32 burgers in 10 minutes: Northern California woman breaks her own competitive eating record

She’s already proved she can put away her rivals – and a gigantic amount of food – but competitive eater Molly Schuyler of Northern California upped her game Wednesday by downing 32 burgers in 10 minutes at Z-Burger’s Independence Burger Eating Championship in Washington, D.C..

Yes, that’s 8 pounds of beef in a quarter-hour.

Schuyler, 39, took home the grand burger eating prize for the fifth year in a row, beating her own records for the contest. She bested famous competitive eaters such as Dan “Killer” Kennedy, who ate 24, and Dave “Tiger Wing and Things” Brunelli, who ate 15.

At last year’s championship, Schuyler ate 27 burgers in 10 minutes. Last June, she won the 55 Challenge by being the first among 12 competitors to finish a 3.4-pound, seven-patty hamburger sponsored by Hwy 55 Burgers.

In a rare interview with The Sacramento Bee in 2015, the Plumas Lake resident revealed that her propensity for competitive eating started from childhood.

“I’ve been a huge soda drinker since I was a kid,” Schuyler told The Bee. “I used to drink two gallons of soda every day. Maybe that had something to do with it.”

According to USA Today, competitive eaters train like athletes for competitions.

Competitive eaters often drink an entire gallon of water to stretch their stomachs before competitions. Matt Stonie, another famous competitive eater, consumed 60 hot dogs three times a week followed with a gallon of water, in order to train for a hot dog eating contest, according to USA Today.

Competitive eating is not a new phenomenon, according to Time Magazine.

The Edda, a collection of 13th century Norse myths, recounts a tale of an eating competition between Loki and his servant. The servant won by eating the plate. Today’s form of organized competitive eating, however, was born in 1916, the first year that Nathan’s Famous held its now world-famous Fourth of July hot dog eating contest, according to Major League Eating, the sport’s governing body.

Major League Eating hosts 70 events and competitions annually, ranging from gyoza to strawberry shortcake to shrimp cocktails. The most famous still involve hot dogs, hamburgers and ribs. Thousands attend Nathan’s Famous hot dog eating contest each year, which hands out $40,000 total in cash prizes each year.

However, only the best of the best can truly cash in on their talents. Wednesday, Schuyler won $1,500 for her victory.

For Schuyler, competitive eating can be lucrative.

“It’s about not having to work another minimum wage job again,” Schuyler told The Bee.

She said her career as a competitive eater helps her put food on the table and spend more time with her four children.

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Candice Wang, from Yale, is a local news reporter for The Sacramento Bee interested in climate change, sustainability, socioeconomic inequality, and culture. She grew up in Connecticut.