Hands On A Hardbody Tests Mental And Physical Strength - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

9/9/03 - Longview

Hands On A Hardbody Tests Mental And Physical Strength

It's 6 a.m. and 24 brave East Texans were rested with their hands ready to go the distance. The Hardbody marathoners know if they're going to win new wheels, their hands must stay glued to this Nissan truck for days on end.

"I'm a real determined person," says Debra Herbison.

"It's all mental and good shoes," says Holly Lyman.

"I could probably last as long as most of them," says Fred Cuthbertson.

The youngest contestant agrees age doesn't have much to do with keeping your palms to the metal. Larry Burnett may be a healthy 18, but he says youth alone won't help him beat the eldest Hardbody competitor.

"It's going to be mind over matter," says Larry. And what matters to Larry is his mother. "My mom's never had a new truck," says Larry, "except for a mustang in 1966 so I am going to win it for her."

50 years older, 69-year old Fred Cuthbertson has different reasons to remain standing truckside with only one brief break every hour.

"For the fun of it, for the challenge," says Fred.

A challenge, 38-year-old Debra Herbison thought she might never be ready for.

"It's the first time because years before I weighed 263 pounds more," says Debra, "I would come out and watch, but I couldn't have withstood that."

But now that she's a contender, Debra's already a favorite!

"They just pick at me. Tell me I'm the biggest loser on the truck."  Who could win, but not if last year's first place runner up who went 99 hours and 57 minutes, has anything to do with it.

"I am back because I'm taking this truck home," says Maureen. "I came so close last year." Maureen Gill's secret weapons are two hands on the truck at all times and some fancy foot work.

"I love to dance and that's getting me through it," says Maureen.

Time will only tell which East Texan will survive the sleep deprivation and standing marathon that is Hands on a Hardbody.

Dana Dixon reporting

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