Think you've got what it takes to be the Rocky of rhubarb? Here's how to take the competition down.
Step 1: Know the rules Know the rules. There are two kinds of pie-eating contests: one that determines who can eat a pie the fastest, and another that tests who can eat the most pies in a specified amount of time. In both cases, using your hands is forbidden.
Step 2: Eat before the big day Eat as much as you can in the days leading up to the event. This stretches out your stomach so you'll be able to eat more, faster.
TIP: On the day of the contest, don't eat anything; just drink lots of water and tea.
Step 3: Tie your hands Have a friend tie your hands behind your back and practice eating pie. When it's time to compete, get your friend to tie your hands like you practiced to prevent disqualification due to hand use.
TIP: Fasten the plate to the table using Velcro strips if the rules permit. The Velcro will keep the pie in place so that it doesn't slip away from you during the contest.
Step 4: Put your face in the pie Keep your head in the game. Push your face into the pie when the event begins and keep it in there. Turn your head side to side to and breathe, rather than wasting time by sitting up and going back and forth to the pie plate.
Step 5: Pace yourself Keep a steady pace that you can maintain for the duration of the contest. Don't rush.
Step 6: Get down to the crust Eat the crust at the bottom as soon as possible to expose the pie tin. The exposed pie plate will make it appear to the judges that you've eaten more than if you had eaten just the pie's filling. Stay focused and enjoy the delicious thrill of victory!
FACT: Major-league eaters in the International Federation of Competitive Eating can earn more than $10,000 per performance.