The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

The Valley

June 10, 2013

Strong man competitors pull at 17,510-pound truck

MIDDLEBURG — Male competitors on Saturday tried to single-handedly pull a 17,510-pound fuel truck, not including the 300-pound driver, for 55 feet, flip a 450-pound tractor tire seven times, tote a 140-pound keg 25 feet before lifting it on a 48-inch platform and carry a 175-pound weight in each hand 150 feet — without setting it down.

And female competitors pulled on a 8,800-pound truck, rolled a 175-pound tire five times, toted a 60-pound keg and carried 70-pound weights in each hand.

Grrrr!

That was the sound out of Middleburg on Saturday as 14 men and seven women grunted and gave it their all at the first G.S. Strongman Competition at Grace Covenant Community Church.

Teams of men, women and both competed for bragging rights and a trophy while nearly 120 spectators cheered them on.

“It went very well. The competitors were great,” said Bill Fegley, who with brother-in-law Steve Kuhns coordinated the event.

Competitors tested their mettle in six feats of strength: truck pull, log press, Atlas stones, tire flips and keg-carry relays, Conan’s wheel and the farmer’s walk. All proceeds from the event benefit the church’s youth group.

About 30 children in various age divisions also got their run at FIT-KIDS, sort of a mini-strongman competition of their own that involved time trials of pushups, situps, dashes and flipping a more child friendly-size tractor tire.

Fegley and Kuhns got the idea from their own participation in strongman events, mainly one in Lock Haven that the YMCA runs. Activities like pressing a log or walking with weights are simply another way of working your fitness, said Fegley, who also co-owns the Gun Shoppe gym with Kuhns.

“We had competitors today who have not trained and did quite well,” Fegley said.

While they may note have finished first, they “were extremely competitive,” he said. “With a little cardio and training, they’d be on the podium.”

A person can do a whole lot of different things for fitness, Fegley said, and that was the point of the competition.

“We’re trying to make people aware there are all kinds of things you can do, it doesn’t have to be a chore,” he said, adding he was most impressed with the day’s female competitors and the number who took part.

Inspired? There will be a second annual G.S. Strongman next year.

Said Fegley: “It was incredible, great day.”

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