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Ribmania Ribs Eating Contest at Ribfest Chicago

Ribmania Chicago.

Ribfest Chicago ribs eating contest.

Ribmania Ribs Eating Contest at Ribfest Chicago.

 

Photography has always been my crutch. In high school I learned that if I picked up a camera I could participate in anything without really having to participate: a way to be social without having to be social. I could document parties without having to interact. I could watch concerts even if I didn’t understand the music. I could sit comfortably on the outside looking in.

Photography is still my way to participate without participating. Though, it’s no longer always a combatant to social anxiety. As I recently said: I make a better competitive eating photographer than I do a competitive eater.

And so I had no qualms watching Ribmania — the annual ribs eating contest at Ribfest Chicago — from the crowd. I had no problem watching Miki Sudo tear into 4.8 pounds of ribs in 8 minutes while I noshed on a three-rib sampler at a leisurely pace.

Emcee at Ribmania Ribs Eating Contest at Ribfest Chicago.

The emcee announces Ribmania Ribs Eating Contest at Ribfest Chicago.

Amateur eating contest winner Sean Nichols enters Ribmania Ribs Eating Contest at Ribfest Chicago.

Amateur eating contest winner Sean Nichols.

Andrew Kogutkiewicz at Ribmania Ribs Eating Contest at Ribfest Chicago.

Competitive eater Andrew Kogutkiewicz.

Juan Rodriguez at Ribmania Ribs Eating Contest at Ribfest Chicago.

Juan “More Bite” Rodriguez.

Erik Denmark at Ribmania Ribs Eating Contest at Ribfest Chicago.

Erik “The Red” Denmark.

Sibling eaters Juan and Nikki Rodriguez at Ribmania Ribs Eating Contest at Ribfest Chicago.

Sibling eaters Juan and Nikki Rodriguez.

Defending ribs eating champion Miki Sudo at Ribmania Ribs Eating Contest at Ribfest Chicago.

Defending ribs eating champion Miki Sudo.

Miki Sudo prepares her drinks Ribmania Ribs Eating Contest at Ribfest Chicago.

Competitive eaters prepare their drinks at Ribmania Ribs Eating Contest at Ribfest Chicago.

Eaters prepare their drinks.

Andrew Kogutkiewicz eats at Ribmania Ribs Eating Contest at Ribfest Chicago.

Michelle Lesco eats at Ribmania Ribs Eating Contest at Ribfest Chicago.

Michelle Lesco.

Juan Rodriquez eats at Ribmania Ribs Eating Contest at Ribfest Chicago.

Sean Nichols eats at Ribmania Ribs Eating Contest at Ribfest Chicago.

Erik the Red Denmark eats at Ribmania Ribs Eating Contest at Ribfest Chicago.

Miki Sudo eats at Ribmania Ribs Eating Contest at Ribfest Chicago.

Juan Rodriquez eats at Ribmania Ribs Eating Contest at Ribfest Chicago.

Competitive eaters at Ribmania Ribs Eating Contest at Ribfest Chicago.

Jeff Butler eats at Ribmania Ribs Eating Contest at Ribfest Chicago.

Jeff Butler.

Michelle Lesco eats at Ribmania Ribs Eating Contest at Ribfest Chicago.

Nikki Rodriguez eats at Ribmania Ribs Eating Contest at Ribfest Chicago.

Miki Sudo eats at Ribmania Ribs Eating Contest at Ribfest Chicago.

Miki Sudo eats at Ribmania Ribs Eating Contest at Ribfest Chicago.

Juan Rodriquez eats at Ribmania Ribs Eating Contest at Ribfest Chicago.

Erik Denmark eats at Ribmania Ribs Eating Contest at Ribfest Chicago.

Miki Sudo and Michelle Lesco eat at Ribmania Ribs Eating Contest at Ribfest Chicago.

Erik Denmark eats at Ribmania Ribs Eating Contest at Ribfest Chicago.

Competitive eaters at at Ribmania Ribs Eating Contest at Ribfest Chicago.

Miki Sudo in the last moments of the competition at Ribmania Ribs Eating Contest at Ribfest Chicago.

Miki Sudo in the last moments of the competition.

Competitive eaters after the 8-minute Ribmania Ribs Eating Contest at Ribfest Chicago.

Competitive eaters after the 8-minute ribs eating contest.

The owner of Uncle Bub's BBQ, who provided the ribs for Ribmania Ribs Eating Contest at Ribfest Chicago.

The owner of Uncle Bub’s BBQ, who provided the ribs.

Erik Denmark comes in third place with 3.37 pounds of ribs at Ribmania Ribs Eating Contest at Ribfest Chicago.

Erik Denmark comes in third place with 3.37 pounds of ribs.

Michelle Lesco comes in second with 4.18 pounds of ribs at Ribmania Ribs Eating Contest at Ribfest Chicago.

Michelle Lesco comes in second with 4.18 pounds of ribs.

Miki Sudo wins Ribmania Chicago with 4.8 pounds of ribs at Ribmania Ribs Eating Contest at Ribfest Chicago.

Miki Sudo wins Ribmania Chicago with 4.8 pounds of ribs.

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