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Competitive corn-eaters of all ages indulge at event

August 21, 2016 GMT

Fifteen-year-old Claira Gilchrist and her friend, Kennedy Burch, had their methods of surviving the corn-eating contest at the Old-Fashioned Corn Roast Festival.

“My goal was not to gag,” said Burch, who used both the typewriter method of eating back-and-forth across the ear, combined with the spinning method of twisting the ear and eating in circles around it. “I did kind of both, whatever I was in the mood for.”

Kennedy got through three ears and Claira, five.

“I didn’t chew it. I just swallowed,” Claira said.

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  • The two competed in the category for 16- to 25-year-olds.

    The Loveland Chamber of Commerce, host of the contest, divided the corn eaters into six age brackets for 4-7, 8-11, 12-15, 16-25, 26-49 and 50-plus years.

    “It’s something everyone can do, eat. They don’t have to have a special skill,” said Miki Roth, chairwoman of the corn-eating contest committee.

    Up to 12 corn eaters competed in each age bracket, sitting at a long table in the middle of the blocked-off intersection of Fourth Street and Railroad Avenue. They had three minutes to eat as much corn as possible, starting with three ears on paper plates, while volunteers from the Loveland High School track team stood behind them ready to give them additional ears.

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  • Emcee Paul Quere, coach for the track team, told the corn eaters they had to eat all the kernels off each ear of corn and entirely clean off the cob.

    “It’s OK to finish the corn in your teeth and on your face but not your plate,” Quere said.

    Four-year-old Alayah Rosario of St. Paul, Minn., won the first round by getting through four ears.

    “I ate stuff,” Alayah said, imitating stuffing food in her mouth with her hands. “I stuffed it in my mouth. ... I ate it when I spin around it.”

    The winner for the 8-11-year-old age bracket, Bryson Duran, 10, of Loveland, won once before. He used the spinning method and was able to get through six ears.

    “I was just grabbing the corn and spinning it, and my teeth were bringing it out,” Bryson said.

    The other first-place winners varied between the typewriter and spinning methods to eat their corn.

    Isaac Lujan, 15, of Loveland, used the typewriter method, placing first in the 12-15 age bracket. Jay McLaughlin, 16, of Loveland, favored spinning and placed first for the 16-25 age bracket. They both ate six ears.

    “It feels faster, I guess,” McLaughlin said. “I just swallow it. I don’t really chew that much.”

    In the 26-49 age group, Billy Garcia and Scott Duran, a winner for 10 years straight, tied for first place by eating nine ears each.

    “You got to swallow the corn. You can’t just chew it until it’s all gone,” Garcia said. “You don’t even taste it.”

    Garcia spun the ears, and Duran preferred the typewriter method.

    Sandra Montgomery, winner in the 50-plus age category, liked the typing way of eating corn.

    “The typewriter goes straight across and gets it done,” said Montgomery, who got through eight ears.

    Shelley Widhalm: 970-699-5408, swidhalm@reporter-herald.com, twitter.com/ShelleyWidhalm