The jalapeno eating contest at the 15th Annual Chile & Frijoles Festival is over. And my GI tract is back to normal.
Entering: the belly of the beast. There were 12 competitors. 3 gringos. 3 latinas. 6 latinos. Each of us were introduced and took our seats at the table. In front of each of us is a bottle of water and a bowl of 10 whole canned jalapenos. We'd get additional bowls of 10 as we neared completion of the current bowl.
The format of the contest was awesome. I thought it'd be a ten minute contest. It was, but in two five minute periods separated by a two minute break. So eat 5 minutes, break for 2 minutes, then eat for 5 more minutes. The break kicked my ass, but it's a great idea.
The eating began. I'm really pleased how it went seeing as I ate my first whole canned jalapeno two weeks ago. I got on a good pace, and kept it. I had the defending champ to my left. He downed a little over 20 or so in that 5 minutes. Dave Tafoya and I were leading at the break. I do not know his total, but I did 37. Then we hit the break. We could drink water, stand up, and maybe think about what we're doing. I didn't know about or plan for the break, and it showed. My 37 in the 1st five minutes was paired with my 15 in the 2nd five minutes. Wow, but now I know what to prepare for next year.
In the end, I was the only gringo who finished the 2 periods of eating. And 3 of the others dropped out too - only 7 of 12 finished. Maria Gallegos was 3rd with 20. I was 2nd with 52. And Dave won with 62.
A few minutes after the announcement of the results, I started to feel really bad. The jalapenos had to exit. I did not abort, but I didn't stop the boot. It felt good to lose some of the jalapenos. Then I booted again. After this 2nd time, I felt like there was ball of jalapenos halfway up my throat. After feeling really really bad and even thinking about an E/R visit, another boot. I wish I had video of me in process, that'd be awesome! And it felt incredible. At this point I think I might have emptied most of the jalapenos because I felt like I did before the contest. Let's play two!
Had some vanilla pudding and banana Indian fry bread, then high-tailed it back to Denver. Next year, look out guys!
1st - Dave Tafoya 62
2nd - Me 52
3rd - Maria Gallegos 20 *
* she was awarded 3rd as winner of appearance/acting judges choice. The defending champ Larry Romero had 40.
You can view a gallery of all the photos here. I have more results and videos that will be posted soon.