A three-burrito sprint | VailDaily.com

A three-burrito sprint

Nicole Frey/Vail DailyChris Robbins of Denver took big bites, worked quickly, and devoured three burritos from Moe's Southwestern Grill in less than seven minutes Friday. Robbins munched his way to the next round in a national contest that earns the winner a chopper and burritos for life.

EDWARDS ” OK, so it wasn’t exactly like Tiger Woods striding around Amen Corner on Sunday at the Masters, but it was pretty cool.

Christian Robbins of Denver took his first steps toward a totally bitchin’ chopper and a lifetime of food Friday at Moe’s Southwestern Grill in Edwards. To do that, he inhaled three burritos, each weighing about a pound, in a few ticks more than six-and-a-half minutes.

The Edwards Moe’s store Friday hosted the first round of a nationwide burrito-eating contest sponsored by the 330-restaurant chain. The winners will eat their way into a custom-made Bourget motorcycle and free Moe’s burritos for life.

To take the second step on his journey, Robbins first had to chow down on the competition ” a pair of 18-year-old Edwards men.

Now, an 18-year-old man is usually a formidable eater.

“Jon’s an all-state football player and an all-state basketball player, but he’s an all-world eater,” said Bob Armstead, father of contestant Jonathan Armstead.

“I’ve been training all my life for this,” Jonathan Armstead said.

Mike Janssen, also of Edwards, was equally confident.

“It’s only three burritos,” he said. “That doesn’t seem like much.”

Both Janssen and Armstead brought cheering sections with them, eager for either success or disaster.

“It doesn’t really matter,” said Hannah Guida, a friend of Janssen’s. “Either way it’s going to be fun to watch.”

Armstead’s girlfriend, Kristin Hopkins, was happy to join in the good-natured ribbing, especially since she’d just flown in from Georgia for a visit.

“I told him he’d better mean it today,” she said. “I told him, ‘If you can’t handle three burritos you can’t handle me.'”

When it was time to eat, though, experience won out.

Robbins, 35, said he, too, had been training all his life. This was his first “official” eating contest, he said, but he had engaged in power-munching on bets with friends. Robbins came to the Moe’s in Edwards because he’d seen a poster for the contest while in the valley for some bike-riding.

“I’m a little nervous,” Robbins said. “But I’m just going to stay focused and not worry about what anybody else is doing.”

When the foil came off the first burrito, Robbins’ experience showed.

About a quarter of the first burrito disappeared in his first bite. Shoving huge chunks of beef, beans, rice and cheese into his gullet Robbins was like locusts in a wheat field. Devastation was inevitable. The only question was how long it would take.

Robbins was into this third burrito by the time Armstead and Janssen had finished their first.

In less than seven minutes it was over. Robbins’ hands quivered a bit as he finished, and by the time he stood up from the table, about the only thing he could think about was a nap.

But the younger competitors were, if not awed, at least way impressed.

“He’s a (bleeping) machine,” Janssen said afterward.

Armstead agreed.

“That was some fierce eating,” he said.

Other eating records, courtesy of the International Federal of Competitive Eating

– Asparagus: 6.25 pounds in 10 minutes, Joey Chestnut

– Burritos: 15 BurritoVille burritos in 8 minutes, Eric Booker

– Butter: seven quarter-pound sticks in 5 minutes, Don Lerman

– Cheesecake: 11 pounds in 9 minutes, Sonya Thomas

– Chicken wings: 167 in 32 minutes, Sonya Thomas

– Cow brains: 17.7 pounds in 15 minutes, Takeru Kobayashi

– Hard boiled eggs: 65 in 6 minutes, 40 seconds, Sonya Thomas

– Grilled cheese sandwiches: 47 in 10 minutes, Joey Chestnut

– Hot dogs: 53.5 hot dogs and buns in 12 minutes, Takeru Kobayashi

– Jambalaya: Nine pounds in 10 minutes, Sonya Thomas

– SPAM: Six pounds in 12 minutes, Dale Boone

– Turducken: 7.75 pounds in 12 minutes, Sonya Thomas

Staff Writer Scott N. Miller can be reached at 748-2930, or smiller@vaildaily.com.

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