Columbus, Ohio --
The quiet streets of Columbus came alive with thousands of participants and spectators looking to experience the 2010 Arnolds Sport Festival, March 4-7 and the Ohio State High School Wrestling Tournament, March 4-6.
Among the 700 booths showcased at the Arnold Fitness Exposition, a part of the ASF, the Marines from Recruiting Station Charleston, W. Va., set up a hallmark of Marine Corps fitness: the pull up bars.
“The pull-up bars were a great asset to see and experience how hard it is to do a proper Marine Corps pull-up,” said Staff Sgt. Jonathan E. Baron, recruiter from Recruiting Sub-Station Springfield, RS Charleston. “The people that pass by saw how we conducted our pull-up challenge professionally, which is very important within the community.”
During the three-day event, the Marine booth was thronged with spectators, many of whom wanted to try the Marine Corps pull-up challenge. The challenge consisted of pull-ups for men and a timed flexed-arm hang for women. Prizes were awarded based on performance: 15 pull-ups or 40 seconds of flexed-arm hang earned a lanyard; and 20 pull-ups or 70 seconds for a hat or a water bottle. Participants had to give 28 pull-ups or 85 seconds of flexed-arm hang for a T-shirt adorned with the slogan “Pain is weakness leaving the body.”
The expo attracted more than 150,000 people from all over the world to experience fitness insight and athletic competition in more than 20 different events.
“This is one of the few events where we get to see a full spectrum of different people,” said Chris Bryan, a local resident of Columbus.
With most of the main events completed, Sunday was an early day for Marines to judge a bench press, part of the biggest 5K Pump and Run event in the United States. The race grew to a record of 800 participants. The race slots sold out in less than 24 hours.
“The Marines did a fantastic job judging the bench press competition,” said Tim Pancher, co-chairman of the ASF. “The bench press was done an hour ahead of schedule.”
The Marines were picked as judges due to the Corps’ reputation for upholding integrity and fairness.
Participants have trained hard and are able to rely on fair judging from the Marines, according to Pancher.
The ASF was not the only event in Columbus to feature the pull-up challenge that attracted the masses. The Ohio High School Athletic Association held the state wrestling tournament at the Jerome Schottenstein Center, which attracted more than 60,000 participants and spectators.
Marine Corps recruiters Staff Sgt. William H. Forsee and Staff Sgt. Maurice Avant were present with a pull-up bar to challenge the young generation and seek out the few and the proud willing to serve their country with honor, courage and commitment as U.S. Marines.
At the end of the day, the Marines packed up their booths, reminiscing about the exciting days spent at one of the biggest events in the United States.