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    Posted July 4, 2013 by
    Brooklyn, New York
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Photo essays: Your stories in pictures

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    Downin' Dogs in Coney Island


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     beachtar captured these images of Sonya Thomas, a competitive eater who won the women's portion of the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest on July 4 in Coney Island. Thomas downed an impressive 36 3/4 hot dogs to win. Read more about the competition on CNN.
    - jccarp, CNN iReport producer

    New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg lobbied hard for calorie counts to be put on fast food menu boards and to limit the size of sugary drinks to 16 ounces. So what in the name of Porky Pig must he have thought about today’s 98th annual Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest?

    Today’s edition of the traditional July 4th staple was held as always in front of the original Nathan’s in the heart of Brooklyn’s Coney Island. Thousands lined the intersection of Surf and Stillwell Avenues to see this event, euphemistically categorized as “competitive eating.” But who am I to cast doubt on the competitive nature of the contest, as it was after all broadcast on ESPN.

    Porky’s progeny were consumed in massive quantities, with Sonya “The Black Widow” Thomas taking her third consecutive woman’s title, downing 36 ¾ dogs and beating out by a snout “The Lovely” Juliet Lee’s 36. In the men’s division, Joey Chestnut captured his seventh straight title—an accomplishment surely commensurate with Roger Clemens seven Cy Young awards—by making short work of 69 franks. Chestnut broke his own world record of 68, which he set last year.

    Regardless of where you yourself place these accomplishments in the pantheon of sports, I would not advise arguing its merits with the enthusiastic crowd that stood like mad dogs and Englishmen in the noonday sun banging their Nathan’s thunder sticks and cheering on this conspicuous consumption of pork.
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