Hot dogs and mass reversals
Just got back from the Lancaster hot dog contest. I've got some soul searching to do about my future in competitive eating, because I pretty much sucked. First place and $500 went to Sean Gordon from Philly (he and I competed in the shoo fly contest in Lancaster earlier this year). Sean ate 13 and a half dogs and buns in 10 minutes. Some guy from Pittsburgh took second place ($250) with 13 dogs and third place ($100 and a guy with more piercings than dogs eaten) ate 10 and a half.
I ate 9 and a half. NINE AND ONE STINKIN' HALF. Pathetic.
It was my first time ever eating hot dogs for an extended period of time. I was hoping for somewhere between 12 and 15 in 10 minutes, but I fell short. If I'd hit my goal I might be $500 richer. If I'd bothered to practice or run some stretching exercises in the days and weeks beforehand, I might be $500 richer. I can keep beating myself up, but I won't.
All in all, it was a fun event. There were 19 total competitors, which they split up into three separate 10 minute contests. I was in the first round. Every round had a least on "reversal of fortune," either during the contest or immediately after. Unfortunately, there was only one puke bucket, but there was plenty of grass behind the table.
The guy in the photo at right was eating next to a guy who suffered a reversal during the second contest. He started to heave around the 7 minute mark and his hand went up to his mouth. Unfortunately, he couldn't stop the flow as a fountain of hot dog chunks spewed from under his hand and all over this guy's shirt. Yeah, nasty.
I've never seen so many reversals in a contest before (five of the 19 competitors). I have a feeling the combination of large prize money and amateur eaters pushing themselves too hard probably had something to do with it. The crappy hot dogs didn't help either. No taste whatsoever.
For this contest I tried using some music to get me pumped up (a little Rob Zombie and Pantera). It was a good thing too, because the contest organizer was yelling in everyone's ear like a drill seargent. "How bad do you want that $500?! Do you want it?! DO YOU WANT IT?!" Yeah, a little annoying. I survived boot camp once (Navy), and was in no mood to relive it. But he was cool otherwise. That's him screaming at someone over my shoulder on the left.
Enjoy more pictures here, including a few of a guy who called himself Ryan "The Gutworm" Miller. He had his own t-shirt made up for the contest and brought a small cheering section (complete with signs). It was his first ever eating event. I talked to him beforehand and he claimed to have never even heard of the IFOCE, even though he's doing a pretty good impression of Eric the Red with his red headbands and arm bands.