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Thursday, September 13, 2007

News: A fair contest: Strong man opens with two world record breakers

News(1): A fair contest: Strong man opens with two world record breakers involving Water Truck
"Strong man opens with two world's record breakers Related Videos Strong man takes aim at record Strong man John Wooten attempts to break a world record by pulling a truck at the Oklahoma State Fair. What could possibly be a better way to kick off Oklahoma's centennial year state fair than by breaking a world record?

Promoter Jim Morris would answer that with a quick reply — "breaking two world records.”

Strong man John Wooten, 59, of Boston pulls a water truck weighing more than 50,000 pounds during a kickoff event for the Oklahoma State Fair Centennial Expo on Wednesday.

And that's what happened Wednesday. Unfortunately, not many people saw it because the fair was not yet open.

The fair begins today with opening ceremonies at 10 a.m. And in recognition of the state's 100th birthday, for one day and one day only, admission will be $1, as in 100 pennies.

After today, gate admission goes back to $8 for adults and $5 for children six through 11, but fair officials and promoters such as Morris have worked hard to make sure the entertainment and attractions are worth the admission price.

For years, Morris has been the promoter in charge of the ever-popular monster truck show. But a centennial celebration only comes along once in a lifetime, and Morris said he wanted to do something a little different this year.

What he came up with is more of the kind of blue-collar, crowd-pleasing entertainment you'd expect to mesh well with the monster-truck crowd.

"I'm doing the supercross, but then I said, ‘Hey, why don't we do something like that strongman stuff you see on TV?'” he said.

Thus was born Oklahoma's Strongest Man competition,

To promote the strong-man competition, Morris brought in John Wooten, a 59-year-old Boston resident who holds 139 world records in feats of strength.

It took three tries
Wednesday afternoon, Wooten strapped a harness on to his 6-foot-1-inch, 290-pound frame, chained himself to a 50,000-pound water truck, leaned back and began to pull, inching steps backward. His face turned fire-engine red as he yelled out single-syllable kung-fu sounds and began to exhale loudly.

He was going for time and distance.

It took him three tries, but on the last one, he managed to clear what he said were two world records.

The previous records for moving a 50,000-pound truck were 10 feet in 10.5 seconds, and 30 feet in 29.65 seconds.

Wooten made the 10 feet in 10.27 seconds and the 30 feet in 23.65 seconds.

"And that was uphill,” he boasted as he gasped for breath.

Over the years, Wooten said, he's done some crazy strength tests, including on separate occasions, pulling a 757 jet, pulling a cruise ship and back lifting a 7,000-pound elephant.

But during Friday night's strongest man competition at the fair, he's got a show, he said, that's "really crazy — it's gonna be really off the wall. But you have to come out Friday and see it. I'm not talking.”