by Nancy Stiles
The Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest is iconic, just like its titular dog and its birthplace, Coney Island. But instead of a delicious wiener after a day on the boardwalk, hot dog eating is serious business. The annual contest, which began in 1916, takes place on Coney Island on the Fourth of July, but Nathan's held a qualifying round right here in St. Louis this weekend at Busch Stadium.
One man and one woman were named regional champions and will go on to compete at Coney Island. At first, Eric "Badlands" Booker was declared the men's winner with a total of 27 hot dogs. In a cruel twist of fate (well, for Booker at least), it turned out that a Pennsylvania man named Sean "Flash" Gordon had actually eaten 27.5 hot dogs.
Marlene Wiggington of Troy, Illinois won the women's division by eating nine and a half hot dogs. Ladies, we need to step up our speed eating skills! Check out some
delicious alarming photos of people dipping hot dogs in water. You can see the full slideshow here.
Gut Check is always hungry for tips and feedback. E-mail the author at Nancy.Stiles@RiverfrontTimes.com.
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