Humble warrior Erin Murray wins second Strongman world title in a new division
Wenatchee native Erin Murray set an audacious goal of becoming the first person in Strongman, male or female, to win world strength titles in multiple weight divisions — a dream that came true earlier this month. Murray, who won all four strength competitions she entered in 2023, is one of the most decorated competitors on the circuit today.
On Dec. 3, Murray won the Official Strongman Games title for women under 82 kilograms in Charleston, West Virginia, and the competition came down to the final event.
Murray was in the lead at the end of the first day’s competition, but made a mistake in the next-to-last event of day two, the sandbag toss, and was in second place going into the final event, called Atlas Stones. Competitors in that event must pick up six large stones of increasing weight and place them on pedestals, with a maximum weight of 300 pounds.
Being behind before that event gave her extra incentive to focus and be at her best, Murray said and she won the overall competition with a narrow two-point margin.
In 2021, Murray won the world title while competing in a lower weight class – under 73 kilograms. A year ago, she tried to win the U82 division but came in fourth. She said the competition in the U82 weight class this year was fierce and that any one of the top five competitors could have won.
What makes her second world title even more impressive is that a scant two weeks before the competition, she was invited to participate in the World’s Strongest Nation competition in Liverpool, England and the team from the United States placed first.
Normally, strength competitors give themselves plenty of time between events to recover and refocus for the next competition. It’s typical, she said, to have post-competition blues immediately after an event. But for the Strongman Games world title, she flew back from England and immediately started training. “Not having a mental breather in between shows was harder than the physical part,” Murray said. Rather than shying away from the challenge, Murray rose to meet it head on.
Looking back at the year Murray had in the sport, it was indeed legendary. She won the Arnold World Amateur championship, America’s Strongest Woman competition, the World’s Strongest Nation event and capped it off with the win in Charleston.
Murray credits her success to a strategy of focusing her training on areas of weakness rather than trying to improve on events in which she already is accomplished. In the past few years, she has put a lot of attention on improving her grip strength to overcome the handicap of having relatively small hands. She didn’t win any single event in the competition, but showed she was well-rounded in all events by placing near the top in every one.
She didn’t win any single competition in the competition but placed near the top in every one, including the “Stix and Stones” carry, which challenges the grip strength of the athletes.
Having achieved the audacious goal of multiple world titles, Murray is now looking for new challenges in this sport. Murray, a strength and conditioning coach who trains at Dungeon Strength Rx in Auburn, has hired an agent and is focused on being a full-time athlete with sponsorships and endorsements.
Earlier this year, Murray garnered financial support for her competitions by selling t-shirts with the slogan “Disrespect the Impossible.” That’s fitting, given what she has accomplished and the way she continues challenging herself to achieve more.
Erin Murray has found her niche and a community that supports each other. Watching a video of the final Atlas Stones event, Murray didn’t just celebrate her own achievement. She made a point of cheering on the woman who ended up in second place. That speaks volumes about Murray’s character as a competitor and as a caring human being. She’s truly a humble warrior.