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Inaugural Lake Effect Lumberjack Classic

The Buffalo event scene is starting to heat up with some pretty hot, and unusual, tickets. I recently read that there was Trebuchet Competition at the Outer Harbor coming up in a couple of weeks. Then, I was recently in Cowlesville, paying a visit to my brother, when he mentioned that his neighbor’s daughter is bringing a national Lumberjack competition to Buffalo! I thought, “How cool is that?!” I have watched Lumberjack/Lumberjill competitions on ESPN before, so I was immediately intrigued and wanted to learn more.

It turns out that Alexandria Miller (she goes by “Alex”) is not only a gifted Lumberjill, she is also organizing the entire event that is being held this coming Saturday, at Buffalo RiverWorks.

I paid Alex a visit as she was setting up for the big show, and asked her a few questions:

When did you discover you like this sport?

2012, when I joined the ESF woodsmen team.

When did women start partaking in this sport? 

Women have been doing it as long as men, about 30 years. More elite competition has been taking place within the last five years – with the birth of the Women’s Stihl Series.

Why woodchopping? 

I love the mind and physical strength needed to be a top competitor. I also like the extremeness this sport entails.

Favorite event?

The underhand chop because it’s very technical and who doesn’t love bashing something after a long workday?

What drives you?

I want to make everyone proud that has helped me along the way (family, friends, fellow competitors, and my college ESF). Especially my sister that passed away and never got to see me compete. She knew I did it at college and thought it was badass. She is a main reason I’m not a “normal” girl and flat out, I just want to be the best!

How often do you train?

I train the individual events 2-3 times a week during the season as well as a day or two in the gym. I weight train mostly and endurance.

In the off season I train mostly in the gym because it’s warm and I throw in a day or so a week of event training. I rest during the holidays because family is most important.

Are you ranked nationally?

Nationally I finished 6th overall and won the stock saw event.

Top finish in any event?

1st in the MS 661 stock saw event this year. I’ve placed high at many shows with the best of the best competitors. I’m working towards overall 1st placings at The Stihl Series, Lumberjack World Championships, Woodsmen Field Days. I also want to achieve a couple world records.

When did you decide you wanted this event in Buffalo?

Last February I watched the women’s roller derby at Riverworks and right then I knew we needed to bring in woodchopping and sawing to Buffalo.

How much money does this sport require?

It’s taken me 4 years to get competitive equipment that comes with a hefty price. I am still trying to upgrade some equipment at the moment. I probably spent around $9,000 in just equipment alone.  My sponsor, Davey Resource Group, has helped with travel, logging and some equipment expenses.

Where do you want to be in 5 years?

I want to be a Stihl Champion, a world record holder, maybe a world title holder and most importantly, a great role model for anyone interested in the sport!

Who are the main sponsors you would like to thank?

I would like to thank: Davey Resource Group, Wetland Studies Solutions Inc., Bradley Tree and Landscaping, Metalico. I would like to add that Davey Resource Group (the company I work for) also sponsors me individually and it truly helps!

You are not only competing in the event, you are helping to organize it as well. Tell me about your role and who is helping you?

I am in charge of everything from creating the competitor entry form, to wood procurement, to rewarding the placings. It’s a ton of work to put on a show especially when we are trying to make it unique. We want to tell a story for each competitor so the fans can get behind them. My good friend Tracy Schmidt is hands down “my right-hand man”. This show would not be happening without her. Other competitors, family and friends have all stepped up to help as well.

Is this going to be an annual event?

I will do my best to make this an annual event, it will be something I will always be proud of. I cannot do this event without the support of sponsors, friends & family, and the great staff at Buffalo Riverworks. It’s a team effort!

Best of luck, Alex – Buffalo is cheering you on!

Inaugural Lake Effect Lumberjack Classic

Saturday, September 21, 2019

4 PM – 9 PM

Buffalo RiverWorks | 359 Ganson Street | Buffalo, NY 14203 | See Facebook event

Interactive event: You can try the crosscut event with you and a partner for $10 per entry – open to ages 16+.

Written by Jim Kupczyk

Jim Kupczyk

founder of and current passions include: mindfulness, energy healing, eastern philosophy, buffalo’s rise and japanese whiskey. born raised school - buffalo. contact jim kupczyk l

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