DES MOINES, Iowa — Teams of 20 hit the runway in Des Moines Saturday to do battle with a Boeing 757.
“It weighs approximately 120,000 pounds or what we’re calling it, ‘60 tons of Tug-of-War fun,’” says Steve Palmer with Special Olympics Iowa.
Thirty-six teams signed up for the plane pull competition. They have to move the aircraft 12 feet and the fastest time wins. The first of its kind fundraiser for Special Olympics Iowa raised $88,000.
America`s Strongest Man Derek Poundstone came to help encourage the teams. He’s no stranger to doing what sounds like the impossible. He has muscled planes, trains and automobiles all by himself in competition.
“You have to forget about the size of the plane because even though it weighs so much, it’s got wheels so the wheels do all the work. You just get it moving,” says Poundstone, a full-time police officer from Connecticut.
“I said, ‘guys let’s just do a Hail Mary and out we go,’” says Father Ray Higgins.
Higgins is with the White Collar Crew. The team of priests from the Des Moines Diocese got roped into the friendly competition.
“Just seeing that plane move, it was pretty awesome,” says Higgins.
The teams worked together to pull the plane no problem. While there’s a lesson to be learned about overcoming challenges, at end of the day, it`s a just fun way to raise money for a great cause.
“When in your life can you say you can strap on a plane behind your back and pull it?” asks Poundstone.