It's pretty cool to have this going on 40 minutes from home. I got a chance to check out the truck pull yesterday. I'll be going back for at least one day of finals action this weekend. I took 99 (yes, 99) pictures yesterday.
Mariusz's physique is nothing short of incredible. I got there a bit late, but couldn't have ended up in a better spot. He came over and watched his Poland buddies pull before him, coaching and cheering them on. At one point, he stood in easy spitting distance of me for several minutes. I've never seen anything like him, and I went to the Arnold Classic expo a couple years ago..LOL
Pfister went for a little jog and couldn't get back into the pulling area I guess, and suddenly I hear this "can I sneak through here guys?" Here he comes up behind me. We couldn't get the barrier moved, so I held it steady while he jumped it. Fun times..
The pulling was pretty cool and, although that's easily my least favorite event, it was WAY cooler in-person than it is in TV. The camera crew, refs, and everyone involved are very personable and interactive with the crowd. Bill Kazmaier seemed very cool, and it was pretty funny to watch him constantly rehearsing those one-liners he's always doing before each event. I took some pics of him doing those. It looked like he left his bi-focals in the hotel room..LOL
I'll try to label some of those so you know who they are. If anyone wants a pic of anyone that I didn't post, I probably maybe have it, and I'll post it up for you.
I took a telephoto lens but forgot the adapter for it (typical). But, the pics turned out pretty good. I'll have it this weekend, though. The finals will be in a baseball stadium, which should make for some good pictures. I'll post those up as well, if there's interest.
Oh, and as far as I could tell from the announcer's comments yesterday, the leaders at this point are Pfister and Mariusz. Mariusz injured his calf pretty bad in another event, and goes down at the end of his pull. He was down a long time, and Kaz interviewed him from the ground. I'm uploading vids to youtube now of his pull, Pfister's, and Kevin Nee's pull. He bombed. It was tough to watch. Pudz turned in the fastest time at about 39 seconds, with pfister at 40. Of the 28 or so guys competing, probably only 15 even completed the pull. Only 5-6 came in under a minute.
**edit: more pics added at post #27**
The coal truck = 80,000 lbs
Kaz working on his lines..
Some of the guys coming in..
Elbrus Nigmatullin - Russia - He was a big crowd favorite because he was so friendly.
Kevin Nee - AKA The guy from True Life: I Want To Gain Weight.
One of the Referee's. His name is Gregor Somethingorother. They mentioned (after he hooked up and pulled the truck for half the course, in order to verify the second truck's parity) that he was a former finalist. Impressive. Some of these guys are barely budging the wheels under optimal conditions, and this guy straps in after standing in the heat all freaking day doing his job, and owns half of them. He had EVERYONE'S respect, too.
I think this is Brian Shaw of the USA. He had a good pull. He might be one to watch in the future. This might be Laurence Shahlaei from the UK, though. I was caught in the throes of sunstroke and power-thirst by this time.
Brian Siders - USA - Another WV elite strongman. What are the chances of that? He didn't do real well.
I found it funny that the camera boom is countered with weight plates..LOL
The log truck was brought in, which is when Gregor hooked up and tested it out.
Phil went for a jog to warm up!