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Nathan's hot dog eating contest in Coney Island: Chestnut downs 62 dogs to win

July 4, 2011 | 12:43 pm

Independence Day wouldn't be complete without the spectacle of the Nathan's hot dog eating contest on New York's Coney Island. Normally, this 4th of July event belongs to competitive eater Takeru Kobayashi.

But a contractual dispute left Kobayashi on the sidelines, paving the way for others such as Joey Chestnut to dethrone him. You gotta see it to believe it, but Chestnut went on to eat 62 dogs. He won $10,000 and a mustard-yellow champion's belt.

Kobayashi, meanwhile, staged his own competition, eating 69 hot dogs, which would have been a world record had it taken place at a sanctioned event.

The competiton is pretty simple: Eat the most hot dogs and their accompanying buns. And don't hurl.

For some added intrigue, women competed in their own competition this year: Sonya Thomas won by eating 40 hot dogs. She earned $10,000 and a pink belt.


-- Rene Lynch
Twitter / renelynch