Muscle Beach (Venice, California) was the site not only of Kevin Meskew's USPF deadlift contest yesterday, but it also hosted some impressive feats of hand strength and short bending.
Running the West Coast Rolling Thunder® Championships after the deadlifts gave everyone a chance to try this well known and fun grip challenge: Phil Andrews won the +225 pound title, with a pull of 179-1/2 pounds, followed by Dave Garman (160-1/2 pounds) and Steve Belanger (137 pounds). John Heart won the under 225 pound class with a lift of 159-1/2 pounds. The Rolling Thunder® contest was officiated by Odd Haugen, just back from the IFSA Moscow Super Series event, where among other things, Odd ripped enough skin off his hand to feed a small cannibal. Jumping in after the official lifts had been completed, Odd, who is the 2003 US National Rolling Thunder Champion, effortlessly hauled up 234-1/2 pounds on his first attempt, without even taking a warm up. Eying the world record, Odd called for 259-1/2 pounds next and while it looked like it was going up, it just wasn't to be. Adding to the fun, Clay Edgin officially bent an IronMind® Red Nail™, and then was cheered on by the crowd when he followed up by bending another IronMind® Red Nail™ that had been cut down to six inches.