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4 of the Most Daunting Competitive Eating Challenges

"Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, Or what's a heaven for?" —Robert Browning, "Andrea del Sarto"

A wise man once said, “Life is pain.” From aches and pains first thing in the morning to the gut-knotting anxiety caused by that upcoming presentation, everyone is all too familiar with their daily dose of pain. The upshot is that everyone — that wise man included — has to eat, and if life is pain and you have to eat, why not combine the two? These competitive eating challenges are the perfect opportunity to do so.

Paddy Long’s The Bomb

If you find yourself in the Windy City and feel like showing your body who’s boss, consider swinging by Paddy Long’s where you’ll find their world-famous creation, The Bomb. This beast is five pounds of beef, pork, and ground sausage wrapped in brown sugar bacon and slow-cooked in Paddy’s in-house pig cooker. Served with a massive side of fries, brave challengers have just forty-five minutes to clear their plates. Their reward? A T-shirt, a comped meal, and of course, eternal glory: a photo on the wall of victory.

San Francisco Creamery Co.’s The Kitchen Sink

Maybe savory isn’t the name of your game. If instead, you have an insatiable sweet tooth and an afternoon in the Bay Area, the San Francisco Creamery Co. has you covered. Their creation, The Kitchen Sink, consists of eight scoops of ice cream, three sliced bananas, a mountain of whipped cream, and heaps of toasted cherries and almonds. If you can finish this sugary Everest on your own and beat the previous fastest time, you’ll have yourself free ice cream for a year.

Nitally’s ThaiMex Cuisine’s Inferno Soup

Maybe you need more than just a free T-Shirt and a comped meal to subject your mind and body to the rigors of competitive eating. Maybe you need something more than a photo on the wall. And maybe Nitally’s in St. Petersburg, Florida has just the challenge for you. Their Inferno Soup challenge sits you in front of 48 ounces of soup made from bhut jolokia, a.k.a. the ghost pepper, a.k.a. one of the hottest peppers in the world. Challengers must be at least 18 years old and of sound body and mind, sober, and can’t get up once the challenge starts. If they can follow the rules and finish the meal within 30 minutes, they’ll walk away with a thousand dollars.

The Clinton Station Diner’s 8th Wonder

If a thousand dollars isn’t enough for you, though, there are rumors of another legendary meal with an even bigger cash reward. Never conquered by likes of mere mortals, the Clinton Station Diner in Clinton, New Jersey offers up a burger weighs in at 105 pounds. A group of 10 people are given 60 minutes to take on the legendary meal; should they complete the burger and follow the stipulations, they’ll walk away with $5,000. To date, no group has succeeded in the face of the 8th Wonder.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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