The World of Concrete (WOC) set the stage for the Season 1 finale of Sakrete’s Concrete Combat. As a cheering audience looked on, two teams entered the arena—Mike McMurray and Kenyon Taylor of Concrete Mike LLC against Mike Hill and Dave Rose of Rose and Son Inc.
“Concrete Combat was conceived as a test of skill, first and foremost,” said Dave Jackson, Senior Brand Manager for Sakrete. “Though we certainly want viewers to appreciate what Sakrete products can do, it’s really all about recognizing and paying respect to the skill and expertise that our competitors bring to the table.”
Hosted by Brittany Goodwin (If You’re Gone, The Perfect Race), each competition in the series is judged by concrete veterans Mike Day, a widely-viewed concrete expert on YouTube and the owner of Day’s Concrete Floors in Monmouth, ME and Dirk Tharpe, Sakrete’s resident concrete expert. Joining Day and Tharpe during the finale was Oldcastle APG masonry expert Dave Endres.
A ‘SUPERSIZED’ CHALLENGE
“The Concrete Combat was designed to educate the public on repairs and different ways to utilize concrete in a fun way. You have two teams working together, competing and trying to win a prize. Where better to do that World of Concrete, which is the epitome of the concrete industry,” said Endres.
"For our grand finale, we had to go big and what is bigger in concrete than a drainage culvert,” said Goodwin as the large black cloths hiding the challenge were whisked away. The precast concrete culverts matched those commonly found in road and bridge construction—right down to chips, cracks, and water damage that the competitors faced the daunting task of repairing as a 30-minute digital countdown clock loomed over the arena.
As the competitors set off to gather their materials, Goodwin explained that the competition metrics are speed, esthetics, cost, execution and the final twist of audience support. “Which of these teams can flex their gladiatorial muscles and win over the crowd?” Goodwin challenged.
ONE TASK, TWO APPROACHES
Both teams were given Sakrete Pro-Mix products to patch the damaged areas of their culverts, but which products they used and how they approached the repair work was up to the teams themselves.
The Concrete Mike team decided to use Sakrete Pro-Mix Concrete Repair, US SPEC acrylic latex and Sakrete Leak Stop hydraulic cement, while the team of Rose and Son utilized Pro-Mix’s All-Purpose Cement Mix.
Adding yet another twist to the challenge, mid-way through the competition, Tharpe trickled water through a hole in each culvert, with both teams needing to address the leak before they could continue their repairs.
“We wanted to throw the teams off a little bit to see what their ingenuity and how well they could respond,” shared Endres. “We wanted to see how they were going to respond and if they could pick the right material to do the repair correctly and stop the water flow.”
A CLOSE CALL
“Without a doubt having support from the crowd makes a big difference,” McMurray told WOC360. In addition to audience support, McMurray shared that their choice of mix helped put them in the lead. “Just knowing the mix and reading the specs, the blue label [Pro-Mix Concrete Repair] had a quicker set time than the red label [Pro-Mix All-purpose Cement Mix] by a few minutes. So I thought that would be an edge with only 30 minutes to go with all these repairs. And it helped make ours look good.”
“The perfect edges made it look professional,” Taylor added.
“We knew time was going to be a huge issue,” said Hill of the tight competition. “Thirty minutes to do something like that when you're worried about the material setting and having to build up is just way too fast. So we chose Pro-Mix All-purpose Cement Mix because it's zero to four inches, and I knew we didn't have anything deeper than four inches. We've used it in the past, and it worked well for us.”
Check out session one Concrete Combat series on the Sakrete YouTube Channel. Previous challenges included pouring slabs, repairing damaged concrete, setting fence posts and more.