22 minutes? Are you f-in kidding me?
I’ve tried this Apollo Cheesesteak Challenge at Taste of Philly twice before, and my times were 21:06 and 14:45. So I was going for the Taste of Philly record of 10:42. [And yes, I know our iPod Touch shows 23:47, but the official time (on their timer) was 22 minutes]
My strategy was fork the meat on both monstrous halves, and then get the bread down. Simple. The key would be getting off to a great start, maintaining it, and finishing sub-10 minutes.
My attempt started off very well. The sandwich was steamy hot, but oh-so delicious as always. Fork, meat, swallow, keep mouth clear. I was taking it to the neck. First half meat gone in just over 2 minutes. I started on the 2nd half’s meat, but I think when I burned my tongue I just froze. From this point on it was an orgy of chipmunking, really, really chipmunking, and I crept to finish in 22 minutes.
That time is really disappointing considering the fast start. Sub-10 was very possible, dare I say probable. But it wasn’t to be. After finally finishing I did acknowledge the cheers of the crowd, but I was not too pleased with it.
At one point T-bonz said something like "all you’re doing is running down the battery on your camera". Tough love, perhaps, but I deserved it for sure. And it's funny.
A challenge win is a challenge win, but I wanted and expected more. If not the record, then at least to better my best time. But by finishing the challenge at the Highlands Ranch location, I have completed the challenge at each three locations offering the challenge so I am the only person to appear on all three walls of fame! I do not know if that’s a sign of stupidity more so than tenacity, but it is what it is.
The waiver. Zoom to read.
The Wall of Fame. 40 minutes. 50 minutes. 38 minutes. 45 minutes. 50 minutes. Those times are indicative of how finishers end. How?!? 50 minutes must be REALLY HARD, I would think harder than 10, 14, 21, or 22 because the cheese would congeal and solidify.
For the record, the Apollo Cheesesteak Challenge is 44 ounces of meat, 18 ounces of cheese, 8 ounces of onions, on a 20" Amoroso roll. And who knows how much water I drank.
T-bonz captured the whole thing on video. I'll have that up soon so you can see how fast and well I did early on, and then screwed the pooch.