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Burger champ
Man devours two-pound sandwich in 18 minutes to claim eating contest bragging rights

Simon Whitehouse
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, June 13, 2012

While it may have been the closest thing in Yellowknife to a horse race, none of the eight contestants in a new burger eating contest was saying "I'll have another."

NNSL photo/graphic

Jamie Pye prepares to eat at the hamburger eating contest at Coyote's Bar and Grill, Saturday. - Simon Whitehouse/NNSL photo

Edward But, owner of Coyote's Bar and Grill, held the first Hungry Coyote Burger Eating Contest on Saturday. The team of challengers, made up of regular customers, featured a new two-pound burger - "The Beast" - with one pound of fries and a pint of each contestant's favourite drink.

After 18 minutes and 39 seconds, Jamie Pye wiped his mouth and stood above his plate to become the inaugural winner of But's contest.

"She's right up to the top, buddy," said Pye a few times to his co-contestants as he pointed to his upper diaphragm near the end of the race.

"It was pretty intense and almost intimidating," he added after the victory. "It was a great taste and that is half the battle."

As a result of the win, Pye took home $100, will receive one one-pound Hungry Coyote burger a week for a whole year and will be noted as the champion until the contest is held again next year. He didn't have plans for the $100 as of Saturday, but he is about to get married to his fiancee Melissa Ferrier in November and said the money will probably go to his lady. When asked how she felt after watching her soon-to-be husband's accomplishment, Ferrier laughed, "proud and disgusted."

"Usually he comes for the one pound cut and he had always wanted to do a burger eating contest," she said. "In fact we were in Las Vegas in May looking for one, but there was nothing that we came across."

Contestant Chris Dumas was what But declared "the first casualty of the night," as he gave in after 25 minutes.

"It was rough," said Dumas, who appeared sickly when asked how he felt after his first ever burger eating contest. "I'm used to eating the one pounder, but not this. The burger was awesome, though, and on par with the one pounder."

Asked if he would do it again, he said "definitely."

Most of the contestants gave up around the 30-minute mark. Robbie Pascal gave in after 27 minutes, Dustin Arychuk and Adam Scarf after 32 minutes, Jon Whitford at 42 minutes and 37 seconds and Josh Judas at 52 minutes.

Three competitors were reported to have vomited.

In an interesting twist to the event, the lone female contestant, Tracy-Ann Hill Gentles, was the only other contestant who ate the whole burger. She left the fries, however, and finished at one hour and 15 minutes. Throughout the race, Gentles was slowly munching on her food as the boys dug in fast, giving the impression that she was perhaps the tortoise-like racer against hare-like competitors.

"I would have finished the whole thing but my baby got hungry and my husband wanted to get going," she said.

She said Pye was clearly a very worthy competitor, however some of the other contestants may have come up short because they were not used to eating so much so fast.

She said she hadn't really come with a game plan, only having eaten a small breakfast that day and had a few Smarties. She had also refrained from sipping away at some of the drinks early in the competition, as had some of the other eaters.

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