After explaining how she got into competitive eating, Miki Sudo said the moral was to try new things because one might discover a hidden talent.
Sudo and nine others took that advice Saturday in the sweltering Lubbock heat. It was Geoffrey Esper who proved best at consuming the unfamiliar cuisine.
Esper, Major League Eating's No. 2-ranked eater, added another record to his résumé by downing 32¼ egg rolls in eight minutes at the inaugural Outlaw Egg Rolls World Egg Roll Eating Championship. It's the 15th food Esper has eaten in world-record fashion.
The feat, which featured 4-ounce fried tubes of ground beef and macaroni and cheese, was made only more impressive by the conditions. Temperatures reached 100 degrees at Alcove Farms as the first crunches rang out.
"The heat definitely tired me out," said Esper, an Oxford, Mass., native. "I think I could've done better if it was a little bit cooler. It was good enough for today. It's the same (weather) for everybody."
Along with the beaming sun, Sudo had to deal with a left-wrist injury. Despite not being able to eat with her dominant hand, MLE's top-ranked female placed second with 28¾ egg rolls consumed. That bested her fiancé, Nick Wehry, who placed third.
"I think the heat got to me a little bit," Sudo said, "and also, I'm working with a slight setback. So I was eating with my left hand because I can't hold a cup of water in it right now. I had a few things working against me, and I came in second place. But I didn't lose by much. I hope to catch him next year."
That will mean a trip back to Lubbock, which MLE host Sam Barclay proclaimed as the "epicenter of the egg-roll-centric lifestyle."
Outlaw Egg Rolls co-owner Clark Brazil said the competition will be an annual tradition as part of MLE's circuit. Saturday's field included four of the organization's top 10 competitors.
With the experience under their belts, participants could see improved results in coming years. Both Esper and Sudo said the unfamiliarity with the egg roll variety — named "The Ranch Hand" — made preparation more difficult.
"I've been eating egg rolls all my life, but this is like a different animal," Sudo said. "It's a regional food, they're larger … now I know what to expect. I kind of came into it blind, but I gave it my all. I think it turned out all right."
So what does a person do after eating that many egg rolls? Esper, a fit 195 pounds, said he feels good for about an hour after competing then likes to relax in a comfortable place.
Sudo saved just a bit of room for dessert.
"I was hoping to pick up a popsicle," she said. "They're small, right? Refreshing. So I might do that."
This article originally appeared on Lubbock Avalanche-Journal: Geoffrey Esper sets egg rolls record at Major League Eating in Lubbock