PLATTSBURGH - In the beginning there were 10, in the end there was one.
Tristan Cairns of Plattsburgh was the winner of a new 2008 Honda Rancher 4x4 all-terrain vehicle last Sunday as part of a last-person standing competition at Dame Motorsports.
Cairns was one of two contestants who stood for nearly 60 hours straight placing one hand on an ATV as part of a contest to benefit the Joint Council for Economic Opportunity of Clinton and Franklin Counties. In the end, Cairns and fellow contestant Steve Imhoff had outlasted the rest, at which point Cairn's name was drawn from the two.
"It was worth it, but I wouldn't do it again," said Cairns. "It was a lot harder than I ever expected it would be."
During the competition, one hand had to be kept on the ATV at all times, said Diane Dame, a representative of Dame Motorsports who monitored the competition. Contestants could not sit, kneel, lie down or lean on the ATV or rest any other body part on the machine for that matter. However, some contestants forgot and were immediately disqualified.
The competition also didn't allow the use of devices like cell phones or iPods, so contestants were left to their own devices to entertain themselves.
"It was pretty grueling," said Dame.
Every three hours, the contestants had a 15-minute break, which was enough for Cairns to hold on to win the $5,800 machine.
Dame said there were several memorable moments during the competition, one of which was when some of the contestants sang and danced, all while keeping a hand on the ATV.
"But, I think the most memorable moments were when someone was disqualified because it brought everyone one step closer to winning," said Dame.
The contestants were entered into the competition by either being randomly drawn throughout the months of November and December or by making substantial donations of canned goods and other items to the JCEO food shelves. One contestant alone donated 147 food items.
"I think it was a big success. We were able to collect a lot of food for the JCEO, which was one of our main objectives," said Dame. "We're seriously considering doing it again next year."