I have been promoting Natural Bodybuilding competitions for the last 5 years. I started with the ABA Natural North America contest in August of 2007, approximately 3 years after I stopped competing. I promote contests for the ABA/INBA organization, the same organization that promotes the Natural Mr. Universe and Natural Mr. Olympia contests that I won during my competitive career.
This year’s competition was held on Saturday, August 13th, 2011 in Bolingbrook, Illinois. It was a great show, not only because of the incredible natural bodybuilders, figure and bikini competitors that showed up to compete but also because of a special guest I had at the show.
Last year, I started the John Hansen Natural Bodybuilding Lifetime Achievement Award, honoring an individual who has lived the Bodybuilding lifestyle and has inspired and motivated others through their lifetime of work and dedication. In 2010, I presented the award to Murrell Hall, a 70 year old lifetime natural bodybuilder who is in incredible shape and has competed in over 100 contests since 1979. Murrell recently won the 70 and over division at the NPC Masters Nationals in Pittsburgh, earning his IFBB Pro Card in the process.
This year, I was overjoyed to present the Lifetime Achievement Award to the legendary Bill Pearl. Bill is a 4 Time Mr. Universe winner who is one of the true legends in the sport. He is also a classy individual who gives to the sport and is very humble and respectful in the process. To have Bill and his wife Judy come out to the show so I could present this award to him was a real honor to me.
Below is the link to the video of the Lifetime Achievement Award to Bill Pearl and my interview with Bill on RX Muscle.
As for the contest itself, we had almost 70 competitors show up to compete in the men’s and women’s bodybuilding, figure and bikini divisions. The competition among these competitors was really top notch and it was tough just to make the top five in some of the divisions. Congratulations to 23 year old Connor LaVallie who won the men’s open overall title with an incredibly ripped physique. Toni Ballard beat out some tough competition in the Figure division to win the medium height class and the overall. Brian Noe showed great improvements in winning the Novice Men’s overall division. Katie Miller beat out a large group of Bikini competitors to win the overall Bikini Diva title. The awesome 50 year old Ed Castillo beat out the younger guys to win the overall Masters Men title. The beautiful Jessica Richmond was the winner of the Model Search division wearing a stunning white gown. Pam Tvaroh won the Masters Figure overall trophy and Cathleen Kronemer was the women’s bodybuilding overall winner.
For my guest posers, I had two awesome bodybuilders perform for a very appreciative audience. Patricia Beckman, one of the best female bodybuilders in the world, displayed her sexy but buffed physique for two different posing routines. Patricia has only been competing for two years but she is undefeated in her career and won the overall at the Yorton’s Cup in 2010.
My second guest poser was the incredible Murrell Hall. At 70 years old, Murrell has one of the most impressive Masters physiques in the world. I doubt if there is another 70 year old bodybuilder alive with abs like Murrell. He gave us a great routine where he was brought out in a wheelchair wearing a hospital gown from the “Old Folks Home”. He initially trys to lift a 3 pound dumbbell but drops the weight. When his sexy nurse bends over to pick up the dumbbell, Murrell gets a burst of energy and jumps out of his chair and whips off his hospital gown to reveal a ripped, muscular physique. The crowd gave Murrell a standing ovation for his awesome routine and physique!
I want to thank all the judges and expediters who helped me out so much with the show. I also want to thank my sponsors including Optimum Nutrition and ABB as well as IronMan Magazine. IronMan Magazine owner John Balik made the long trip from California to Chicago to interview Bill Pearl and support Natural Bodybuilding. What a special night and a great contest! I can’t wait to do it again next year!!