After officially becoming the title sponsor of the inaugural Chattanooga Ironman competition, snack food company Little Debbie and its parent company McKee Foods announced that it would add a competitive eating section to the race.
“The Ironman triathlon is an institution in the world of athletics,” said Little Debbie spokesperson Samantha Dettus. “And competitive eating is one of the fastest growing sports in the United States, so this new incarnation of the Ironman event is the next step in the inevitable evolution of athletic competitions.”
For the newly enhanced Chattanooga Ironman, competitors will first swim 2.4 miles, bicycle 112 miles, eat two dozen Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies and finally run the length of a marathon, which is 26.2 miles.
This type of race is not unprecedented, with such races as the “Krispy Kreme Challenge” held every year in Raleigh, N.C., where competitors run four kilometers to a Krispy Kreme doughnut shop, eat one dozen glazed doughnuts and run an additional four kilometers to the finish line.
The Little Debbie Ironman Chattanooga will differ from traditional competitive eating events by not disqualifying competitors who experience a “reversal of fortune” – a spontaneous regurgitation of ingested food – and garbage receptacles will be placed along the marathon path in preparation for such occurrences.
Slated to compete at the 2014 Little Debbie Ironman Chattanooga are 2012 Ironman World Championship winner Pete Jacobs from Australia, women’s Ironman Championship course record holder Mirinda Carfrae and that skinny Japanese competitive eater Takeru Kobayashi.