Chopping wood, growing a sport (with photos)

By Perry Russom

July 27, 2013 Updated Jul 27, 2013 at 8:29 PM EST

Hancock, NY (WBNG Binghamton) As the saws roared and axes sliced in Hancock, the lumberjacks and lumberjills said there's no better feeling than racing to chop through wood.

"These axes we're swinging are 5 to 6 pound razor blades," said Jason Miranda of Deposit. "There's no bigger rush."

This sport is all about finding out who's the strongest and fastest.

Dozens of competitors raced to chop through wood in the New York State Lumberjack Association's competition on Saturday.

"You can come out here and compete against your best friend," said Jason McCadden, of Auburn. "You can go as hard as you can and you're still best friends at the end of the day."

The competition was broken up into 15 events, including the springboard, where competitors cut pockets into a log and use the springboards to make their way to the top where they must chop a block of wood.

Julie Miller is one of the only women in New York state who competes with the men in the event.

"For me to be competing in that event, pushing my own physical limits and mental limits to compete in that event," said Miller, of Penn Yan. "It's kind of grueling, but it means a lot to me."

Miller said the New York State Lumberjack Association's membership has been on the rise recently.

"It's obvious to us that the desire is there for people to be a part of this group and see this sport grow, so it's just a matter of keeping everybody interested," said Miller.

McCadden said for the sport to continue to grow, more competitions need to happen. He said that would boost the sport's prominence and popularity.

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