VALDOSTA — When it comes to eating hot dogs, Jim Reeves of Buffalo, N.Y., goes the extra mile.
“I flew down last night,” he said Saturday.
Reeves ate 23 hot dogs in 10 minutes to beat out eight opponents at the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest Georgia Qualifier at Wild Adventures Theme Park Saturday afternoon.
“It’s not my best but I’ll take it,” he said.
Reeves said his record is 28 1/2 hot dogs.
Megan Drake, the lone female competitor, ate three hot dogs.
For their efforts, Reeves and Drake won all-expense-paid travel to the ESPN-televised finals at the original Nathan’s Famous in Coney Island, Brooklyn, N.Y., on July 4, said Laurie Windham, Wild Adventures public relations manager.
Reeves and Drake will face reigning champions Joey Chestnut, 70 hot dogs, and Miki Sudo, 38.5 hot dogs, at Coney Island.
Wild Adventures was chosen as host for the contest because it serves Nathan’s Hot Dogs, Windham said.
Richard Shea, president of Major League Eating, emceed the contest.
“You’ve always got to pick a contest every year. Try to pick a contest that isn’t a hometown of someone you know can eat more than you,” Reeves said.