And you ever really need an excuse to take a road trip.
Originally the contest was supposed to be Dippin Dots. Not sure exactly what happened but a couple of days before it was announced that it would no longer be Dippin Dots and would just be ice cream. In retrospect I never found out what flavor of ice cream they were eating. Would strawberry be harder to eat than vanilla? I’d bet Rocky Road would be more challenging because there would be more little chunks to choke on. In any case, they were set to eat six pounds of ice cream a piece and no matter what the flavor that is a lot of ice cream to get down.
My friend Brian and I were the first ones there so we picked a seat front row center. We were the only ones there for a while, but luckily others started trickling in. I waved hello to Sonya “The Black Widow” Thomas, the number 6 ranked eater, when she entered. Pat “Deep Dish” Bertoletti, my favorite eater (Chicagoan + Mohawk + ability), walked in and I waved hello. He said hi to me was pretty surprised that I had come and drove out for the event. I’ve met him a few times before at contests so he recognizes me when he sees me.
The contest began with an amateur contest for charity between two hotel employees and a celebrity. The celebrity being a guy from Channel Three News. Their contest was, I think, 8 minutes and the woman from the hotel won with 9 bowls.
After the contest The MC gave out some T-Shirts. I won a free Metropolis, IL t-shirt by correctly guessing that Joey Chestnut was ranked as the number 1 eater.
And then the real competitors were introduced: Jim “Hammer” Hamrick, William “Wild Bill” Myers, “Nasty” Nathan Biller, Erik “The Red” Denmark, Sonya “The Black Widow” Thomas, and Pat “Deep Dish” Bertoletti. Before going out Pat beckoned me up to the stage give me his camera so we could film it for him. I passed those duties onto Brian because I already had three cameras of my own in my lap to juggle. Brian told me I need to hire a crew to follow me around.
The contestants lined up in behind bowls of ice cream. The MC counted down. And then the eaters were off!
And then…it was over? It literally felt like a 30 second contest. Before you even knew it had begun Pat’s hands were in the air having finished. The rest of the contest went on for another 2 minutes until everyone cleaned their bowls. Crazy.
The final results (times/quantity from Eatfeats) were:
1. Pat “Deep Dish” Bertoletti — 46 seconds
2. Sonya “The Black Widow” Thomas — 1 minute, 10 seconds
3. Erik “The Red” Denmark — 1 minute, 12 seconds
4. “Nasty” Nathan Biller — 2 minutes, 20 seconds
5. William “Wild Bill” Myers — 2 minutes, 20 seconds (finished 18 4-ounce bowls)
6. Jim “Hammer” Hamrick — 2 minutes, 20 seconds (finished 17 4-ounce bowls)
Needless to say it was insanely fast and I think my ratio for amount of time driving vs. amount of time watching eating record has been broken. (I previously drove 10 hours to see an 8 minute contest…so I think 6 hours for 2.5 minutes has that beat.)
I gave Pat back his camera and congratulated him. The MC who had noticed we were the first ones there thanked us for coming and Brian asked for a t-shirt so he got a free one too!
It was a crazy contest. Definitely the fastest win I have seen and perhaps the fasted contest in history. I still should find out what type of ice cream it was.