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Competitive eater Randy Santel eats his way around Ireland

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Randy Santel, competitive eater.
One of the world's foremost competitive eaters, Missouri-born Randy Santel, capped off a tour of Ireland and Europe by demolishing one of the country's largest fry-ups yesterday morning.

Tony's Bistro's largest breakfast offering was no match for the former college football star who finished the mammoth meal in a new record of just 47 minutes - beating by well over an hour the previous record of over two hours and ten minutes.

The feat topped off a month spent travelling around Europe in which the professional eater participated in a huge variety of food challenges, including all of Ireland's most notoriously large fry-ups.

A previous outing in Cavan has seen the food star finish  10 rashers, 10 burgers, 10 eggs, 5 white puddings, 5 hash browns, and 10 slices of toast.

The 27 year old drew coverage in the Irish Times for his unusual competitive techniques at a food challenge in Kildare, which saw him mashing french fries into a paste to aid the digestion process.

Other luminaries in the world of competitive eating sport their own idiosyncratic techniques: the Japanese-born Takeru Kobayashi is famous for his trademark wiggle, which he claims frees up space in the stomach to help him cram down more food.

Randy's European odyssey, the 'Atlas vs Europe' tour, is believed to be one of the first times the American-dominated 'sport' has come to European, and Irish, shores.

In addition to the successful Cork outing, Randy successfully finished mammoth quantities in of food in Athlone, Waterford, Dublin, and Campile, failing a challenge only once in Belgium, where two burgers got the better of him. The other twenty European fixtures were, without fail, successes.

American professional eating is noted for its relative professionalism, with a tiered ranking system, high profile contests, and increasing number of 'professional', full-time, eaters, but the sport has been less enthusiastically adopted in Europe.

Randy is one of the sport's poster boys: a frequent fixture on the Food Network's Man vs Food, he has won over 140 food challenges, and maintains the domineering figure of a professional athlete through a rigorous exercise regime, something which undoubtedly fuels the prodigious metabolism needed to match his astronomical calorie intake.

Despite the glamour and glitz of a life lived in the public eye, Randy gave a candid insight into the ups and occasional downs of his alternative lifestyle.

Commenting on his Facebook page, Randy told of how one challenge in Waterford had gone less well than planned:

"The restaurant apparently has a Facebook wall of fame but nobody even watched or took photos."

"Tonight was the first time I have had to take a selfir for the after-pic," the eater lamented.

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