A Foray Into Competitive Eating

Whiffies Pie Cart on SE 12th & Hawthorne, Portland OR

Whiffies Pie Cart on SE 12th & Hawtorne

So, last night, I participated in my very first* competitive eating event: the Whiffies PieChamp Pie Eating Challenge.  I’d have to say I was feeling pretty good about it.  Up until the start of the contest, that was.  And, in the end, I failed miserably.

Here’s what happened.

All day, I knew what my strategy was going to be in terms of my pre-challenge dining plan, thanks in part to the contest organizer’s suggestions.  He’d said that I should have a “good breakfast” and then a Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese for lunch.  He further advised that I not allow myself to eat anything between lunch and the challenge start time except for maybe coffee and yogurt.  I followed (nearly) everything to the letter.  I did have about five Doritos chips while hanging out with friends in the afternoon, but still felt good about my overall pre-challenge preparations.

When I arrived at the venue about a half-hour before the original start time of 9:00 p.m., I was sufficiently hungry.  In fact, I was famished.  I thought for certain that chowing down on seven fried pies– the “score” to beat had been six– was going to be a cinch, seeing as how starved I was at that time.

But, here’s where things started to go wrong for me.

You know how when you’re extremely hungry but then something happens and you end up letting the hunger pass?  Well, because, although the contest started at 9:00 p.m., the pre-ceremony ding-dongery that normally accompanies such quirky events– and the fact that the pies had to be cooked fresh– the first pies didn’t arrive until around 10:00 p.m.

By then, the hunger pangs that were to be my ace in the hole an hour earlier had all but vanished.  It hung around long enough for me to seem to inhale my first two fried pies in under six minutes.  But by the time I was halfway through my third pie, the needle in that proverbial fullness meter landed on “Stuffed” and wouldn’t budge.  It’s a miracle I’d finished it and even consumed a fourth pie, but it wasn’t without consequences.  For the final thirty-five minutes of the hour-long challenge, I simply stared at the fifth pie in the cardboard boat, sitting atop the crumpled up foil coverings of the previous four.  I did take one bite as the crowd counted down in unison to zero, but even that proved almost fatal.

I spent the next several hours with uncomfortable fullness that no amount of plop-plop-fizz-fizz could cure rapidly enough.  This morning, I still felt so satiated from the previous evening’s debacle that hunger didn’t hit again until lunch time.

Would this embarrassing first turn* at competitive eating deter me from competing again.  Hell to the no.  But it certainly has encouraged me to train better for the next time.  After all, practice makes perfect.

* Officially, this was my first competitive eating challenge because it was sanctioned and I didn’t know the other challengers.


4 Responses to “A Foray Into Competitive Eating”

  1. 1 oldvertue0103 June 7, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    You did well for your first competitive eating venture. Way to represent!

  2. 2 Danielle June 7, 2009 at 5:28 pm

    I was wondering what the hell was going on last night on your Twitter. I still need to do a Hawth food-cart tour, even this place might be the death of me (pie AND poutine? that sounds AWESOME).

  3. 3 gorillasushi June 8, 2009 at 8:36 am

    I recommend spending the next few weeks reviewing the tapes. Also, poisoning the competition is always an option. Just sayin’.

  4. 4 megan June 11, 2009 at 10:45 am

    I’m impressed. I could never compete in a competitive eating competition. I get full WAY too fast. I guess it’s up to you to eat what people like me can’t.

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