Stampede Calorie Challenge 2010
By Kelsey Hipkin
*Disclaimer: Have you ever seen that episode of CSI where the poor guy eats himself to death? This is nothing like that, sort of…there was lots of eating but no death. What you are about to read should not be tried at home…or on the Stampede grounds…unless you are well versed in the ways of fried foods and other Stampede fare.
Some of you may have read last years story about my one hour calorie challenge on the Stampede grounds. In one hour I managed to eat 1800 calories of midway goodies, the equivalent of just over what my daily intake should be. This year the challenge (still how many calories could be consumed in an hour) escalated a little bit when my friend and fellow foodie James Paton decided to make things a little more interesting and join the festivities.
We brought in a panel of judges this year to accompany each of us on our eating trek. I was paired with Gabrielle Domanski who recorded what I ate and made sure I finished different things sufficiently and Amy Gregson who was my photographer. James was paired with Katie Turner who did the same. Here are their thoughts on the competition:
When the idea of this challenge first came about, I was excited and disgusted at the same time. I just couldn’t help but think about how unhealthy it would be to consume what I assumed to be well over one’s daily calorie intake in the short span of 60 min.
Once we stood outside of the BMO Centre however, the anticipation of what crazy culinary concoctions we would come across became overwhelming. I honestly can’t say that I had a favourite contender.
Both competitors have bottomless stomachs and an appetite for consumption. I knew from the start that it would be a very close call and my own stomach was soon eager to join in on the fun.
To tackle any of the deep-fried greasy goodness at the Calgary Stampede takes guts. Iron guts that is.
There are no two people better equipped with guts of steel than one James Paton and one Kelsey Hipkin, which is what made the competition so hard to call.
We all knew it would be a tight race and as the two prepared to split up and consume the fair food, both had sheer determination in their eyes.
The race was tight and through all the deep fried delectables, both held their own. While there could only be one winner, it’s clear that these two not only have guts of steel but also h0llow legs.
And now on to the stories of the competitors ourselves, myself Kelsey “Iron Guts” Hipkin and James “The Mouth” Paton:
On a rainy Saturday, July 10, James and I stood face to face in the spitting rain sizing each other up before the games began. I respect James Paton very much as both a friend and a colleague, in fact, he’s my boy BFF. Colour me cocky but given I’d done the challenge before and have a few years on Mr. Paton agewise, I felt somewhat a Rowdy Burns to his Cole Trickle (If you haven’t seen Days of Thunder, do it. It’s pre-odd Tom Cruise awesomeness). But… standing in the rain, my five-foot-six inch self staring up at James’s six foot-two, I began to get a little nervous.
At 7:45 p.m. it was go time. We branched off and I headed for a sign containing one of my favorite words in the world…cheese. It was a new booth to the Stampede this year, Wisconsin cheese nuggets. I made my order and waited patiently and waited some more. I was a little worried about timing as we spotted James finishing a corn dog so I bounced over and grabbed a slice of pizza to eat while waiting for my cheese nuggets.
My cheese finally arrived, not in the form of a nugget but a mozza stick. Disappointing…but the mozza sticks were fabulous on their own. With both in hand I next stopped at the taco in a bag stand. The vendor seemed a bit perplexed that I needed more food. She apologized when we explained the competition saying, “sorry it’s lean ground meat,” in their recipe. I love taco in a bag so I was willing to overlook the lean bit.
Washing all three down with a coke I decided it was time for some sweeties. I have wanted to try a deep fried twinkie since they were introduced to Stampede fare a few years back so that came next. I ordered a stick of chocolate covered strawberries to go with it and the refreshing strawberries actually made me feel a little better. Funny how fruit does that.
First bite into the twinkie and what I thought would be ecstacy turned out to be not so much. A deep fried twinkie tastes nothing like the golden wonder that is a packaged twinkie…I made it through only one bite. To get the deep fried twinkie taste out of my mouth I continued on to my personal old faithful, the caramel apple, you can never go wrong with a caramel apple.
Next, Wiggle Chips. My love for potatoes almost equals that of my love of bacon. I can eat any form of potato anytime. Wiggle Chips are spiraled chains of potatoey goodness in a potato chip like form…covered in vinegar they are simply stellar.
I washed them down with some coke and another stick of chocolate covered strawberries just in time to meet up at the rendevouz point. Challenge ended and great time with some great friends down on the grounds.
It all started with a great big crunch on a corn dog. All of a sudden it was me against Kelsey in a battle to end all battles. A struggle against time and quantity.
It was around the 30 minute mark and after a corn dog, pizza and some awful tasting cheesy jalepeno poppers, I was starting to feel full. But after a five minute break my tummy was feeling much better and I could move on to the next phase of my mission (cramming as much crap into my mouth as possible).
After it was all over, I found I was still able to stand. There was no running to the bathroom to say hello to the great white telephone and I was feeling pretty good 10 minutes after the challenge. It wasn’t until about 30 minutes in that my tummy started to talk to me. I can only imagine what it was saying; things like, “why would you eat all of this” and “really, you ate this too” come to mind. Other then feeling like I was about to blast off like a Saturn Five rocket this morning I felt pretty good. All in all this was an amazing experience with great friends that took mine and Kelsey Hipkin’s eating experience to great levels. Kelsey was more than a formidable force to be reckoned with and a great competitor.