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EATING CONTESTS: Whether pies, watermelon, chicken wings, ribs, or cupcakes in Boulder, Co., competitive eating has come a long way from the county fair. Formed in 1997, the International Federation of Competitive Eating unifies the many eating competitions held around the world. One of the most well- known competitive eaters is Takeru 'The Tsunami' Kobayashi, who once held the world record for eating 53 and 3/4 hot dogs and buns in 12 minutes. Here, Eric Livingston of Drexel Hill, Pa. (l.), and Bob Shoudt of Royersford, Pa., participate in Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest at Dorney Park in Cetronia, Pa., in May 2009.

PHOTO: Joe Gill/Express-Times/AP/FILE

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