No, not for Triathlon or Running….. but in sushi eating competitions! The competition consists of two rounds, the first being the top two people to eat 32 pieces … this lasts less than 40 seconds. The second round is all you can eat in 2 minutes 13-31 seconds (they change it by year). The first year, I had no chance, as it was mostly a soup eating competition – competitors would douse the sushi with water. The winner – a deaf bodybuilder, that year ate (or rather drank) 96 pieces in the second round.
The next year prior to the competition, I ask the owner of the restaurant to implement a no pouring water on sushi rule – soy sauce is ok (The high sodium value can fill you up). This was no ordinary year, as some paid eating contest professionals came down from San Francisco to compete – using their weird gulping techniques. Even though the rule change was in effect and knocked out the winner from the previous year since he couldn’t swallow, I didn’t eat as much thinking I would get blown away, so I would pace myself enough to get me third place – $80 of sushi. Turns out, I lost to second by 1 piece, and to first by 2 pieces! Ok, now I know I have a chance for next year…
This competition is like a TV show, with different characters showing up: The 400lb+ person, the guy in a Kimono with the ninja headband (2), and me the average guy in shorts and t-shirt. This year I also began high mileage marathon training, so this meal, err competition, is guilt-free (14 mile run in the morning). The deaf guy was there, and he remembered me, and we were amping each other up for the competition via hand gestures. This year I ate 2 pieces at once, and cleared 2.5 plates to get a total of 76, and first place! I won by 3 pieces and was shown on our local TV news channel. Although this year the sushi prize money was $180, half of the previous year, I didn’t mind. The fact that I could take out the guy who did 96 pieces was worth it.
This year once again I see the silly characters with their silly costumes again, I just made mental note not to get beat by them, just like you don’t want to get beat by someone in a running race wearing a costume! Thinking my rival would show up with revenge on his mind, I upped my morning run miles to 22. Turns out he didn’t show, and I took first place again, not knowing I could have took it easy and still secure the win, $320 sushi bucks. But I am very hungry, so much that I continued eating after the contest.
Also this year, my wife Bessy finally has free weekends with no work, so she was able to participate. She eats very slow, but she can out eat some large football players in terms of quantity. Still, she had a chance here, and I gave her some tips such as pouring soy sauce on the sushi before. She had no chance vs the first place winner, but she ended up in a three way tie for 2nd and 3rd. She had 5 seconds spare and if she put one more piece in her mouth she would have had 2nd…. So it was settled with a tie breaker of all competitors eating one roll, but unfortunately she didn’t make it. Oh well, can’t beat over 60 pieces of sushi for $15!
After the competition Fox 5 interviewed me, were I stated it was my hunger training for the San Diego Rock and Roll marathon that helped. They also asked what will I do after the competition… rest and go to sleep? I laughed, “No, I am going to ride my bike – its a beautiful day out!”