Speed Scarf 

Burrito eaters tear through Moe's Southwest Grill.

With their hands behind their backs, six people -- mostly college students and a few twenty and thirty something men -- stare at three one-pound burritos, each the size of a tallboy beer and wrapped in foil.

For the chance at a custom-built motorcycle and burritos from Moe's Southwest Grill for life, the contestants will devour all three burritos as fast as they can. The person with the fastest time will then compete in a Moe's contest citywide, then statewide, and then nationwide.

Tifani Drain, the manager of Moe's on Poplar Avenue, counts down, and the six competitors are off, shoving enormous bites of ground beef, beans, rice, and cheese into their mouths and chewing viciously. On the far end of the table, 15-year-old Jonas Gibbs is massacring his burrito, scooping out handfuls and shoving them into his mouth with complete abandon. In doing so, he drops gooey piles of rice, beans, and meat all over the tablecloth of front of him.

As burrito begins to fall out of Gibbs' packed mouth, members of the audience groan in disgust. Gibbs tries pouring water over his mouth (it's too full for the cup to actually touch his lips) to wash the burrito down. He misses and pours most of the water down his shirt.

Nearby, 19-year-old Uriah Hansen is keeping up with Gibbs bite-for-bite. In the last seconds, Hansen takes the lead and he beats Gibbs, consuming all three burritos in five minutes and eight seconds.

In the next round, only four people compete (competitors in each round were randomly chosen). The round goes much, much slower as contestants carefully munch on their meals. "Push! Push! You can do it! Push it in there!" screams Drain.

Finally, after 13 minutes and 46 seconds, Aaron DeShane -- a man who'd signed up one day while eating at Moe's with his wife and daughters -- finishes all three burritos. Then he politely leaves the table and runs to the bathroom, spewing vomit on the floor along the way.

In the final round, eight contestants violently tear into their burritos, but it comes down to two 19-year-old guys sitting next to each other. Scott Nanney once consumed a one-foot-high burger at a restaurant in less than 12 minutes. His main competition, Demetri Zouboukos, came into Moe's about a month before the contest and downed one burrito in a minute. Zouboukos pulls ahead and finishes in three minutes and 54 seconds. Drain declares him the winner.

"I think I'm the only one that actually read the rules," said Zouboukos. "The rules said you could stand up, and I did. That helped the food go down easier."



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