A-Bomb and ...

Eating contests and Eating challenges around Kona & Denver

Finals of Chow Down

The finals of the 2nd Annual Chow Down for Charity hot dog eating contest took place at Steve's Snappin' Dogs on July 26th. Results:

1. Jimmy "The Jimineater" Mares - Tied Contest Record of 13 in 8 minutes
2. Phil Soderborg - 12 in 8 minutes
3. Mark Sutherburg - 11 in 8 minutes
4. Andrew "A-Bomb" Lane - 9 in 8 minutes
5. Fred Manly
6. T-Dog Fields
7. Andy Benke
8. Lana Nicolarsen

This was a great event and Steve did a great job as usual. In the time between the qualifiers and finals, Big Sexy joined the IFOCE so he was a no-show as well as one of the other guys who qualified. And the chick showed up late - she had to be called and reminded to get down to Steve's. Steve had replacements, though, so the contest began a little late when things finally got squared away.

Each of us began with trays of 13 hot dogs. Before starting we could condimentize the dogs. I went with ketchup. I wanted to stay off the water, and the ketchup would be good lube. I was eating next to Lana, and she was pretty grossed out by my squeezing of the buns and dogs and causing the ketchup to ooze out. She stopped eating after 2 dogs.
Lana's tray is in the upper right. Then mine. Then Phil's, Jimmy's, Mark's.

I finished one place better than last year, and I also ate one more than last year. I was shooting for double digits, maybe even low teens. But it was not to be. Jimmy has had a pretty good couple of months!

A full gallery of pictures can be seen here.

Photos from Steve's

Photos from Steve's

Either tonight or tomorrow night I will be posting photos and stuff from the Chow Down for Charity finals at Steve's Snappin' Dogs.


Jimmy 13
Phil 12
Mark 11
Me 9.5
Lana, Fred, T-Dog, Andy: 4 or 5

More Jack-n-Grill

A couple of nights ago Jimmy Mares and I went to Jack-n-Grill to take on the 7 pound breakfast burrito challenge. Adam Richman failed pretty miserably in January when he came to town with "Man v Food" which is on the Travel Channel (and the new season of shows begins og August 5th). I had tried this thing in early 2008 and failed too. Here's the link to my first time. And a day before I had let out to T-bonz that 7 pounds might be a little beyond my capacity, but HA!
My pre-weight.

Anyway, I totally wanted to see Jimmy eat this. I was definitely sure he'd kill it.

The breakfast burrito is - Inside: 15 potatoes, 12 eggs, some diced ham, green chile, cheese. Outside: wrapped in a 18" tortilla, smothered in green chile, red chile, and covered with more cheese.

The serving dish changed. On my previous attempt, the burrito was presented in more of a trough sort of dish. Now it comes on a plate, a very very big plate. So it does spread out more, but it is not as high. At first I didn't like it, but it does help expose more of the burrito to air. Key because it is H_O_T! Not too spicy hot but temp hot. Twenty minutes in to mine the burrito was still steaming as on minute 1.

Also, there are more potatoes than before. Last time there was more egg. I'm sure the current economic conditions have a part in that decision, but they are sacrificing a lot of taste by reducing the eggs. Raise the $12 price, or go bigger so fewer are given away free.

So we begin eating. I puncture the tortilla a few times to let some heat out. Jimmy does that as well then he goes a bit further and cuts open the tortilla, throws in some ice, and mixes it all around. And in full disclosure I must say that he would squeeze on some ketchup. That's so wrong to do that because this burrito is very tasty, and the fresh-roasted green chile is out of this world. But it's all about finishing the challenge I guess, and Jimmy loves him some ketchup. I think food challenges should be completed as the food was intended to be eaten. In competitions, yeah, do whatever you need to do. But here, eat the food. Just saying.

Nothing really to note until we were through about half each. We were pretty much even at this point. Then Jimmy popped it in another gear and started flying. His finishing speed is remarkable - I've seen it in cupcakes and at the Steve's qualifier. It is nothing short of very impressive. He's young, but with some learning and development .. look out for this kid!

Jimmy, with his speed at the end, finishes his in just over 30 minutes! I successfully clean my plate in about 45 minutes! One time not finishing the challenge is disappointing sure, but I can live with it. Not finishing a challenge twice is hard to stomach. I've done Amarillo twice without success. I've done Digger's twice without success. I've done a pizza challenge twice without success. That sucks. But this one has been completed. Hey Adam: Man wins!

Getting toward the end


But then...

For about the last 10 or 12 bites I would take a bite, mash the potato in my mouth, and it was easier to get down. There had been two times when swallowing big bites of potato created some very-close-to-being-realized urges contrary to swallowing. So the mashing was a way around swallowing the potato.

Ending weight

Now it's on to the finals at Steve's Snappin' Dogs, another burger challenge at Cactus Jack's in Evergreen, and who knows. I will take a breather in August, then pick back up with some contests in September..

Here is a link to a gallery of pictures.

Here is some video of me finishing the burrito. With a few bites left I had to stand up.

I do have more pictures, video, and words to post about the burrito challenge at Jack-n-Grill.

Big thanks to T-bonz for taking great pictures! T-bonz, Jimmy's mom, and his two sisters are wonderful athletic supporters!



More pics and photos later, but for now:

Four were there to kill their burrito. Two of us had tried before and failed (here's the link to my first time in early 2008), one guy had done it twice, and Jimmy was trying it for his first time. In the end:

Three of us finished. I'll have much more later..


Going to the IFOCE

Big Sexy is going up to the IFOCE! He's made a splash in Denver since his first contest - KBPI Wing Bowl in January '09 - and now he takes the fight nationally. He signed yesterday. He is not allowed to participate in the finals at Steve's Snappin' Dogs on Sunday (does the WLOCE sanctioning have any part?). And the 2010 Wing Bowl in Denver is probably out for him too. But good for him!

Wing Eating Contest

A State of Mind put on a car show yesterday, and they got Hooters to sponsor a wing eating contest.

T-bonz' brother Scott was visiting, and I got him to compete in the contest. And he pulled a Mega Munch on me!

He definitely won but I got some wing sauce in my eye on wing #2, so I had to Popeye the contest. See, on the drum I bite and spin it, but I'm more comfortable spinning the top of the drum TOWARD me, so my spin rate produced the offending bit of spicy danger which found my right eye.

Anyway, check out the gallery of photos.

In the Final Again

The qualifiers for the 2nd Annual Chow Down for Charity Hot Dog Eating Contest went down at Steve's Snappin' Dogs. I'm sure you have heard how they turned out. If not, click here. The event was broadcast live on a local radio show. Thrilling to hear on the radio I'm sure.

The defending champion from last year did not have to qualify. So in total there were 14 people vying for 7 spots in the final. Me, Jimmy Mares, Big Sexy, and Mark Sutherburg (from the Woody's contest), and some others - including the woman who ate 4.5 hot dogs last year in her qualifier (she did not make it to the final). A husband and wife. Steve decided to do 2 qualifiers.

Qualifier #1 is loaded - Jimmy, Sexy, Mark, me, and 3 others. That's how we finished. Jimmy, 8. Sexy, 8. Mark, 7. Me, 5 1/2. I did not really feel real good about my 5 1/2 standing up with another qualifier still to come. But in the other qualifier, nobody bested Lana who got down 4 1/2. So my 5 1/2 was good enough to make the finals.

I was eager to see how Jimmy would do. From what I know, Jimmy tied Boone in his first contest (cupcakes in Boulder), tied Sexy for 3rd in his second contest (Nathan's qualifier in Denver), and won the cupcake event at The Shoppe (Sexy 2nd, me 3rd). But he did really well. 8 you say. Yeah, but I heard he was at 4 or 5 at two minutes. And then he busted out 3 or 4 in the last minute. 3 or 4 big fat girthy dogs. Perfect buns, but 3 or 4 of those dogs in 1 minute! Picnic style. Watch this kid!

The field for the final is set. See ya on July 26th.

Click here to view a gallery of photos.

Qualifier at Steve's

The qualifiers for the 2nd Annual Chow Down for Charity hot dog eating contest went down at Steve's Snappin' Dogs on Saturday. A full writeup and photo gallery is coming, but until then take a look at the video two qualifiers (see #1 and see #2).

The defending champion gets a bye. So there were 7 spots to be filled. The finals lineup:

The 2009 Elite Ate in order of ranking:

1. Phil Soderborg - Last Year's Winner - Automatic Bid
2. Jimmy "The Jimineater" Mares [8]
3. Brian "Big Sexy" Beard [8]
4. Mark Sutherburg [7]
5. Andrew "A-Bomb" Lane [5.5]
6. Lana Nicolarsen [4.5]
7. Brandon Chambers [4]
8. Fred Manly [4]

More to come!

Gallery of July 4th Photos

I forgot to include the link to a gallery of photos from the July 4th eating contests I was in. Here is the link to the full gallery:


And here's the link to the write up.

Big news - IFOCE & Nathan's!

IFOCE to Prohibit Dunking at Nathan's

In a surprise move, the International Federation of Competitive Eating announced today that effective immediately the wildly popular international hot dog eating contest, that takes place every July 4th on Coney Island and is broadcast live to a worldwide audience, will no longer allow competitors to "dunk or separate" the hot dogs and buns.

OK, so it's not a real headline. It won't ever happen.

But what if it did? Perhaps the contest would be even more of a bore to watch than it already is. But perhaps not. The numbers would be lower for sure, but it might be more competitive overall. Perhaps. Certainly the problems with detritus would all but disappear. The contest is billed now as the Joey/Koby show. With no dunking I'd think Koby is still favored maybe, but not Joey. Bertoletti. I think he'd crush at a picnic-style hot dog contest. Probably Tim Brown, too, and Sonya. I don't know if it'd be a good idea or not for Nathan's to have a non-dunk contest. Maybe on January 4ths. I think the max would be around 30…?

Photos in the Paper

These are a couple of photos and captions from the Highlands Ranch hot dog eating contest sponsored by Bernie's Hot Dogs. From the Highlands Ranch Herald.

Andrew Lane plows through hot dogs during Highlands Ranch's inaugural hot dog eating contest. Lane placed second with nine hot dogs in five minutes. The contest was the brainchild of Bernie's Hot Dog Co. owners Joe and Su Zemla, and Joe said he hopes it becomes a Fourth of July tradition in Highlands Ranch.

A pan of hot dogs is reflected in the sunglasses of hot dog eating competitor Nathan Myers July 4. A group squared off during Fourth of July festivities in Town Center to see who could eat the most in five minutes.

Photos by Courtney Kuhlen | ckuhlen@ccnewspapers.com

Hot Dogs & Cupcakes

I did two eating contests on July 4th.

First up at 2pm was a hot dog eating contest at the Highlands Ranch Independence Day Celebration sponsored by Bernie's Hot Dogs.

The hot dog contest was held in the middle of the square and it drew a pretty good sized crowd. Highlands Ranch is the kind of place where it seems each household has the mom, the dad, 2.5 kids, and a dog. And usually the mom is pregnant. Be that as it may, the competitors (9 guys and 1 woman) took the stage and lined up behind the long table. Each of us got one aluminum pan with 10 hot dogs in it. You could dunk, separate, or do whatever to get the dog & bun down. And do not chipmunk at the end.

It started. The dogs were good, maybe skinless. The buns were soft, pillowy, and delicious. I went with the normal eat-dog-first-while-dunking-bun-then-eat-bun method. I tried two dogs at once but that didn't go so well. To me, eating is three parts: getting it to the mouth, getting it down, and putting it somewhere. I handle parts one and three really well. It's part two that is my challenge. And two dogs at once does nothing since getting it down is not helped. My cheeks are pretty much stuffed the whole time. Not optimal, but I keep on going. At the end, I jam the last half of the bun I was working on.

10 down. Oh yeah, no chipmunking. So very fairly Bernie deducts 1 from my 10 for chipmunking and there is some bun debris. Not nearly Juliet-level but the guy next to me also ate 10, but very very cleanly so only deducting 1 for debris and a stuffed mouth is OK with me. Final tally:

1st - Sean Sullivan - 10
2nd - Andrew Lane - 9
3rd - John Soho - 8

One guy booted after 1. The girl ate 3. 1st, 2nd, and 3rd got trophies. Ho hum, just a trophy.

So T-bonz and I head out. Next up: cupcakes.

At 8pm it's The Shoppe 1st Annual Cupcake Eating Contest. Big ups to Mommye, Guaps, 3M, and Maryanne (without the professor). Teams of two. One eater and one "assistant" who disrobes the cupcakes. The eater can only use one hand. Before starting there is some indecision about the format because there are 9 teams but only 225 cupcakes. Are there enough for 5 minutes? Should it be 3 minutes? Or first to 20? There are 9 teams, so 25 cupcakes each. It's first to 25, or time of 5 minutes.

The cupcakes. Pretty much evenly divided between chocolate cakes and vanilla cakes. Frosting on them is, fittingly, either red, white, or blue. And not knifed-on frosting like you or I might do on our made-at-home cupcakes. The frosting here is like on the cupcakes they sell - butter cream, thick, and it's piped on circularly a good inch or inch and a half high. Did I mention sweets really are not my thing?

We take to the table. Eaters on one side, assistants on the other. The crowd fills in around us. We're allowed to pick our own cupcakes, and thankfully the tray near us has vanilla cakes and red icing. 21 vanilla/red and only 4 chocolate/white.

We begin. I don't remember much of the 5 minutes, but I do know that my strategy going in was essentially forgotten. I know I stuffed my face too much, made a big mess, and just held on. T-bonz did a super job disrobing the cakes and egging me on. Jimmy was directly to my left, and he used his dunk tank to sort of soak each cake, then mash it on the table, and lift up handfuls of this cupcakey mush to his mouth. I didn't see what Big Sexy was doing (he was on my right, two down) but he was MUCH cleaner than me.

In the end, Jimmy finished the 25 separate cakes but he was knocked 1 for the mush pile left on the table. So 24. Sexy 23. Me 21. And down from there.

The two contests in one day was no big thing. Six hours between them is plenty of time for some gastric emptying. What sucked was that at each contest I dropped the eating strategy that I had going in. But Dave, I got the hardware - byotch!

The full gallery of pictures is here. Thanks to T-bonz and 3M for taking some great shots!

Next up - July 11th qualifier for Steve's.

1 contest down: 2nd Place

Hot dog eating contest at Highlands Ranch - credited with 9 dogs. Winner with 10. He ate clean. I did not. I was deducted 1 from my 10 eaten.

Steve's Snappin' Dogs

International Hot Dog Month kicked off July 1st, and to celebrate it and to kick off the 2nd Annual Chow Down for Charity, Steve's held a media event at Project Angel Heart. I went to check it out, cheer on the eaters, and maybe score some free Thumann hot dogs.

Steve brought the hot dogs!

The table was set for 3 Project Angel Heart staff members to face off against 3 members of the Glendale Raptors rugby team

The local media was there. Photo journalists for 9 (NBC), 7 (ABC), 4 (NBC) set up their lights and cameras.

Table set for 3 on 3 action

Steve presents the head chef at Project Angel Heart with a check to start the charitable giving

It turned out that the rugby players did not show up, so three of us from the assembled crowd got picked. Me, Chef John, and Phil Fears Nothing stepped up for the minute-long photo-op for the news outlets.

Of course on July 11th the qualifiers take place for the 2nd Annual Chow Down for Charity at Steve's. The top 7 from the qualifiers move on to the finals on July 26th.

Beau Jo's

They have a challenge. Big honkin' pizza. Team of two. One hour. Do the math here! 1956 teams have tried in 25 years, only * 11 * have conquered it! That's just over 1/2 of 1%!

Does anyone know of an eating challenge with a lower completion rate?!?