Mark Felix Fails to Break WSM Hercules Hold World Record (Updated)

He was about 30 seconds short of setting yet another Hercules Hold record.

Mark Felix attempted to break the World’s Strongest Man Hercules Hold world record but fell short. In a video posted by Giants Live, you can hear WSM Events Director Colin Bryce say that Felix needed to surpass 71 seconds. Felix dropped the pillars around 40 seconds in. Despite not qualifying for the 2020 World’s Strongest Man Finals, Felix was still allowed to attempt the world record on Sunday, Nov. 15, 2020. Each pillar weighed approximately 158.8 kilograms (350 pounds). You can check out the video below.

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His last record-setting performance was just two months ago. In September, Felix took to the podium at the 2020 Europe’s Strongest Man. He tightly gripped each handle, attached to 160-kilogram (352-pound) pillars, and held on for one minute and 32 seconds. It was the third time he has set that specific Hercules Hold record. His first Hercules Hold record was at 52 years old, at the 2019 Europe’s Strongest Man event. At age 53, Felix went on to add five seconds to that time in Manchester, England, at another Giants Live event. Felix turned 54 on April 17, 2020. Talk about “old-man strength.”

Fifty-four isn’t old, but Felix is the oldest competitor at the 2020 World’s Strongest Man. The 2020 roster has a slew of twenty-somethings on it — including Evan Singleton, Luke Richardson, and Oleksii Novikov. Still, Felix put up a good fight on the first day of the competition.  


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In the first event of the competition, farmer’s walk for max distance, Felix placed third in his group with a distance of 42.67 meters. Then, he hit nine reps of a 345-kilogram (761-pound) deadlift, along with fellow group members Mikhail Shivlyakov and Adam Bishop, who is also a finalist. On day two, Felix got fifth in the Monster Truck Medley and then last place in the Circus Dumbbell Clean and Press event. Then, it was announced by the WSM Facebook Live stream host Nick English that Felix would attempt to break the WSM Hercules Hold record on the last day of the Finals. 

There’s still one day of competition left, and Oleksii Novikov is leading the finalists. Felix was visibly disappointed in his post-attempt interview with Bryce. That said, that he was allowed to make this attempt despite not qualifying for the Finals is a testament to Felix’s reputation as a strength athlete and the admiration that fans have for him. It’s doubtful that this will be Felix’s last record attempt. 

Editor’s Note: The original version of this article implied that Felix was attempting to break his existing Hercules Hold World record, set in September of 2020 at Europe’s Strongest Man. This feat will be performed on a different implement with a different weight. Therefore, it is a different record, according to Kalle Beck of Starting Strongman.

Featured image: World’s Strongest Man