Nathan's Hot Dog Qualifier Coming to Cleveland, Beefcakes Bickel Will Be There

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Since last we heard from Cleveland’s preeminent competitive eater [“The Ballad of Beefcakes Bickel,” January 12, 2011], our hero has taken to shouldering the Sisyphean task of bringing home the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest world title.

For Bickel, that means a tireless regimen of chugging water, chowing everything in sight, and performing ludicrous exercises to limber up his jaw in preparation for the annual July 4 event on Coney Island.

Bickel thought his next step would include a flight to California or North Carolina to compete in a qualifying contest that could win him a seat at the main event. But he’s been handed a surprise: Nathan’s is coming to Beefcakes instead.

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