Joey Chestnut eats 69 hot dogs

Updated: July 4, 2013, 3:45 PM ET
By Ian Begley | Special to ESPNNewYork.com

NEW YORK -- For most people, consuming a record 69 hot dogs in 10 minutes would lead to a trip to the emergency room. But for Joey Chestnut, it's just another day at the office.

Chestnut downed 69 franks Thursday and devoured his own record in the Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest.

The San Jose, Calif., man known as "Jaws" scarfed down the dogs and buns to win the annual Coney Island contest. He took home $10,000 and a mustard-yellow champion's belt.

"I made a new record and people seemed happy," Chestnut said. "It was a great day."

Thursday's total beat his personal best by one wiener. Last year, Chestnut, the No. 1-ranked competitive eater in the world, won the competition with 62 hot dogs. Second place went to Matt "Megatoad" Stonie with 51 hot dogs.

In the dog-eat-dog world of competitive eating, Chestnut stands alone at the top. He holds world records for tamale eating, pastrami eating, ice cream eating and rib eating, among others.

After Thursday's competition, Chestnut said he may cut back on his participation in future competitive eating events.

[+] EnlargeJoey Chestnut
AP Photo/John MinchilloJoey Chestnut set a record by eating 69 hot dogs in 10 minutes, winning the Nathan's Famous contest for the seventh time.

"But I'm not going to walk away from the Fourth of July for awhile," he said.

Chestnut has now bested his former rival, Takeru Kobayashi, with seven wins. Kobayashi, who hasn't competed in the Nathan's Famous contest since 2009, took part in a different eating contest Thursday. 

Major League Eating co-founder and CEO George Shea told the International Business Times in an email this week that Kobayashi isn't banned from the Coney Island event but isn't eligible to compete in the Nathan's Famous contest because he doesn't have a contract with the league.

"Kobayashi is not part of our league and so he is not eligible to compete in our events, but we have always welcomed him into our league. In fact, we have asked him each year if he would like to be part of the league and he has repeatedly declined," Shea told the newspaper.

Sonya "Black Widow" Thomas eked out a narrow victory in the women's race by scarfing nearly 37 hot dogs. She ate 36 3/4 hot dogs, finishing a fraction of a dog ahead of Juliet Lee, who ate 36 hot dogs.

"In my mind, I said I could not lose and I pushed myself," Thomas said.

Thomas has won three straight Nathan's events, but was disappointed with her total Thursday. She consumed 45 hot dogs last summer.

"Maybe the weather affected me," she said of temperatures that rose to 83 degrees.

Despite the high temperature, several thousand spectators crowded the corner of Stillwell Avenue and Surf Avenue to watch the spectacle.

Ian Begley is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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