The athletes were as spectacular as ever, with every muscle that one could imagine visible at the 16th Annual Northern Classic Bodybuilding Fitness and Figure Show on June 17.
“The athletes were really high caliber, they were really good this year. I think people think because they’re going to a small place that it’s going to be a cakewalk, but they had to really fight for their placings. Its good to watch when the athletes are in good condition,” said Jeni Briscoe, organizer of the event and owner of The Gym in Fort St. John.
She said the athletes were even better than usual this year. However, the event was a little smaller than last year’s, with 90 competitors, which is average, compared to 125.
The event saw athletes from all over B.C. flex and perform for the judges in front of a packed house at the North Peace Cultural Centre. Athletes who finished in the top three advance to the provincials, which are put on by the British Columbia Amateur Bodybuilding Association (BCABBA).
There were four local competitors, all trained by Briscoe out of The Gym. Shelly Osborne finished second in Masters and fourth in the Open. Jenn Miller placed fourth in Masters and sixth in the Open. Shauna Svisdahl placed fifth, losing 85 pounds in her journey to the stage, and Ryan West finished outside the top 10 in the Men’s Physique, the board short class, which was the largest class with 15 athletes.
Briscoe speculates that June 17 being high school grad weekend may have led to the numbers being down, and it will be in consideration when booking the event next year.
There were little to no hiccups in putting on the event otherwise.
“This is our sixteenth year so it’s pretty good. Fort St. John always supports us really well,” Briscoe said.
Briscoe’s message to the athletes this year is to keep going and get better each year. She said that this is the one sport where the older you get the better you are, as muscle maturity and density improves.
“Younger people think it’s easier but it’s not.”