Doc Chey’s 7th Annual Noodle Eating Contest
Date of Race: Sunday, March 29, 2015
Total Time: 0:00:40
Overall Place: 1
Pre-race: I went to church that morning like I do pretty much every Sunday. I wasn’t playing any music so I was able to cut out a little early to go watch the Morningside Mile. (I did something else that morning but I consider it part of warm-up.) I got to the MM about 10 minutes before it started to be able to take pictures of ATC members pre- and post-race. So my pre-race consisted mostly of a normal Sunday morning and normal race spectating.
After the MM I went to my car and changed into my race kit. Yes. Tri-bottoms, race top, calf sleeves, arm sleeves, sunglasses, Ironman visor, Garmin 910xt, and race belt (complete with gel, chopsticks, and Pepto). It was race day. I had prepared. All in. That and I had jokingly posted on the FB group about doing it and everyone encouraged me to. So I couldn’t disappoint. I took it as far as to force them to number me on my arm instead of on my hand as well.
Warm-up: A warm-up for an event of this magnitude doesn’t start day of. A real champion knows it starts 2-3 days ahead of time. Friday and Saturday I warmed my stomach by eating as much food as I could. I don’t remember what I had on Friday, but Saturday lunch was El Myriachi in Kirkwood where I ate my food, Amanda’s food, and Avery’s leftovers while simultaneously putting down glass after glass of water. Saturday night was spent crushing more food but not to the point of feeling sick.
On Sunday morning, before church, I went to LAF and ran 8 miles on the treadmill. I ate a small breakfast bagel for run energy, but my goal was to be hungry going into the competition.
Contest: The field was deep. Because of the number of challengers they split it into 4 separate heats — 2 child heats, 1 female heat, and 1 male heat. I watched others and took pointers where I could. My pre-race strategy was to relentlessly shovel with reckless abandon paying little attention to chewing.
The portions were brought out on plastic plates and sat on the table set up in the parking lot. There was no assigned spot and picking your plate was first-come first-served. I stood close to the edge of the table so I could grab the plate that appeared to have the least amount of noodles. (A man once told me that in racing you do “whatever it takes.”) Soon the race started and I began two-fisting mouthfuls of noodles into my pie hole. The noodles tasted very good and were covered in a light sauce of some kind. I chewed twice and swallowed them whole. I heaved the next helping into my beak but was met some resistance. A lack of saliva was creating a roadblock between getting the noodles in my grill and getting them down my gullet. However, after watching the female winner successfully defend her title while also using some fluids, I made the choice to alter my nutrition plan and incorporate some dihydrogen monoxide. I was immediately met with the friction relief I was looking for. Hand over fist I poured the noodles in and topped it with a half sip of liquid lubrication. The pace was dialed in now. No eyes on my competition and I could make out the faintest of chants in the background. Someone was calling my name. I picked up the pace as I started to see the bottom of the plate. The key to finishing was to empty your plate and then turn the empty place upside down on top of your head. I was having trouble wrangling the stragglers so I picked up the plate, bent it in half, and slid them down the platter. I hoisted the plate only to notice that someone else raised theirs at the same time! WHAT?! I looked at the judge hopeful of being noticed first and waited for him to process. Indeed I had won. (Apparently the other guy just dumped his full plate of noodles on his head when he saw that I was done.)
Total Time: 0:00:40
Post-race: Immediate high fives all around the crowd. And immediately everyone realized I had just barehanded noodles into my kisser and began to wipe off whatever they had over-excitingly got on them. I was pretty stoked and I felt like I could eat another plate. We learned of my race time and that it was a contest record. I had recorded the fastest time in Doc Chey’s Noodle Eating history and celebrated by ordering some of the tacos they were making for the MM block party.
What would you do differently: Seriously absolutely nothing. From warm-up to pre-race to execution, my game was on point. Eating is no joke.
Rate your overall experience with this race: 5/5 would eat again. This event was awesome. There was so much crowd support. It didn’t hurt that ATC probably made up half the crowd either. It was a really nice day and I went home with a free t-shirt and some gift cards. I encourage anyone that is even remotely interested in this to enter next year.