2008 North American Collegiate Eating Championships: 5 Lbs Of Fast Food In 7 Minutes!

My first professional eating competition was a spectacle of incredible proportions! The goal of the competition: eat 5 lbs of fast food in only 7 minutes. What happened next even astonished me! Here’s what unfolded!

AUTHOR BIO
In early 2003, Peter Czerwinski was diagnosed with anorexia, an eating disorder that causes those who possess it to have a fear of gaining weight, which causes them to limit the food he/she intakes. After much work, he beat his disease and is now a writer for Bodybuilding.com and an active forum member. Read more about Peter's battle with anorexia here.

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Left: Peter in 2003; Right: Peter in 2008.

On the weekend of April 18th and 19th I was lucky enough to be sponsored to fly down to San Diego, California for the North American Collegiate Eating Championships. It was a weekend that I'll never forget.

This was my first professional eating competition, and I was nervous as h-ll the weeks coming up to the contest. I knew that I was a fast eater and capable of being a good competitor but didn't expect the events that came.

On the morning of April 18th I flew from Toronto, Canada through Chicago to San Diego. With all my flight delays I was very lucky to make my flight from Chicago to San Diego, but happily I did. Arriving in San Diego, I was shocked at how amazing the city actually was... A place that I am seriously considering moving too. The beach, beautiful women, great Aerospace opportunities, and the weather... everything I've always dreamed of.

The qualifying for this competition was held on the Friday and the finals were on Saturday. I was one of four sponsored "athletes" that got a bye to the finals. Four other competitors were to qualify the Friday night by eating 2 lbs of fries in the fastest time. The qualified individuals ranged from skinny/cocky individuals to big/confidents guys.

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Friday was an interesting day, having interviews with CBS, meeting other veteran competitors and enjoying the beach and clubs on the coast of San Diego. I am lucky enough to have friends that flew down to support me, and keep me company throughout the days.

Saturday, D-Day in my mind came... and it was a cold day for California and overcast. I went down to the Wave House at Mission Beach in the morning (contest wasn't until 5:30pm). This event was recorded for CBS Sports. But unlike an interview, there can only be one take, so the event at 5:30 had to be perfect. As a result, I was used for a few mock competitions (placing of plates, the competitors, cameras etc has to be flawless).

The time coming up to the event went by very slowly and my hunger grew along with the "butterfly" effect in the stomach. My buddies came down a couple hours before the event, already quite intoxicated, started spreading my name throughout the crowd. Slowly random people came up to me wishing me luck, which was definitely motivational.

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Time was 5:20 and I went to the appropriate location to wait to be called up... food trays were brought out.

Originally the plan was to have a college platter consisting of 2 cheeseburgers, 2 hotdogs and a 1/4 pound of fries and eat as many platters as you could in 7 minutes. Instead there was one MASSIVE steak burger, 3/4 of a lb, a big hot dog, and a 1/4 lbs of potato wedges, each plate/platter weighing 1.5 lbs!

College Food
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Typical College Food: A Hamburger, Hot Dog & French Fries.
Photos Provided By: www.thecollegiatenationals.com

I waited to be called up, but delays in another sport delayed this event 30 minutes... and as a result, the food was COLD. Cold food means dry and nasty food, and which would mean the food consumed wouldn't be that much.

I finally got called up, and to my surprise my buddies had literally gotten almost the whole crowd cheering on the lone Canadian (I was representing my University, McMaster). D@mn I was nervous when all the plates of food came out. This was the biggest thing to happen to me in my life thus far.

Eaters' Oath
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Taking The Eaters' Oath.
Photos Provided By: www.thecollegiatenationals.com

The countdown started... 3... 2... 1... and we all dove in. I downed a hot dog quickly and got to work on the first burger... it was dry, and cold, but I ate hard and got through it.

Eaters
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Eaters Advance Toward $1000 Championship Prize.
Photos Provided By: www.thecollegiatenationals.com

I polished off my first plate, raised it up in the air, and never in my life have I heard such roars! I had finished my first plate way ahead of everyone else. I quickly got to work on the second plate... All I could hear from the crowd was "Pete! Pete! Pete!" I knew something was going well... and when I finished off my second plate, the others were just finishing their first!

Christian Muscox McCarthy & Furious Pete
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Christian "Muscox" McCarthy & Furious Pete.
Photos Provided By: www.thecollegiatenationals.com

I got the crowd going by dancing a little while eating, giving hand gestures... with 10 seconds to go, I had finished 3 plates and a burger and some fries on the fourth plate. When all was said and done I had finished 3 1/2 plates... almost 5 lbs of food.

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dots
arrow The Final Standing:
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  • 1st Place: Furious Pete Czerwinski, 3 1/2 plates
  • 2nd Place: Christian "Muscox" McCarthy, 2 plates, 1 hot dog
  • 3rd Place: Ryan "Big Mac" McMillan, 2 plates, 7/8 hot dog
  • 4th Place: Carey "PowerHouse Poehlman, 2.1 plates
  • 5th Place: Brian "Eaton Keaton, 2 plates
  • 6th Place: Chris "Scary Spice" Hanson, 1 plate
  • 7th Place: Darrin "D Money" Wolf, DNF
  • I had won my first eating competition, and clearly won it big time. Afterwards I had interviews with a few television stations, and my buddies went all out celebrating my victory.

    I am now the North American Collegiate Eating Champion, and only look forward to adding more titles to my name in the months to come. You can view the entire competition May 25th on CBS at 2pm EST. And again May 30th.

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