CHARLESTON, W.Va. - At today's first-ever strongman competition at the State Fair of West Virginia, competitors are expected to drag a truck for nearly 100 feet, lift hundreds of pounds of weight above their heads and place giant boulders from the ground up on podiums.
The first West Virginia's Strongest Mountaineer competition will test competitors' strength in a number of intense physical strength activities that will award victors in first through third places.
"We wanted to include this for a number of reasons - like the growth of health and fitness across the area," said Marlene Pierson-Jolliffe, the manager of the fair.
"Folks are clued into the event more than they were years ago from an athletic sporting perspective. It gives them something different."
Dan Caraway, who is helping organize the event, said more than 20 people are already registered.
He said the competition will include the "Truck Pull," "Deadlift," "Log Clean and Press," "Farmer's Handles" and "Atlas Stones."
The Truck Pull will feature contestants pulling trucks with an attached rope or harness across a 95-foot course.
The Deadlift is a brute force event, with men and women pulling the heaviest weight possible straight from the floor until the knees are locked in a standing position.
Log Clean and Press involves quickly lifting a log with handles up from the hips, knees and ankles and then pressing the log.
The Farmer's Handles event tests contestants' grip on a set of handles, which works the lower body and lower back, as competitors race along a course.
Atlas Stones typically consist of five stones of increasing weight that contestants must place from the group atop a podium.
"The Truck Pull is a fan favorite," said Caraway, 31, of Lewisburg. "The rest is similar to what you'd see at nationals. I tried to choose events that are more on the conservative side since it's the first time at the state fair, and I don't want anybody to get hurt. These ones should be crowd-pleasing."