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Competitive Hot Dog Eaters Prep for Fourth of July Contest

Competitive Hot Dog Eaters Prep for Fourth of July Contest

On a sunny day in City Hall Park, rivalry flared in the shadows of the 30-foot-tall "Daddies" ketchup bottle. What else could be occurring other than the welcome of champion competitive eaters? Mayor Bloomberg and Wayne Norbitz, COO of Nathan’s Famous Inc., welcomed eating champions in preparation for Nathan's Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island. The contest is a yearly tradition in New York City; the archives suggest that it was first held in 1916.

This year’s contestants will be competing tomorrow at noon in Coney Island, where last year’s champion Joey Chestnut, weighing at 210 pounds, will be attempting to break his record of 68 hot dogs in 10 minutes.

"I am not holding back tomorrow," Chestnut said. "I mainly like to compete with myself, but if Kobayashi shows up I will still win."

Chestnut has kept his title for the past five years but Kobayashi and Chestnut tied at 59 hot dogs in the 2008 competition. Unfortunately, Kobayashi is not expected to compete this year, so a surprise visit would be welcome.

Before Chestnut gets a chance to chow down, the women's competition will go first. Female champion Sonya "The Black Widow” Thomas, weighing at only 100 pounds, will be attempting to take down 45 hot dogs in 10 minutes tomorrow.

"My stomach can stretch for the competition, but shrink as well," she said.

Larell Marie Mele, a personal trainer and aerobics instructor, will also be competing in the competition tomorrow, noting that "eating contests are a fun way to dispel the idea that competitive eaters are overweight, most of the girl eaters are model size."

Mayor Bloomberg's speech, although filled with hot dog puns, touched on the fact that the contest has become a historical tradition in the city. "The contest is has been welcomed in New York City for decades and city hall will sponsor the contest by donating condiments for the contestants," he said.

Still, the hot dog eating contest is not just fun and games. COO Wayne Norbitz shared that in honor of the contest Nathan’s will be donating 100,000 hot dogs to New York City food banks.

If you can make it out to Coney Island the competition will be held at 11:30 a.m.. If not, the competition will be broadcast on ESPN at 3 p.m. ET.


New Jersey Educator Competing In Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest

MONTVILLE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A New Jersey school superintendent clearly knows what it’s like to be a leader. But this time, she’s been following the lead of others.

She’s competing for the first time in the Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest, and spoke with CBS2’s Erin Logan before the big day.

“People don’t see me in the role of eating a huge amount of anything,” Rene Rovtar said.

Instead, they see a very thin, 102 pound, confident woman in a role she’s proud of — Superintendent of schools in Montville, New Jersey.

Now, she can add competitive hot dog eating to her resume.

She decided she wanted to be a part of the spectacle while she was sitting in her Basking Ridge home last July Fourth, watching it all unfold.

“So I investigated the process of how you qualify to participate,” she said. That process brought her to a qualifying contest in North Carolina in May.

Rovtar says she prepared by watching a ton of YouTube videos to get the technique down. Other than that, there wasn’t a whole lot of preparation.

She surprised herself by eating seven hot dogs in ten minutes.

Flash forward to now, she’s up against world record breaker Sonya Thomas, who ate 45 dogs in ten minutes, or last year’s winner Miko Sudo, who put down 38 and a half.

The ladies already have their game faces on while weighing in on Monday.

Rovtar says she’s a competitive person, but she knows her limits.

“I also know I have no chance of winning,” she admits.

When students ask her why she’s competing in the contest, she tells them it’s all about getting out of your comfort zone and trying something new.

“To be able to be there and do your best and perhaps better than I have before, that’s good motivation,” she said.

Rovtar’s family will certainly be there cheering her on. She attributes having a great support system for helping her along.

Whether it’s watching her run marathons or eat hot dogs — she says her family is always there for her.


New Jersey Educator Competing In Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest

MONTVILLE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A New Jersey school superintendent clearly knows what it’s like to be a leader. But this time, she’s been following the lead of others.

She’s competing for the first time in the Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest, and spoke with CBS2’s Erin Logan before the big day.

“People don’t see me in the role of eating a huge amount of anything,” Rene Rovtar said.

Instead, they see a very thin, 102 pound, confident woman in a role she’s proud of — Superintendent of schools in Montville, New Jersey.

Now, she can add competitive hot dog eating to her resume.

She decided she wanted to be a part of the spectacle while she was sitting in her Basking Ridge home last July Fourth, watching it all unfold.

“So I investigated the process of how you qualify to participate,” she said. That process brought her to a qualifying contest in North Carolina in May.

Rovtar says she prepared by watching a ton of YouTube videos to get the technique down. Other than that, there wasn’t a whole lot of preparation.

She surprised herself by eating seven hot dogs in ten minutes.

Flash forward to now, she’s up against world record breaker Sonya Thomas, who ate 45 dogs in ten minutes, or last year’s winner Miko Sudo, who put down 38 and a half.

The ladies already have their game faces on while weighing in on Monday.

Rovtar says she’s a competitive person, but she knows her limits.

“I also know I have no chance of winning,” she admits.

When students ask her why she’s competing in the contest, she tells them it’s all about getting out of your comfort zone and trying something new.

“To be able to be there and do your best and perhaps better than I have before, that’s good motivation,” she said.

Rovtar’s family will certainly be there cheering her on. She attributes having a great support system for helping her along.

Whether it’s watching her run marathons or eat hot dogs — she says her family is always there for her.


New Jersey Educator Competing In Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest

MONTVILLE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A New Jersey school superintendent clearly knows what it’s like to be a leader. But this time, she’s been following the lead of others.

She’s competing for the first time in the Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest, and spoke with CBS2’s Erin Logan before the big day.

“People don’t see me in the role of eating a huge amount of anything,” Rene Rovtar said.

Instead, they see a very thin, 102 pound, confident woman in a role she’s proud of — Superintendent of schools in Montville, New Jersey.

Now, she can add competitive hot dog eating to her resume.

She decided she wanted to be a part of the spectacle while she was sitting in her Basking Ridge home last July Fourth, watching it all unfold.

“So I investigated the process of how you qualify to participate,” she said. That process brought her to a qualifying contest in North Carolina in May.

Rovtar says she prepared by watching a ton of YouTube videos to get the technique down. Other than that, there wasn’t a whole lot of preparation.

She surprised herself by eating seven hot dogs in ten minutes.

Flash forward to now, she’s up against world record breaker Sonya Thomas, who ate 45 dogs in ten minutes, or last year’s winner Miko Sudo, who put down 38 and a half.

The ladies already have their game faces on while weighing in on Monday.

Rovtar says she’s a competitive person, but she knows her limits.

“I also know I have no chance of winning,” she admits.

When students ask her why she’s competing in the contest, she tells them it’s all about getting out of your comfort zone and trying something new.

“To be able to be there and do your best and perhaps better than I have before, that’s good motivation,” she said.

Rovtar’s family will certainly be there cheering her on. She attributes having a great support system for helping her along.

Whether it’s watching her run marathons or eat hot dogs — she says her family is always there for her.


New Jersey Educator Competing In Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest

MONTVILLE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A New Jersey school superintendent clearly knows what it’s like to be a leader. But this time, she’s been following the lead of others.

She’s competing for the first time in the Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest, and spoke with CBS2’s Erin Logan before the big day.

“People don’t see me in the role of eating a huge amount of anything,” Rene Rovtar said.

Instead, they see a very thin, 102 pound, confident woman in a role she’s proud of — Superintendent of schools in Montville, New Jersey.

Now, she can add competitive hot dog eating to her resume.

She decided she wanted to be a part of the spectacle while she was sitting in her Basking Ridge home last July Fourth, watching it all unfold.

“So I investigated the process of how you qualify to participate,” she said. That process brought her to a qualifying contest in North Carolina in May.

Rovtar says she prepared by watching a ton of YouTube videos to get the technique down. Other than that, there wasn’t a whole lot of preparation.

She surprised herself by eating seven hot dogs in ten minutes.

Flash forward to now, she’s up against world record breaker Sonya Thomas, who ate 45 dogs in ten minutes, or last year’s winner Miko Sudo, who put down 38 and a half.

The ladies already have their game faces on while weighing in on Monday.

Rovtar says she’s a competitive person, but she knows her limits.

“I also know I have no chance of winning,” she admits.

When students ask her why she’s competing in the contest, she tells them it’s all about getting out of your comfort zone and trying something new.

“To be able to be there and do your best and perhaps better than I have before, that’s good motivation,” she said.

Rovtar’s family will certainly be there cheering her on. She attributes having a great support system for helping her along.

Whether it’s watching her run marathons or eat hot dogs — she says her family is always there for her.


New Jersey Educator Competing In Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest

MONTVILLE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A New Jersey school superintendent clearly knows what it’s like to be a leader. But this time, she’s been following the lead of others.

She’s competing for the first time in the Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest, and spoke with CBS2’s Erin Logan before the big day.

“People don’t see me in the role of eating a huge amount of anything,” Rene Rovtar said.

Instead, they see a very thin, 102 pound, confident woman in a role she’s proud of — Superintendent of schools in Montville, New Jersey.

Now, she can add competitive hot dog eating to her resume.

She decided she wanted to be a part of the spectacle while she was sitting in her Basking Ridge home last July Fourth, watching it all unfold.

“So I investigated the process of how you qualify to participate,” she said. That process brought her to a qualifying contest in North Carolina in May.

Rovtar says she prepared by watching a ton of YouTube videos to get the technique down. Other than that, there wasn’t a whole lot of preparation.

She surprised herself by eating seven hot dogs in ten minutes.

Flash forward to now, she’s up against world record breaker Sonya Thomas, who ate 45 dogs in ten minutes, or last year’s winner Miko Sudo, who put down 38 and a half.

The ladies already have their game faces on while weighing in on Monday.

Rovtar says she’s a competitive person, but she knows her limits.

“I also know I have no chance of winning,” she admits.

When students ask her why she’s competing in the contest, she tells them it’s all about getting out of your comfort zone and trying something new.

“To be able to be there and do your best and perhaps better than I have before, that’s good motivation,” she said.

Rovtar’s family will certainly be there cheering her on. She attributes having a great support system for helping her along.

Whether it’s watching her run marathons or eat hot dogs — she says her family is always there for her.


New Jersey Educator Competing In Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest

MONTVILLE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A New Jersey school superintendent clearly knows what it’s like to be a leader. But this time, she’s been following the lead of others.

She’s competing for the first time in the Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest, and spoke with CBS2’s Erin Logan before the big day.

“People don’t see me in the role of eating a huge amount of anything,” Rene Rovtar said.

Instead, they see a very thin, 102 pound, confident woman in a role she’s proud of — Superintendent of schools in Montville, New Jersey.

Now, she can add competitive hot dog eating to her resume.

She decided she wanted to be a part of the spectacle while she was sitting in her Basking Ridge home last July Fourth, watching it all unfold.

“So I investigated the process of how you qualify to participate,” she said. That process brought her to a qualifying contest in North Carolina in May.

Rovtar says she prepared by watching a ton of YouTube videos to get the technique down. Other than that, there wasn’t a whole lot of preparation.

She surprised herself by eating seven hot dogs in ten minutes.

Flash forward to now, she’s up against world record breaker Sonya Thomas, who ate 45 dogs in ten minutes, or last year’s winner Miko Sudo, who put down 38 and a half.

The ladies already have their game faces on while weighing in on Monday.

Rovtar says she’s a competitive person, but she knows her limits.

“I also know I have no chance of winning,” she admits.

When students ask her why she’s competing in the contest, she tells them it’s all about getting out of your comfort zone and trying something new.

“To be able to be there and do your best and perhaps better than I have before, that’s good motivation,” she said.

Rovtar’s family will certainly be there cheering her on. She attributes having a great support system for helping her along.

Whether it’s watching her run marathons or eat hot dogs — she says her family is always there for her.


New Jersey Educator Competing In Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest

MONTVILLE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A New Jersey school superintendent clearly knows what it’s like to be a leader. But this time, she’s been following the lead of others.

She’s competing for the first time in the Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest, and spoke with CBS2’s Erin Logan before the big day.

“People don’t see me in the role of eating a huge amount of anything,” Rene Rovtar said.

Instead, they see a very thin, 102 pound, confident woman in a role she’s proud of — Superintendent of schools in Montville, New Jersey.

Now, she can add competitive hot dog eating to her resume.

She decided she wanted to be a part of the spectacle while she was sitting in her Basking Ridge home last July Fourth, watching it all unfold.

“So I investigated the process of how you qualify to participate,” she said. That process brought her to a qualifying contest in North Carolina in May.

Rovtar says she prepared by watching a ton of YouTube videos to get the technique down. Other than that, there wasn’t a whole lot of preparation.

She surprised herself by eating seven hot dogs in ten minutes.

Flash forward to now, she’s up against world record breaker Sonya Thomas, who ate 45 dogs in ten minutes, or last year’s winner Miko Sudo, who put down 38 and a half.

The ladies already have their game faces on while weighing in on Monday.

Rovtar says she’s a competitive person, but she knows her limits.

“I also know I have no chance of winning,” she admits.

When students ask her why she’s competing in the contest, she tells them it’s all about getting out of your comfort zone and trying something new.

“To be able to be there and do your best and perhaps better than I have before, that’s good motivation,” she said.

Rovtar’s family will certainly be there cheering her on. She attributes having a great support system for helping her along.

Whether it’s watching her run marathons or eat hot dogs — she says her family is always there for her.


New Jersey Educator Competing In Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest

MONTVILLE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A New Jersey school superintendent clearly knows what it’s like to be a leader. But this time, she’s been following the lead of others.

She’s competing for the first time in the Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest, and spoke with CBS2’s Erin Logan before the big day.

“People don’t see me in the role of eating a huge amount of anything,” Rene Rovtar said.

Instead, they see a very thin, 102 pound, confident woman in a role she’s proud of — Superintendent of schools in Montville, New Jersey.

Now, she can add competitive hot dog eating to her resume.

She decided she wanted to be a part of the spectacle while she was sitting in her Basking Ridge home last July Fourth, watching it all unfold.

“So I investigated the process of how you qualify to participate,” she said. That process brought her to a qualifying contest in North Carolina in May.

Rovtar says she prepared by watching a ton of YouTube videos to get the technique down. Other than that, there wasn’t a whole lot of preparation.

She surprised herself by eating seven hot dogs in ten minutes.

Flash forward to now, she’s up against world record breaker Sonya Thomas, who ate 45 dogs in ten minutes, or last year’s winner Miko Sudo, who put down 38 and a half.

The ladies already have their game faces on while weighing in on Monday.

Rovtar says she’s a competitive person, but she knows her limits.

“I also know I have no chance of winning,” she admits.

When students ask her why she’s competing in the contest, she tells them it’s all about getting out of your comfort zone and trying something new.

“To be able to be there and do your best and perhaps better than I have before, that’s good motivation,” she said.

Rovtar’s family will certainly be there cheering her on. She attributes having a great support system for helping her along.

Whether it’s watching her run marathons or eat hot dogs — she says her family is always there for her.


New Jersey Educator Competing In Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest

MONTVILLE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A New Jersey school superintendent clearly knows what it’s like to be a leader. But this time, she’s been following the lead of others.

She’s competing for the first time in the Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest, and spoke with CBS2’s Erin Logan before the big day.

“People don’t see me in the role of eating a huge amount of anything,” Rene Rovtar said.

Instead, they see a very thin, 102 pound, confident woman in a role she’s proud of — Superintendent of schools in Montville, New Jersey.

Now, she can add competitive hot dog eating to her resume.

She decided she wanted to be a part of the spectacle while she was sitting in her Basking Ridge home last July Fourth, watching it all unfold.

“So I investigated the process of how you qualify to participate,” she said. That process brought her to a qualifying contest in North Carolina in May.

Rovtar says she prepared by watching a ton of YouTube videos to get the technique down. Other than that, there wasn’t a whole lot of preparation.

She surprised herself by eating seven hot dogs in ten minutes.

Flash forward to now, she’s up against world record breaker Sonya Thomas, who ate 45 dogs in ten minutes, or last year’s winner Miko Sudo, who put down 38 and a half.

The ladies already have their game faces on while weighing in on Monday.

Rovtar says she’s a competitive person, but she knows her limits.

“I also know I have no chance of winning,” she admits.

When students ask her why she’s competing in the contest, she tells them it’s all about getting out of your comfort zone and trying something new.

“To be able to be there and do your best and perhaps better than I have before, that’s good motivation,” she said.

Rovtar’s family will certainly be there cheering her on. She attributes having a great support system for helping her along.

Whether it’s watching her run marathons or eat hot dogs — she says her family is always there for her.


New Jersey Educator Competing In Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest

MONTVILLE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A New Jersey school superintendent clearly knows what it’s like to be a leader. But this time, she’s been following the lead of others.

She’s competing for the first time in the Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest, and spoke with CBS2’s Erin Logan before the big day.

“People don’t see me in the role of eating a huge amount of anything,” Rene Rovtar said.

Instead, they see a very thin, 102 pound, confident woman in a role she’s proud of — Superintendent of schools in Montville, New Jersey.

Now, she can add competitive hot dog eating to her resume.

She decided she wanted to be a part of the spectacle while she was sitting in her Basking Ridge home last July Fourth, watching it all unfold.

“So I investigated the process of how you qualify to participate,” she said. That process brought her to a qualifying contest in North Carolina in May.

Rovtar says she prepared by watching a ton of YouTube videos to get the technique down. Other than that, there wasn’t a whole lot of preparation.

She surprised herself by eating seven hot dogs in ten minutes.

Flash forward to now, she’s up against world record breaker Sonya Thomas, who ate 45 dogs in ten minutes, or last year’s winner Miko Sudo, who put down 38 and a half.

The ladies already have their game faces on while weighing in on Monday.

Rovtar says she’s a competitive person, but she knows her limits.

“I also know I have no chance of winning,” she admits.

When students ask her why she’s competing in the contest, she tells them it’s all about getting out of your comfort zone and trying something new.

“To be able to be there and do your best and perhaps better than I have before, that’s good motivation,” she said.

Rovtar’s family will certainly be there cheering her on. She attributes having a great support system for helping her along.

Whether it’s watching her run marathons or eat hot dogs — she says her family is always there for her.