Eating contest set in Ottumwa

OTTUMWA -- The world?s top competitive eaters will gather in Iowa for the first-ever Canteen Sandwich Eating Competition at 1 p.m. June 2 in Ottumwa?s Central Park to set a world record.

Major League Eating has a new addition to its annual slate of sanctioned eating championships for 2018. Top competitive eaters will unite in Ottumwa and converge in eating as many Canteen loose-meat sandwiches as they can in just 10 minutes.

?Success will need to be earned at The Canteen Sandwich Eating Championship,? said Major League Eating emcee Sam Barclay. ?Hand speed will be key, capacity will be challenge ? and every eater?s ability to overcome brain freeze will be put to the ultimate test.?

Top eaters in attendance include, No. 12-ranked Juan Rodriguez from Crestwood, Illinois, the No. 40-ranked Matthew Raible from Edwards, Illinois, and the No. 45-ranked Andrew Kogutkiewicz from Racine, Wisconsin.

In 1927, a five-stool restaurant serving loose-meat sandwiches and homemade pies opened in Ottumwa. Canteen Lunch in the Alley has become a fixture of the town. Located in a historic building on an alley lot, the charm, history and food draw visitors from all over Iowa and beyond. The tradition of getting lunch at ?The Canteen? has become a staple in Ottumwa culture now and for future generations.

Major League Eating, the world-governing body of all stomach-centric sports, conducts more than 80 events annually, including the Nathan?s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog-Eating Contest in Coney Island, New York.

The competitive eating community, which numbers more than 8,000 veteran and rookie athletes, travels the world in search of top titles and the glory that they provide.

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