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Joey Chestnut’s white Major League Eating T-shirt had become transparent and was starting to cling to his frame. It didn’t escape the notice of MLE Chairman George Shea.
“It’s like a wet T-shirt contest gone horribly wrong,” Shea shouted to the crowd, as Chestnut and his fellow competitors voraciously tore through pan after pan of hard-boiled eggs in the pouring rain.
As a deluge of rain set in Saturday afternoon at City Park North in Radcliff right before the Radcliff World Hard-Boiled Egg-Eating Championship began, contestant Miki Sudo realized she was set to walk out of the amphitheather into a downpour wearing the same white MLE T-shirt. She began searching for something else to wear, and finally settled on a fluorescent vest belonging to Radcliff Fire Chief Jamie Henderson.
Despite the problems the MLE attire presented to contestants, the rain didn’t seem to faze them, especially Chestnut, who set a world record by eating 141 eggs in eight minutes.
The previous record was set in 2003 by Sonya Thomas, who ate 65 eggs in six minutes and 40 seconds. That contest had to be cut short after the event ran out of eggs. Thomas competed Saturday, but came in fourth place after eating 92 eggs.
Radcliff organizers worked to ensure there would be enough eggs this time around by preparing 1,000, which were presented to the contestants by the dozen in pie pans. The pans soon filled with water as the contest got underway.
Sudo, of Las Vegas, finished in third place after eating 104 eggs. Matt Stonie, of San Jose, Calif., consumed 132 eggs to come in second.
This was Chestnut’s first hard-boiled egg competition, and he said he practiced to become accustomed to the taste.
“It’s a pretty simple flavor,” he said.
He was certain he could reach the 100-egg mark, and had hoped he could eat 12 dozen eggs. He missed that mark by just three, but he felt good about his performance, he said.
Chestnut said he drinks a lot of liquids after a competition as part of his recovery.
“I’m going to be exhausted because I haven’t really eaten solid food for like two days,” he said.
Jay Trautwein of Louisville participated after coming in second at a local competition eating chicken wings. Trautwein said he used the simple strategy of eating and not throwing up.
“I’m glad I got through it. It was a great day,” he said.
Radcliff resident Nick Holeman took part in the contest after winning the local chicken wing contest. He ate 24 eggs Saturday, and he was happy to watch a world record be broken.
“It’s just great to be at the same table,” he said.
Kelly Cantrall can be reached at 270-505-1747 or email@example.com.