last year.



    @Moonw I agree at 100%

    Let's talk about the bet of this weekend.

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    As I said the challenge is very close, Txikon (the alpinist) has more experience and technique in the first part, stone lifting. But Larrañaga (the axeman) is a bigger and a stronger man and it looks he will end this part maybe later but less tired. The second part is woodchopping, Larrañaga is a very good axeman and he has the advantage, but Txikon is training hard, he has a good trainer and he will have to cut eight logs, two less than Larrañaga. At the end part they have to run 7,5 kilometers in the sand of the bullring, Larrañaga has worked this aspect well but the advantage is in Txikon side. I have already talk about this but here comes the new part, they say will rain in Saturday evening. It can make harder to run in the sand (it depends how much does it rain) and in the same time will help the runners mantaining fresh. In my opinion it will benefit to Txikon. Who knows? We'll see it in Saturday.

    This is the second bet of this type for Txikon, the first time was in the same place the year 2010. He competed vs Joseba Otaegi the axeman of Zizurkil.

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    Txikon challenged Otaegi in a popular radio program to lift a 100 kilogram old type cilindrical stone 25 times to cut 16 kanaerdiko beech logs (half kana, 40 cm diameter) and to run 10 kilometers. He accepted the challenge but he negotiated hard to cut the part which saw himself weaker, running. But it wasn't an easy negotiation, in order to run fewer he had to decrease the amount of logs to be cut. So the bet was stablished as this, they had to lift a 100 kilogram stone 25 times, cut 14 logs and run 7 kilometers, as allways all of it in a row. Each part bet 7.000€.

    Here you the videos of that bet, they are in Spanish with a bit of Euskera.


     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2017
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  7. Ugaldie

    Ugaldie Gold Member Gold Member

    265
    Feb 27, 2013
    Basque Scythe competition started in 2017-05-14,

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    Note how different do the Basques cut, we cut more folded and the field to cut is bigger than in international competitions.

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    All types of people take part in these competitions, men and women, young, old and boys. This last uses to be interesting most for the foreigners, they use to get impressed with the amount and quality of these young persons,

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    I have posted this before, but look how does cut the grass this 8 years old little man,



    Or this other boy.



    I know little about axemen but comparatively nothing about scythemen, so I will only post what I find interesting. Like the final of the last year, it consisted in cutting the highest amount of grass in 60 minutes. The one who cuts the most weight wins the competition, for these tasks is very important the team which picks up the grass. If the competitors are very close a good pick up team is the element of the equation which makes to win to one scytheman or the other.

     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2017
  8. Ugaldie

    Ugaldie Gold Member Gold Member

    265
    Feb 27, 2013
    The most beautiful part of Basque rural sports is its popularity. There are a lot of events all through the year, profesionals an amateurs. Amateur events are the base to mantain the culture, those people don't do it for the money but because enjoy doing it. Let's explain it with an example, imagine here in the forum we startr talking about different axe type performances, in different woods and/or used by different people, it's not hard to imagine this is a forum and we enjoy doing it. Someone say @DeadboxHero is better cutting oak with a Jersey pattern axe than I am with a Tasmanian. I think so but let's think I don't or my pride makes me say I'm better than him. That would derive in a disscussion and maybe some videos from each part to back our points and it would end there. That's not bad, I enjoy doing it and it's beneficial for all of us, but that same conversation between Basques would end in a challenge (probably a bet and some meals for sure) in a very short period of time.

    That event would gather different people who would spread the world and this way would make the challenge more interesting, known and it also would ease other discussions to end in a simmilar challenges. That is great but in my opinion we have a big fault. We don't doccument those events. We are capable to make great things but we don't know promoting ourselves in circles other than our closest ones. Like this event, some people did a good job and someone took some photos (we as a society are slowly improving in this point) but I have no idea about it other than these photos. I have tried to contact the photo owner in order to get more information but he doesn't respond to my messages. The only thing I know about it is those logs were cut this spring.

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    Sometimes you have luck and you find some information you can take as a base to start finding and asking about it, like this next challenge.

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    Great, I know those two couples challenged each other to cut five beech logs 40 centímeters in diameter the young ones and the old ones to cut six logs of the same type. I know were it was played and when (a week ago) but even I ask the cider house for more information about it I can't get it. The only thing a person I know was at that same cider house that day and he saw part of the event.

    Sometimes you are lucky and complete information reaches your hand like this donkey challenge.

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    I will continue talking about this later.
     
  9. Kevin Houtzager

    Kevin Houtzager

    213
    Jun 25, 2017
    Trust me, it's one of the few things remaining on the list anyway, because I checked most of them off by now. That being said about the people: I'm about 190cm tall, so I'll be sticking out of the crowd ;) When I'm in Spain the beds tend to be on the short side with my feet sticking out. It sleeps well though! :)
     
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  10. Ugaldie

    Ugaldie Gold Member Gold Member

    265
    Feb 27, 2013
    Being tall is a benefit Kevin, but other runners don't tend to be smalls too. Inform yourself correctly before running, due to the crowd it's usual for new runners to not to see bulls even if they pass to two meters. I'm talking seriously Kevin, most of the first time runners don't use to see see dangerous situations, but when they happen they happen. Look at this for example, being tall, fit or experienced runner will help you little if you find this in front of you when you are running in front of the bulls. Thanks those bulls and leading steers were so docile.



    Another prespective,



    Continuing with the donkey challenge, I didn't look for it but a person who I follow in internet shared the photos with all the information. Lucky day! It was two vs one donkey challenge, obviously the single donkey is the most robust by difference.

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    They bet 3.000€ and the work to do was to make as much laps as possible in 30 minutes, the couple would start. They drag a 580Kg stone through the test place of the restaurant Sigma of Elgoibar

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    It consists in tug, turn and tug untill 30 minutes pass.

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    They marked 73 laps, not bad. Now turn for the single warrior,

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    He did 82 laps, good for him. This coverage is great but not usual, here you have more photos,

    https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/...um/6398443499887354113?authkey=CNn4r7a3-7rODQ

    Continuing with axemen, Urrezko aizkolariak league has started. The other was a championship, this is a league. It started 27th of June in the festivals of Hernani. It was a very interesting and great start, two of the best axemen competed each other, Iker Vicente and Ugaitz Mugerza.

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    Each axeman had to cut eight logs in five modalities.

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    Iker won it marking 24 minutes 57 seconds, Ugaitz marked 27 minutes 2 seconds, that 19 years old young man is a beast. Inaxio Perurena made a stonelifting exibition in the same event. Here you have him lifting a 200Kg (441lbs) stone with one hand.

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    Here I have talked about non Basque axemen, like the Segovian who are developing a good tradition.

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    But what I didn't know was there are some axemen in Madrid too. Here you have one of them.

    http://www.telemadrid.es/programas/madrid-directo/un-aizkolari-madrileno
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2017
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  11. Ugaldie

    Ugaldie Gold Member Gold Member

    265
    Feb 27, 2013
    The bet between Alex Txikon and Mikel Larrañaga has been tough, spectacular and polemical. I will talk about it in deep, so it will take me some messages and days so take patience.

    2017-07-01 bullring of Azpeitia, the bet of this year an alpinist vs an axeman in a triple bet consisting in stone lifting, axemanship and running. As I explained before Alex Txikon is a top level alpinist used to do hard and tough works, like climbing mount Nanga Parbat in winter without oxigen (he has been the first and the only one by now) or his last attempt to climb mount Everest in winter without the aid of oxigen.

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    He arrived home three months ago after suffering harsh conditions in the top of the world, extreme colds and winds, emergency rescue by helicopter of a expedition companion, frostbites, physical extenuation... The normal procedure should have to be to take two or three months to rest and start preparing a new aventure, but Txikon is different. In less than a week he challenged a high level axeman to a combined bet were the alpininst is not a specialist in none of its parts and one part of will be axemanship. The axeman acepted.

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    They met in the Mendizabal Restaurant of Azpeitia and after hard negotiations they agreed the terms. Txikon wanted more running in order to take advantage of his lighter weight and higher stamina, Larrañaga wanted more logs to cut. They agreed to lift a 100kg old cylindrical stone 20 times, Txikon should cut 10 beech logs 40cm in diameter, Larrañaga 12 and they would end the challenge running 7 kilometers in the sand of a bullring, all of this in a row. They bet each other 6.000€, the ticket would cost 30€ and the collection would be divided equally.

    Txikon arrived thin and weak from the mountain, three months didn't look like enough time to rest and train for this bet. There were a lot of rumors but Txikon was an enigma. Here you have how did he arrive,

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    After three moths he astonished all the people arriving to the challenge with this physical form.

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    Sorry for the joke but this was the most commented thing, apart of physical form something in him (maybe that thing some people defines as energy) made you remember Rambo. Here you have Txikon,

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    Larrañaga also trained highly and he appeared with good physical shape.

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    Before I start I have to say I will share photos and videos from different procedences, those mine are not the best ones. I used a manual focusing lens while I was sitting in a crowded space with constanly moving people while I was enjoyng the bet. So if some photos are moved or out of focus I apologize.

    So the day of the bet arrived. It was a rainy day but people came early to the bullring.

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    The sand was slightly wet but the stones and logs were under cover. They prepared the logs early in the morning and the bet was at 19:00 so the logs were not completely green.

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    Close to a thousand of people went to see it, spectations were high.

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    Mikel was trained by Goenatxo in stone lifting, good election. Here you have him in Goenatxo's clothes concentrated and warming up.

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    I'm sorry but I haven't got any more time, I'll continue next days.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2017
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  12. Ugaldie

    Ugaldie Gold Member Gold Member

    265
    Feb 27, 2013
    Let's continue with the bet.

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    Mikel looked motivated and and eager to start, he barely could held himself out of the bullring.

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    The second time we saw him entering the arena was the real presentation.

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    Txikon entered in second place he looked like quite serious but concentraded. His helpers were the axemen Ernesto Ezpeleta "Bihurri" and Julen Mendieta and the stone lifter Joseba Ostolaza.

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    Before starting the challenge a minute of silence was done to honor two Basque mountaineers who died in Nanga Parbat very few days before.

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    When the minute ended they started the first work, lifting a 100kg (220lbs) to the shoulder 20 times.

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    Each contender had its timetable, they lift the stone several times in a row, they stopped some seconds and started lifting it again.

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    In Basque stone lifting the stone has to reach horizontal position and stop there for a moment to count it as a valid lifting. Physical strengh is very important but technique is as important.

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    The time you stop to take a breath is not long but it's a vital point you have to manage very well. This work is very explosive, it can make you spend your strenght very fast.

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    Mikel ended this part fastest, two liftings faster than Txikon which gave him 10 seconds of difference. Txikon did a nule lifting so at last he lift up the stone 21 times. Stone lifting is shorth but demanding, after lifting the equivalent of two tonnes to the shoulder Mikel looked like more fresh, Txikon being smaller and not as strong ended this part more tired.

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    At this moment the contenders change their clothes. The time it takes can give you vital seconds to rest a bit or recuperate time if you are faster than your contender.

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    Last edited: Jul 10, 2017
  13. Ugaldie

    Ugaldie Gold Member Gold Member

    265
    Feb 27, 2013
    Both took more or less the same time to change clothes, Txikon and helpers came prepared to clean the resin of the hands in what I think it's diesel and then change his clothes fast.

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    Mikel didn't clean his hands but he changed his shoes, it took him a bit of time to do it so the advantage almost vanished.

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    Mikel decided to start cutting without his T-shirt, note this is illegal. I don't know the punishment for it but he didn't receive any.

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    This second work consisted in cutting beech logs 40cm (15,7 inches) in diameter. Mikel had to cut 12, Txikon 10. Due to the superiority of Txikon in the last part of the bet (running) people calculated Mikel had to end cutting his logs while Txikon had still two logs to cut. This is hard work, you have to cut 12 logs in the time your contender cuts 8. But Mikel is an axeman, Txikon is an amateur.



    But Txikon broke all schemes.

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    Although he was not at the level of Mikel he showed good technique, strengh and stamina.

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    I'm sorry but I haven't got any more time again, I'll continue next days.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2017
  14. Ugaldie

    Ugaldie Gold Member Gold Member

    265
    Feb 27, 2013
    After looking at the last photo I'll talk about little point again, how do the Basques cut the logs. Two types of axes are used when you cut a log, one for the outside a second one for the inside. It can be not important in other types of sports were you cut one soft small log, but the Basque sport continues with the spirit of its origin and they cut types of woods and logs closer to what an axeman would find in his everyday work.

    This approach makes them using two axes to cut a log. When you start cutting a log a big and potent axe is preferable in order to swing it from the top and cut deep in the wood.

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    But when you reach the inner zone of the wood the play changes, the wood changes. It's not as easy to cut deep and the chips are smaller. There is not much difference between a full heavy blow and an smaller one. In order to tire less and work faster axemen change the axe.

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    This is a video of another exibition but here you can see the difference between both axes. The first axeman uses abig outsider axe to start the cut, he swings it from high, but while he goes deep into the log his swings start being shorter and faster. In my opinion he has gone a bit too deep, they had to change faster. When the second axeman starts he uses a smaller an faster axe ending his job faster.



    You will see few times they don't change the axe, but they are rare ocassions were competition times are close, they read the wood and calculate they will tire but the few seconds they earn not changing the axe worth it.

    Before the competition they raffled the woods each axeman had to cut. Txikon bring the woods and he did a good job, the axes bite deep and the chips flied easily. Good for him, Mikel is a good axeman, harder of difficult wood would benefit to Txikon's adversary. But Txikon had bad luck, do you see it?

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    Knots.

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    I counted three for Txikon but only one for Mikel, bad luck. A knot is allways a bad new for an axeman, but when the wood is easy is when a knot is worse. With easy wood cutting times are lower so any circumstance which makes you lose time is a bad thing. Another bad aspect of knots in easy wood is the high choices to break the axe. You use thin axes in that material, when I say thin axes is really thin. 14 degrees is common, some use even 13 degrees, to see it in prespective take your knives and take a look. These axes are thinner than most of them.

    When you find knots in these circumstances you have three options, the best one is to change the axe, but you lose time. Second one is to adapt your cut to the knot, you lose time again. Third option is to continue cutting at full blow. This can be the fastest option but also the slowest one, the axe can break and this will make you lose even more time.

    When Mikel cut his fourth log Txikon still was to 12 seconds to cut his third log. Txikon was doing good work but Mikel too, he was taking the so much advantage needed for the running part. Txikon in his will to endure left one log not completelly cut. Some fibers still hold that log in one piece, they didn't notice it but the public did so the bullring started shouting him. Here you can see Mikel cutting his sixth log and at 00:32 one judge saying to one Txikon helper the log was not cut porperly.



    No problem he cut it in a pair of swings whe he ended another log, but this mada him losing some precious seconds. If you look at how Mikel walks at the end of the video you can also notice how tired was Mikel. They were lucky, all the past week there was a suffocating heat but this was a fresh day and the rain stopped when the challenge started. But hard work is allways hard work and they were feeling this.

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    Mikel took two logs advantage when he cut his ninth log, he was in forward position from now but he had less advantage than he though.

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    When Mikel ended cutting his logs he changed his shoes again.

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    They messed a bit and lose time, nevertheles when Txikon ended cutting his logs Mikel had already done 5 laps (500 meters) to the bullring.

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    At this moment Txikon didn't take any resting time other that the strict timetable he had in the stonelifting, he neither drink or eat anything. When he ended his last log he started running directly, no rest, no drinking nor eating and no time losed changing his shoes. He impressed all of us, Mikel took a rithm and endured, but Txikon... Txikon started running very fast, what a beast...

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    There is still very interesting information about this bet, I'll continue later ;)
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2017
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  15. Ugaldie

    Ugaldie Gold Member Gold Member

    265
    Feb 27, 2013
    There are more axemen news and San Fermin is going well, but I'll talk about them later.

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    I want to focus in this bet because it has been special, polemic and very dangerous. Let's continue.

    Remember, Mikel is forward in the last part of the bet but running is not his sport.

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    Both are tired and Txikon is behind, he hasn't take any rest nor hidrated himself and he has started running strongly.



    As I said Mikel took a rhythm and endured, Txikon had to pass him at least five times in order to be first in the race.

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    Txikon approached in a slow rhythm and attacked passing fast and trying to break the concentration and rhythm of the contender.



    For the 40th lap (remember they had to do 75 laps in order to reach the end of the challenge) Txikon passed Mikel three times. It looked Txikon would win. At this challenge spectators bet very few (at least in my zone) between them. At the beginning of the challenge I saw bookmakers looked for betters, the bets were slightly in favour of Mikel. But now they were clearly in favour of Txikon.

    What he was making was impressive, people of both sides and those who came without any fauvorite started encouraging him. But things started going wrong. Txikon estarted showing clear signs of exaustion, he runned faster and he passed Mikel once again but his strenght wen off. Mikel show clear signs of being very tired but he continued his rhythm hidrating himself regularly.

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    Bihurri Txikon's helper and the axeman we talk about in this thread shouted and encouraged him to not endure.

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    Bihurri was so rough he look like a military instructor. It look like Txikon could still win, they tried to hidrate him.

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    But it was too late, he was so broken he couldn't drink while he was running. They tried to throw him water.

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    Judges disscussed about it. Each contender can only be helped in each one's mark, in this case Txikon could only be given wrter in the orange mark you see in the floor. Any type of help in any other place of the bullring is a disqualifying rule break and you lose the bet. But Txikon was broken.

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    Note the man and woman in the left upper side in the image above , he is Xabier Orbegozo. He cut 20 logs in a row and then run 20 kilometers (200 laps) in this same bullring two months earlier. He broke a mark made decades ago nobody has break till these days, you can see it here. Think about what his thoughts would be when he saw what comes now.

    Txikon's body was crying to stop, but he continued. Impressive, he is one of those few people whose mind is harder that his body. We saw he was suffering as a hell but he continued running.

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    He was completely broke, but he endured. Look at this video from beginning till 02:35 and you will see what I'm talking about.



    This was unsustainable, he still had 20 laps to finnish the challenge. At last he apologised all the public,

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    And he fell down.

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    Mikel continued running, medics came to look after Txikon.

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    After some time they lift him up.

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    Do you know what did he do? He tried to enter the arena again... o_O

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    But they took him in hand and they bring him to the small clinic of the bullring.

    There is still a very interesting part of this bet waiting to be explained, I'll continue later.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2017
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  16. Ugaldie

    Ugaldie Gold Member Gold Member

    265
    Feb 27, 2013
    When they were taking out Txikon from the bullring Mikel stopped running and started walking. He was exausted too.

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    He was so broken he had only 15 laps to end the challenge but he couldn't run. This is only 1,5 kilometers, 0,93 milles...



    At the last laps he couldn't end a complete lap. He was so tired he had to stop to take breath and continue walking. This is unprecedented, there have been challenges were a contender couldn't end his work and he retired, but there haven't been challenges were both contenders couldn't end their work. People commented what would it happen if the bet was one week earlier when we had hot temperatures instead of the fresh day we were having that day.

    Last laps were lamentable, he couldn't end a lap without stopping long time. At the last lap Mikel had white eyes, he stopped three times and vomited not only when he was stopped but also while he was walking. He was risking his health to win the challenge, but at last he ended his last lap and won the bet.

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    It was a bitter event, outsider fell exausted and the local won but in these bad conditions... The commentator said by loudspeaker Txikon was fine, he had a hypoglycemia and they call the ambulance to send him to the hospital. We left the place listening the ambulance sirens...

    Here you have a video of the event,



    I have explained this bet so in depth for one reason. This bet has turn on a heated discussion about the challenges were people risk his health to achieve what they look for. This discussion and the bad image has been shown in Spanish and some French media. For the people who don't know these sports now seems all of them are of the type we have seen here and now it also seems people reaches these limits in these sports. That's just the opposite of reality, rural sports are the same as any other sports. You can find people who gives all they have and more in all types of sports, we live in the era of extreme sports. You can't demonize some of them because they are not world known while you don't talk about the others.

    I my opinion this type of extreme events show a reality of our society, if we want to talk about them we have to make a in depth study of the society as an all. I'm not in favor to prohibit them, each adult human should be capable to see were he wants to arrive or not. If somebody passes his limit it's problem, he is an adult and he should be capable to take care of himself. I think we can't prohibit these event taking as a base people is not mature enough, we can use the same argument to prohibit driving, taking care of our children and simmilar thing.

    That day looked lamentable, but it went wrong when Txikon wrote a bitter plublic letter few days after explaining his reality and criticizing almost all the people. His critiques are not fair and as he said in his letter the main responsible of his fault is himself. In my opinion he would wait more time to think about the bet and not to write such a public letter. But there is some very interesting information there, like he almost died, and I'll write a bit about it.

    Three months earlier of the bet when Txikon came home he weighted 67Kg (148lbs), he came weak and he had little time to train, nothing to rest. He took training seriously and he improved himself. But six days earlier of the bet medics saw he had two fisured ribs, he though to cancel the bet but he didn't want to disappoint the people so he went to the challenge. At the first stone lifting he says he noted himself better than he thought but at ninth he was very bad, he couldn't breath. At 15th ribs hurt a hell. While he cut the logs he recovered so he started running strongly. He admits two errors, first he run too fast and the second he didn't take a rest nor drink anything till he derrumbed at lap 58. I have to say Txikon could easily win this bet if he didn't do so basic errors for a sportsman of his level.

    He didn't feel his hands and feets and he couldn't breath due the ribs, he asked to send him to the hospital. He wasn't suffering what the loudspeaker said but a more serious problem, his oxigen saturation ws at 85%, he was extremely dehidrated and his pulse was 20 per minute... In this condition he was capable to walk to the ambulance, when they closed doors and departed to hospital the medic came back to the bullring to take care of the contender who looked like he would end the same way.

    After 200 meters ambulance stop due to Txikon 's situation. Eyewitness told me he was convulsioning. They tried to give him liquids but he was so bad he couldn't drink them. Due to communication errors nobody call the medic and the people in the ambulance didn't know were he was, so they improvised. In this moment Txikon was at the edge of systemic body failure, but at last they achieved to contact somebody who came with a intravenous and they inserted him a liter and a half serum in ten minutes. When he reached hospital doctors saw him so bad they though he had irreversible body damages. Bu two weeks have passed since it and Txikon is recuperating well and thinking in expeditions to mountains.

    This event explanations have been deep and long, I apologize for those of you who idn't like it. But I know what happened in this challenge has reach and will reach far and those of you who live abroad can only read partial and/or interested information. Don't worry, next posts will be shorter, more focused in axemanship and more enjoyable.

    Have a good day.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2017
    garry3 likes this.
  17. Kevin Houtzager

    Kevin Houtzager

    213
    Jun 25, 2017
    Why is it such an issue when someone wills himself to go the extra mile? In an olympic event they would probably recieve a medal? I pushed my body to the limit for years on end. Sort of MMA, but without the gloves and without a weight limit. Legal. Sanctioned. Became champion lots of times. Even once with a dislocated shoulder. Should I have continued: Probably not. Did i continue: You bet your ass I did. I won't give up unless I'm out cold. I'm just hardwired that way. Respect for all the people who go above and beyond. The general public doesn't need to have a say in that. If the one doing it is ok with it, its ok. I he isn't ok with it, he shouldn't have taken the bet, or walked away during it. Its really that simple. When people say that about anything they should have a good in look in the mirror and think about how pathetic they are....

    It's the same with bullfighting. Yeah it's probably not the best for the animals, but again: It's tradition. If you don't like it, dont watch it. But let people do what they love to do. It's the same with a thing called "Sinterklaas en Zwarte Piet" in Holland.
     
    Ugaldie likes this.
  18. Ugaldie

    Ugaldie Gold Member Gold Member

    265
    Feb 27, 2013
    Kevin both of them gave all they had, that is so respectable. I haven't any complain for it and I allways take out my hat when I see people who has so high mind control of themselves.

    But taking what they did in context give you other lectures. This bet was not the hardest type of competition of this type by any mean, the challenge of Arria 5th this same year was harder and this is very far from the hardest axemen challenge of recorded in history were Mindegia and Mendizabal cut 52 beech logs 40 centimeters in diameter plus 6 beech logs 80 centimeters in diameter. I admit both contenders of the triple bet are inferior to the axemen I'm talking about now, but in this type of competition the work you negotiate is clearly a work both contenders can end without any problem. The incognite is not if they can end it but who will end first. All conditions were optimal (weather included, much better than the one people expected), but they performed in the way they did. Risking yourself when you know you are in a given risk is ok but risking yourself due to your inhability to admit you can't end the work you have agreed is in my opinion wrong.

    Add to it Txikon, the contender who almost died, talks about himself as an extreme alpinist with excelent mental an physical control of himself, who is able to control to the limits the risk he is taking with each challenge and retire without any problem if the conditions dictate it.

    Let's talk about another point, if you like surf and have come to the Bay of Biscay it's very probable you will know the town of Zarautz. In that town lives Iñigo Landa Larrañaga. He is a 37 years old man who loves two sports, the surf and axemanship.

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    He sees a very high proportion of surfer but few axemen between young people. In order to make aware those young people we need plenty sportsmen and women in both sports the 3rd July 2017 he cut a log in the sea in front of his town. I think this is the first time a human cuts any type of log in something simmilar to a surf board.

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    I think that's a half kana (40 centimeters in diameter) beech log. For more information,

    http://www.naiz.eus/eu/hemeroteca/g...ende-gehiegi-dago-eta-bestean-jendea-falta-da
     
  19. Ugaldie

    Ugaldie Gold Member Gold Member

    265
    Feb 27, 2013
    San Fermin ended few days ago. San Ferminers sang "Pobre de mi" (poor me) while they took out their kerchief. They will dress them again when they listen the first inaugurating bang.



    As I told you San Fermin is a huge festival were you can find a lot of thing. Most visitors don't see them but there are almost everyday events were you can find the bladed tools we like working.

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    I haven't find this year photos, so I'll use "Irazorki Kirol Argazkiak"'s 2014 year photos to show what you can see in Plamplona. Croscut saw competition is one of the tipycal ones. They have to make all the cuts they can in a given time.

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    You can find competitions of both genders.

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    I find quite interesting the vertical cutting competition.

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    There also are plenty axemen competitions and exibitions, they are one of the most common. A little point about Basque axemanship. Compared to foreigner axes Basque axe handle tends to be short.

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    The main reason for that is Basque axe works are longer than outsider ones. In those works Basque axemen prefer pecission rather to force, if your axe bit is thin enough it will bite enough making you tire less. But when the work demand it long handle axes are used for the task.

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    This year the last day of the festival two axemen cut a kana (80 centimeters in diameter) beech log. Here you have the 2014 exibition.

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    Next time more.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2017
  20. Ugaldie

    Ugaldie Gold Member Gold Member

    265
    Feb 27, 2013
    The other most common sport is stone lifting, you will find it almost as many times as axemanship. Natural stone lifting, this one has 111kg (245lbs).

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    Shaped stones.

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    Heavy stones, this one is a 250kg (551lbs) one

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    Shaped stones lift with one hand, this one is a 441lbs one.

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    You see, we love lifting stones. But not only stones but all types of things, like anvils.

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    Txigak is also a type of lifting sport, you lift two weights 25 or 50kg in each hand and you try to do as many laps as you can till one of them touches the floor. 25kg in each hand this time.

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    Bale lifting is quite visual, outsiders tend to like it.

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    Cart lifting.

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    But as usually axemen tend to be the event which gathers most people.

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    I have already talked about exibitions, but you also have at least a pair of championships. First category axemen by pairs, axewomen and third category axemen, all of them Navarrean championships.

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    This year a Segovian axeman named Emilio Garcia Herranz took part in the third category axemen championship and he clasiffied for the final. Good for him! These Spanish axemen are improving year by year.

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    Next time more about these San Fermin events. Specially about a wood cutting exbition you can barely find nowadays.
     
    garry3 likes this.

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