Whether it’s a backyard burger contest or a professional hot dog showdown at Coney Island, competitive eating has become as synonymous with the 4th of July as a firework-related visit to the ER.
For pro eaters like Crazy Legs Conti, if you heave, you leave. But Crazy Leg’s already proven he can hang. Over the years he’s won titles in the pancakes and bacon, lobster and string beans events, setting four world records along the way.
It wasn’t easy, though—eating your way to victory lane requires more than a strong stomach. Check out what Crazy Legs himself had to say about what it took to finish first.
Pancakes and Bacon
Record: 5.5 pounds in 10 minutes
“The pancakes were the size of hubcaps, and the bacon looked like tree bark. I tried rolling them up like burritos, but it proved to be too voluminous. In the end, I ate them separately. After the event I went fly-fishing, but physical activity wasn’t going to happen. I stood there like a pancake-and-bacon statue on the riverbank for six hours.”
Record: 7 pounds in 12 minutes
“Usually I compete with a liquid like lemonade, but for this event, I drained all of the brine water from the lobster pan and drank that. I had to shave my goatee after the event because I couldn’t get the smell out of it for weeks.”
Record: 2.71 pounds in 6 minutes
“Imagine the largest platter you’ve ever seen of undercooked, bitter string beans. I had to get in a rhythm with my lemonade to balance it out. Of all the foods I’ve competed over, string beans were the easiest to digest. I felt full, but still pretty good. I won’t eat them again, though. In that six minutes, I ate my lifetime quota of string beans.”
“I draw the line at butter competitions. It has the texture of ice cream but tastes like lard. Butter runs through you pretty quickly too. It’s as if your body knows that eating large amounts of butter is just a litmus test to see if your system can handle a food luge.”
Want to see Crazy Legs in action? You’re in luck. He’ll be competing tomorrow, July 4th, in the legendary Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest. Watch him eat his heart out on ESPN2 at 12 p.m. Eastern.