Nathan's Famous hot dog-eating contest to host qualifying round in St. Paul

Joey Chestnut at the 2012 Nathan's Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog-Eating Contest
Joey Chestnut at the 2012 Nathan's Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog-Eating Contest

ESPN's cameras were rolling. The contestants stood ready. "Blitzkrieg Bop" blared in the background. The countdown began. Joey Chestnut reached for his first hot dog from the pile of Nathan's dogs before him and pushed it towards the back of his throat with vacuum-like effect. In the ten minutes that followed, he would consume 68 hot dogs, making him the world's top hot dog-eating champion.

Chestnut has won Nathan's Famous Fourth of July hot dog-eating contest for the past seven years, and has no plans to slow down. But if you want to dethrone the champion, your most gluttonous dreams could come true on June 1, when Nathan's Famous rolls into St. Paul to hold a qualifying round for its annual competition.

See also: The Depot crowns Diamond Dog eating contest winner

Contestants will have ten minutes to stuff as many hot dogs in their mouths as possible. Dunking (dipping your food in water to soften it) is allowed for no more than five seconds and reversal of fortune (aka vomiting) is grounds for automatic disqualification.

The winning male and female contestants from the qualifying round will earn spots in the final Fourth of July contest in Brooklyn, New York. The annual contest is broadcasted on ESPN and attracts crowds of up to 35,000 people.

The qualifying round will take place at noon on Dixie's Stage during the Grand Old Day festival in St. Paul. A number of high-ranking competitive eaters will take part in the event, including Badlands Booker (the world donut, matzo ball, and green bean-eating champion) and Yasir Salem (the world cannoli-eating champion).

Nathan's Famous Hot Dog-Eating Contest is put on by Major League Eating and the International Federation of Competitive Eating, two connected organizations dedicated to hosting the world's premier binge-eating spectacles.

The disclaimer at the bottom of the event page reads, "All applicants must be 18 years of age or older and fully acknowledge and understand the inherent dangers and risks associated with participating in an eating contest." Rupturing your stomach does not sound like too much fun. Be careful, food warriors.

Still interested? You can register here.

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