South African wrestler-turned strongman Mark Crookes, who is currently World Truck Pull Champion, is out to break his own world record of pulling 14 trucks by attempting to pull 16 trucks weighing 150 tonnes over a distance of 30 metres during the Media Bazaar event at Dubai Media City at 4.00pm tomorrow.

By Ilyas Qureshi

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Published: Thu 1 Apr 2004, 2:25 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 12:31 AM

Already a well-known face in Dubai, Mark has previously demonstrated his special skill during Eid Al Fitr holidays when he raised money for the City that Cares promotion organised by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry with a pull equalling his existing record on Al Rigga Street, at the Motor Show and during Dubai Shopping Festival 2004 where he performed a whole series of demonstrations and displays live on Ajman TV every weekend. Nothing, however, will compare to the spectacle planned for tomorrow at Media City because Mark is vying to enter into the Guinness Book of World Records.

Mark is not only strong but huge as well. Weighing in at 169kgs, the 39-year-old hulk has been a long-standing holder of the Guinness world record for pulling the heaviest trucks. He established his last Guinness world-record in October 2003 when he pulled 14 trucks weighing 132.6 tonnes in Germany. This year, Dubai will host his attempt to better that record.

He has broken his own world record on several occasions and also shares his customary spot in the Guinness Book of World Records with other strongmen. Though his 5.6 height is a handicap when performing his feats of pulling tonnes or lifting heavy weights.

His other achievements include lifting of boulders, bending a bunch of six-inches long nails in quick succession and tearing of yellow pages into half. Mark has also led his contemporaries in many of the World's Strongest Man events.

Mark visits the Middle East for the first time as he chose Dubai to be his first centre point since the city is known to be the benchmark to so many similar activities that supports both sports and charitable activities. Soon on his arrival a few months ago, Mark has made his mind to settle down here as he 'fell in love with the place'. 'The weather out here is quite good, the people are friendly and you enjoy a lot of peace and tranquillity in the city,' said Mark who seems to be lapping up every bit of his stay in the emirate.

His seven-days-a-week workout routine includes one body part a day and umpteen hours of power lifting. 'I have trained intensively for the past month and I see no problems as the road conditions here are very good,' said Mark.

'We are happy that Mark has chosen Dubai and Dubai Media City as the venue for his new world record attempt,' said Abdulhamid Juma, CEO, Dubai Media City. 'Mark's achievements are considerably inspiring and we hope that he will scale yet another record here in Dubai Media City. His attempt will be a tremendous new attraction to the Media Bazaar, a unique event organised by us that helps the media industry strengthen its ties with the community,' he added.

Mark started as a body builder in 1981 but after a number of years, he moved onto World Strongman competitions, finding more money in the sport. He has won six of the qualifying competitions and has made it to the finals four times since 1989.

The Guinness Book of Records approached Mark in 1997 offering him a chance to break the world record for pulling large trucks. He proved to be unique in his field, breaking a world record with his very first pull of five trucks weighing 58 tons beating the earlier record of two fire engines weighing 31 tons. On establishing his first record, Mark thought that some of the bigger strongmen would easily be able to beat his record, however, to his surprise, the other challengers struggled and never managed to better the records he was establishing. In the past four years he has broken 19 World Records, many of which have been his own.

In about 1998/1999 Boeing approached Mark to pull a 747 to establish a new record, which he finally did in Johannesburg by pulling a fully-fuelled 747 400 weighing 360 tons over a distance of 30m.

Represented by Dubai based Javelin Events organiser Mark has a busy schedule all over the world. Last year he participated in 44 events in 18 countries. So far this year, he is already scheduled to take part in some 32 events in 19 countries.

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