Laboring Through Labor Day Weekend

It was a big Labor Day Weekend on the MLE circuit, with events from Jacksonville to Buffalo and many ports in between.

Saturday found Sonya Thomas capturing the hearts of the good people of Buffalo once again and taking home $2500 and two titles at the National Buffalo Wing Festival. Sonya won the National Wing Eating Contest by consuming 4.23 pounds of wing meat. She was able to shake off a hard biting Badlands Booker who ate 4.15 lbs of wing meat. In a close third was the lovely Juliet Lee, who managed 3.98 lbs.

Meanwhile in Myrtle Beach at the World BBQ Eating Championship Joey Chestnut reaffirmed his pulled pork prowess by downing 49.5 BBQ sandwiches in 10 minutes. Pat Bertoletti was right behind him with 49 and Bob Shoudt placed third with 46. Hall Hunt placed 4th with 36.

Back in Buffalo on Sunday, Sonya won the annual Wing Fest Buffalo Buffet Bowl. Juliet placed second and Badlands took third.

Sonya then raced to the airport to catch a plane down to Jacksonville for Monday’s KSO V qualifier. Here she would face Hall "Hoover" Hunt who had a solid home field advantage. That home crowd combined with Hall’s refined game and led him to his first career victory over Sonya. In fact, Hunt ate a personal best of 60 Krystals to Sonya's 55 (both eaters beat the standing Jacksonville record of 52). Sonya is the currently the frontrunner in the wildcard race, followed by Larry McNeil, who ate 28 Krystals in Chattanooga at the circuit opener.

Elsewhere on Monday, Humble Bob Shoudt continued to wage his campaign against Chestnut. After a disappointing third place finish in Myrtle, Shoudt followed Joey to Cincinnati. This time, he was able to overtake both Chestnut and Bertoletti in the Skyline Chili Spaghetti Eating Championship at Kings Island. Shoudt ate 13.5 lbs of the local delicacy in 10 minutes. Chestnut was a very close second with 13.2 lbs, and Bertoletti finished third with 11 lbs. Tim Gravy Brown, Chicago’s other eater, placed very much in the money with 7.25 lbs.

Much ground was covered over the weekend and there’s lots more to go. In the next few weeks, the 2008 circuit will bring Major League Eaters to such great cities as Atlanta, Houston, Shreveport, Nashville, Knoxville, Portland, ME and Chicago. And then there’s the $50,000 Krystal event in Chattanooga on September 28.