JARROD Berry winning Brisbane's 3km time trial on Saturday was no surprise – he's won the past four – but the man who finished second was.
It wasn't perennial podium finishers Hugh McCluggage or skipper Dayne Zorko, but rather 192cm, 93kg defender Marcus Adams.
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Not only was it jarring to see Adams, a man his teammates call 'Specimen' for his hulking physique, match it with the club's best runners; his less-than-ideal pre-season made his outstanding finish all the more unlikely.
A foot niggle prevented the 26-year-old from running until early December, but he showed incredible fitness to push Berry all the way at Nudgee College.
Berry is used to his best mate McCluggage nipping at his heels, and the young midfielder admitted he was surprised to turn around and see a different face at the weekend.
"All of a sudden on the seventh (and final) lap the big lumberjack behind me was cruising along – I was a bit surprised about that, but it was really impressive," Berry said.
Adams is about to enter his second season with the Lions after heading north from the Western Bulldogs.
Knee problems hindered the first half of his 2019, but he played the last 10 games and became an integral part of the backline with his ability to switch between tall and medium forwards.
Berry said it was Adams' preparation away from the field that allowed him to do so well despite the setbacks.
"He's one of the most professional blokes that I've come across in terms of looking after his body, eating well, hydrating and doing his weights," Berry said.
"He's a monster in the gym.
"Marcus is one of the thickest blokes I've seen. He's thick with two c's."
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Brisbane will head to Hobart on Friday for its fourth straight Tasmanian pre-season camp.
With two match simulation sessions slated for the eight-day camp, Berry said players were already on edge about competing for positions.
"It's a really good opportunity for us to grow our culture as well," he said.
"You're living with each other in uni dorms for a week.
"It's really good to room with people that you wouldn't normally and put yourself outside your comfort zone… building those genuine relationships rather than just 'hey mate, how you going?'
"Getting to know each other on a deeper level, and I think you see that translates not only in our training and around the club but also on game day."