Joey Chestnut is going have to make room on his mantle after winning his 11th title at the Nathan’s Famous hot dog eating contest Wednesday afternoon in Coney Island. Chestnut beat 20 other contestants to earn the coveted “Mustard Belt” and ate a record 74 hot dogs and buns, surpassing the previous record of 72 dogs he set last year.
Chestnut, who made his debut at Coney Island in 2005, has won every Fourth of July hot dog eating contest at Nathan’s Famous since 2007 with the exception of 2015, when he was upset by Matt Stonie. According to ESPN, Chestnut is now the most-decorated hot-dog eater the sport has ever seen, and, in this writer’s humble opinion, it is only a matter of time before his name is whispered among other greats such as Michael Jordan, Babe Ruth and Walter Payton.
As you would expect, keeping oneself in good enough shape to dominate these events is not easy.
“I do a practice contest, and then recovery is important. As soon as I can start eating, I try to eat vegetables, fiber,” Chestnut told Kieran Darcy of ESPN. “And then once I feel like the food has moved and digested, I’ll have one good day of protein, whether it’s fish or turkey, maybe chicken. And then I go back and do a fast, where it’s all liquid. It’s a cleanse, pretty much, a two-day cleanse. And then when I’m at the weight I want and I know I’m empty, then I can do another practice.”
Las Vegas native Miki Sudo took home the mustard in the women’s event for the fifth year in a row, chomping down 37 hot dogs and buns. Impressive, but short of the 41 hot dogs she ate in 2017.
“I really wasn’t looking to beat my personal best or even a record. A win is a win,” Sudo told reporters after the event. “Today everybody’s numbers were a little bit lower, maybe because of the heat, I don’t know what it was. When I saw that I had a considerable lead, at one point by eight hot dogs, I said, it’s fine, I’m done.”
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