Friday, July 04, 2008

Takeru, Joey, & Me

I watched the annual Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest on ESPN today. It has become as much a 4th of July tradition around the Bone household as grilled burgers and shooting bottle rockets out of your bare hand. Because really, few things are as American as forcing fifty-nine hot dogs down your esophagus in ten minutes or having second degree burns from putting on your own fireworks show.

Congratulations to this year's winner, Joey "The Clay Aiken Of Bacon" Chestnut. He defeated the legendary Kobayashi in a five dog eat-off to claim the title for the second consecutive year. And this has inspired me to share with you a tale of my own recent athletic prowess.

Last Saturday, in the immortal words of Flock Of Seagulls, I ran. I participated in a five mile race, finishing with a time of 39:10, which was OK. I've only been running about once a week since my 10K in May, so I was satisfied with a sub eight minute pace.

More importantly, I set a new personal record for the most races I've run in a single year, with two. This not only surpasses, but doubles my previous all-time high, of one.

But the most impressive thing about last weekend was that I actually got out of bed at 5:45 on a Saturday morning to go and run five miles. My bed was beckoning me, my body was crying out in protest, and my fish was swimming around as if to say, "What in the world are we doing up at this hour? But as long as we're up, feed me."

This brings up an interesting question: What possesses the runner to do such things? What inspires the runner to run? Some might say it's the sense of accomplishment and personal fulfillment one feels when one crosses the finish line. I say, poppycock!

It's all about the free cookies, bananas, watermelon, Gatorade, soft drinks and other refreshments provided after the race. Oh, and the free t-shirt. Not to mention the blog material it provides. That's why I run.

Still, I'm sure others would say it's the opportunity to wear super sexy, super short running shorts without being subjected to (much) public ridicule, banished from society, or thrown in prison. To wit:

Happy 4th of July, all! Have a hot dog, or fifty-nine. And here's hoping no one has a "reversal of fortune."

"The cloud is moving nearer still. Aurora borealis comes in view. Aurora comes in view. And I ran. I ran so far away. I just ran. I ran all night and day..."


  1. Happy 4th to you too! another blog that I read posted about the hot dog contest too. LOL!

    I just stuffed one burger, potato salad, chips, green salad & buttered noodles down me...that's gotta be as much as all those hot dogs...right? Well I feel as if I ate that many hot dogs.

    Oh when you were running...did anyone offer you some really HOT tea?

    and I'm guessing that since you were up early you didn't need a "Wake Up Call."

  2. We watched that too! In fact, I actually took pictures of it while it was on...I am a huge Kobayashi fan and was so surprised that the other guy beat him!
    I also shot my first ever bottle rocket out of my bare hand. I didn't burn myself but the fuse popped off and landed on my shirt. I was so glad it didn't burn a hole 'cause I kinda like this shirt.
    5:45 on a Saturday? You are my hero, Bone. I don't get up for ANYTHING that early...let alone a run! I'm proud of ya! :)

  3. the things we americans will do for competition... I love the scene in Cool Hand Luke where Neuman eats those eggs, but that has nothing to do with your post. Happy 4th Bone. I'd comment more, but gotta go run

  4. the ONLY reason I run the Peachtree is for the t-shirt. If I really wanted to run 6 miles on the 4th of July (or any other day for that matter), I would just run in my neighborhood instead of joining 55,000 of my closest friends to run down Peachtree street.

    PS- Tshirt's pretty cute this year :)

  5. This hot dog competition--where exactly in Coney Island is it located?

    When I miss NY I watch Law & Order franchise marathon's not hot dog contests but that's just me

    Has Gabe Kaplan recovered from the early Saturday wake up?

    Congrats on the time :) Considering the amount of time you have practiced that's pretty damn, uh I mean darn, good

  6. Renee - Well, just as long as you're not "refunding." Somebody's paying for those meals!

    No, no hot tea. But I always sip the water before I pour it on my head, just in case.

    Jennifer - Yeah, I was kinda rooting for Kobayashi, too. Congrats on your first bottle rocket launch! I was just thinking about how crazy it was that we used to shoot those things at each other when I was younger. Boy, those early twenties was a crazy time.

    Sage - I love the scene in Funny Farm where Chevy Chase eats the lamb fries.

    Cami - You ran the Peachtree? Congratulations! I think of races as sort of a little reward for running and training.

    Pia - The famous intersection of Surf and Stillwell, where I would like to be right now.

    Yes, I have a feeling GabeKaplan is always up early. He's always up when I wake up anyway. He likes sleeping in the evenings. I think maybe he has a bit of rooster in him.


  7. I don't run, but admire those who are ambitious enough to finish the race.
    the closest I ever came to a live eating contest was when i was in middle school and some of my roomates tried to shove as many marshmallows in their mouth and still talk- it did not end pretty!

  8. As much as I love to power down food, I cannot watch the hot dog eating contest. It makes me want to hurl. It's not just the meat concept, it's the forcing down of food. I get shivers just thinking about it.

    Yay for you and your 5K!! I want to run, I wish I could run. Maybe some day. So, the little running shorts....where's you pic?!?

  9. well, if we're using the word "run" VERY loosely-- more of a walk/trot. but it was a lot of fun. I almost won... but the Ethiopian snuck by me at the last second :)

  10. Congrats on your 5k. I applaud you for getting up so early. That's great willpower and dedication.

  11. Daily Panic - I'm not sure eating contests are ever pretty :) I'm known as a very slow eater, thus the moniker "little nibbler."

    Carnealian - Oh, there is no pic. I should have put a disclaimer on here. The fashion choices expressed and illustrated in this post do not reflect those of Bone. I'm just not getting comfortable wearing plaid.

    Cami - Oh, I think I saw that on ESPN. Are we sure he didn't take a shortcut? Tough break, but at least you got a t-shirt :)

    Xinh - Thanks. I am so not a morning person, so for me, the getting up early was much more impressive than running five miles.

  12. you would let ME stay at your fake house in the Hamptons??? Wow! I'm so touched.

  13. hi mate, this is the canadin pharmacy you asked me about: the link

  14. I love the fact that an eating contest is on ESPN. What's next, knitting?

    Good job on the run. The last time I got up at the ungodly hour to run was....well...the last time I did it.

    Why are you asking about Canadian pharmacies? Are you running prescriptions from the border?

  15. eating and espn.. it fits.

  16. You get it! You finally get it! I too run for the water, t-shirts, and blog material. I used to tell everyone I run for water and t-shirts. Didn't it feel cool to get up at the butt crack of dawn to run? Welcome to my world!

  17. Renee - Yes. And I forgot to mention, it has two solariums.

    Scarlet Hip - Well, they do put the National Spelling Bee on ESPN nowadays. I guess eating is as much a sport as spelling.

    No. I quit the business to protect my family, a la Sonny Corinthos. I wish everyone would stop hassling me.

    Shelby - True. I'm often eating while I'm watching ESPN.

    OK Chick - Yes, it felt awesome, I think. Not that I was awake enough to remember most of it. But as I was stumbling to the shower, I thought to myself, "So this is OK Chick's world."