Hot Diggity Dog

I can eat quite a bit, but not like these guys.

“NEW YORK — For the fifth straight year, it was a victory Takeru Kobayashi could truly relish.

Kobayashi, 27, captured the Nathan’s Famous hot dog eating contest Monday, gobbling a nauseating 49 dogs in 12 minutes — but missing his own world record of 53½, set at last year’s July Fourth competition.

The win means the coveted Mustard Yellow Belt will return to Japan for the ninth year out of the past 10. New Jersey’s Steve Keiner, who won in 1999, is the only American to capture the title in the past decade.

Kobayashi, of Nagano, stands 5 feet 7 inches and weighs just 144 pounds.

The runner-up was Sonya Thomas of Alexandria, Va. — known as The Black Widow on the competitive-eating circuit — who set an American record by downing 37 hot dogs in the same 12 minutes.

Thomas, who manages a Burger King restaurant, separates the hot dog from the bun and eats them separately. She dips the bun in water to make it easier to swallow with less chewing.

“I want to be No. 1 in the world, so I practice,” she told CNN shortly after the contest. “I’m working on more speed.”

She said she was planning a light dinner — maybe a salad.

“My stomach doesn’t hurt,” she said, “but my jaw is tired.”

Thomas, who weighs a remarkable 105 pounds, is a rising speed-eating star. Last December in Atlantic City, N.J., she finished off 89 meatballs — about six pounds’ worth — in 12 minutes. And in August, she captured a lobster-eating contest in Maine by consuming 38 of the creatures in 12 minutes.

The hot dog contest takes place outside the original Nathan’s in Coney Island. The contest was first held there in 1916.”

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  1. Jack's Shack July 5, 2005 at 5:55 pm

    I don’t want to know, but really am curious what they feel like in the hours after the contest.

    That bathroom has got to be unpleasant. Yuck.

  2. B2 July 5, 2005 at 5:53 pm

    I mentioned briefly on my blog that as American as hot-dog-eating contests are, it’s even more American to sit on your couch watching the contest on ESPN.

  3. Stephen (aka Q) July 5, 2005 at 5:43 pm

    It’s incredible, isn’t it? He’s so small … and this year’s runner-up is also tiny. I don’t see how this is possible.

    She said she was planning a light dinner — maybe a salad. — hilarious!

  4. Jack's Shack July 5, 2005 at 6:15 am

    I don’t know where he puts it.

  5. Neil July 5, 2005 at 5:26 am

    This Kobayashi guy is getting to be the NY Yankees of hot dog eating… he always wins.

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