Get to know some gurgitators | Eat My Charlotte

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Get to know some gurgitators

Posted By on Tue, May 25, 2010 at 4:49 PM

Charlotte welcomes three top-ranked Major League Eaters to town this weekend at the Speed Street festival Uptown. Tim Janus, Bob Shoudt, and Micah Collins will be competing in the Jimmy John's Freaky Fast Sandwich Makers vs. Eaters Contest at 5:30 pm on Friday, May 28.

The competition will pit seasoned professional eaters against Jimmy John's speedy sandwich makers in a face-off to see who can apply their respective trade the fastest.  We wanted to know more about these gastronomes and their sport so we asked them a few questions and Tim, Bob and Micah were nice enough to respond.

click to enlarge Eater X
  • Eater X

Tim Janus

World Ranking:  6

Hometown:  New York, NY

Age:  32

Weight:  165 lbs

Records: 7.72 lbs Boneless Buffalo Wings - 12 minutes

10.5 lbs Ramen Noodles - 8 minutes

141 pieces of Nigiri Sushi - 6 minutes

Q: What food do you prefer to compete with?

A: I don't think that there's anything I wouldn't eat in competition.  One of my goals in life is to eat everything in this world at least once, so I'm a pretty open-minded guy.  I also cherish every opportunity I'm given to set a world record.  I've often said, and I mean it wholeheartedly, that I would eat a roll of pennies if I thought I could set a world record doing it.  That said, it'll be far nicer eating Jimmy John's on Friday.

Q:    How do you train for competitions?

A: My training has really flagged these last couple of years.  Part of it I think is just cyclical fatigue.  And part of it is that my body and mind have banked a lot of experience onto which I'm able to fall back.  These days, if I'm going to train, it's usually more of a reconnaissance mission, checking out the food to be eaten and trying to figure out the best technique with which to tackle it.

Q: What's your strategy for this Jimmy John's sandwich-eating contest?

A: From a technical standpoint, Jimmy John's is a pretty straightforward food.  It's a pick-it-up-and-eat-it kind of thing.  I think the two most important things for our team of eaters on Friday will be teamwork and vigilance.  We're going to have to make sure that we pass the sandwiches down the line with the fluidity of relay racers exchanging the baton.  We can't afford to drop one, and we can't hang on to one too long.  Every eater is going to have to be eating during every minute of the competition.   We're also going to have to get off to a very fast start.  Jimmy John's sandwich makers truly are freaky fast.  I've seen them in action before.  I don't think they're going to slow down at all.   So if we get behind, it's Good Night.

Q:  Do you have a day job?

A: Fortunately, yes.  I do have a job.  I work at a pizzeria in the East Village in New York, and the recession hasn't seemed to dampen anybody's enthusiasm for our favorite dish.  And also unfortunately, yes. I do have a job.  I'm not wealthy enough yet to retire.

Q: How did you get started in this field?  What tips do you have for an aspiring competitive eater?

A: I just kind of fell into competitive eating. It looked like fun.  I thought I could do it. So I gave it a shot, and I'm here. And I think that's my advice to anybody: follow your bliss.  If you're curious about competitive eating or anything else in life, pay attention to that curiosity. Give those things a chance.  Try your hardest.  You never know where you'll end up once you take the plunge.

Bob Shoudt

click to enlarge Humble Bob
  • Humble Bob

World Ranking:  2

Hometown:  Philadelphia, PA

Age:  42

Weight:  285 lbs

Records:  13.9 lbs Chili Spaghetti - 10 minutes

39 Krystal Hamburgers - 2 minutes

34.75 Beef Brisket BBQ Sandwiches - 10 minutes

Q: What food do you prefer to compete with?

A: Soft, fast food that you can just pick up and swallow.  Chili spaghetti, chowder, grits.  Things that you do not have to work at--like getting lobster out of its shell.

Q: How do you train for competitions?

A: After doing this for 9 years, each contest builds on the previous one.  Once you learn how to ignore your body's natural reaction to want to stop, you have mastered the secret of competitive eating.  I also do other things like no solid food for two days before a contest.  This makes sure I am ready to go.

Q: What's your strategy for this Jimmy John's sandwich-eating contest?

A: I think it is important that the three eaters share the food equally.  I have watched footage of other JJ contests and it seems like they always have one eater that is not eating.  For example, the first one comes out and they split it in two.  Two eaters eating and one just standing there.  If we can work together to make sure that all three of us are eating, all of the time, we have a good shot to win.  That said, the JJ makers are no joke.  They are professionals that do quick, quality work.

Q: Do you have a day job?

A:  My job is Competitive Eating.  In my off hours, I do have a part time, 40 hour a week job as an IT manager at Initech.

Q: How did you get started in this field? What tips do you have for an aspiring competitive eater?

A:  After watching the hotdog contest on TV, I bet a coworker $100 that I could beat a lot of those eaters.  The next chance I could, I tried it and I did beat a lot of them.  Easiest $100 ever.  After that, I was

hooked.  I wanted to see how far I could go with the sport.

For those that would like to try it, I say come on out.  It is a lot of fun.  Tips for new people are to eat like they normally would.  Then, when they are done with each meal, drink a glass of water.  This will allow them to get used to feeling full, but not add any calories.  Doing this for three meals a day for a week or so, should give them an edge in their first contest.

Micah Collins

click to enlarge Wing Kong
  • Wing Kong

World Ranking:  13

Hometown:  Drexell Hill, PA

Age:  37

Weight:  270 lbs

Records:  84 ounces (5.25 lbs) of baked beans - 58 seconds

Q: What food do you prefer to compete with?

A: Jimmy John's sandwiches obviously, but if I had to pick a runner-up it would be either Pizza, as I am the current Pizza champion, or Baked

Beans, of which I hold the Baked bean record (5 lbs 4 oz. in 58 seconds).

Q:  How do you train for competitions?

A: I train two ways.  First, I eat 20 pounds of canned vegetables and 1 gallon of Gatorade, two times a week.  The second, and most important way I train, is trying to keep fit with an extensive exercise routine.  This helps me to participate in two to three triathlons a year and the Three-Day-Walk which is a  three-day 60 mile walk that helps raise money for breast cancer research.  I have found over the past 6 years that being physically and mentally fit is more important than anything else in this sport.

Q: What's your strategy for this Jimmy John's sandwich-eating contest?

A: To eat faster than they can make sandwiches, kidding, kind of.  I've gone over the tapes of last year's contests in which the eaters made what I consider crucial mistakes, especially the order in which they ate.  I don't want to divulge all the secrets to how we are going to approach this but I can tell you a good lineup is crucial and I think we have figured that out for this contest.

Q:  Do you have a day job?

A: I currently have a somewhat boring job, I am a system administrator (computer geek).  So I rely heavily on my family and my side job, (Competitive eating) for a little excitement in my life.

Q:  How did you get started in this field? What tips do you have for an aspiring competitive eater?

A: I got started like all things a little left of normal, with a bet.  Back in 2004 there was a wing contest in Philly called Wing Bowl and a guy I worked with said there was no way I could qualify for it.  We set a wager on if I could get in and I won.  From that day forward I knew I loved it and wanted to be better and better at it.

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