Chance night out leads pie eating champion to win

By Cassandra Mason

Paul Enright, 2012 Pie Men National Pie-Eating Champion, said he had to pace himself after the beers he'd enjoyed. Photo / Supplied
Paul Enright, 2012 Pie Men National Pie-Eating Champion, said he had to pace himself after the beers he'd enjoyed. Photo / Supplied

The newly crowned national pie eating champion "just happened to be in the bar" when the call for last minute entries went out.

The crusty contest, run by the Pie Men Bakery in Hamilton, pulled more than 200 people to the House on Hood pub on Friday night.

Winner Paul Enright scoffed his final pie in 22.3 seconds, beating 12 other competitors for a year's supply of pies. He ate a 15.9 second pie in a heat.

Enright had been enjoying Friday night drinks at the pub when he decided to enter the competition as a bit of fun. "It was awesome - a completely random night."

Enright said he tried to pace himself. "I was worried about throwing up from the beers more than anything else."

The competition to find the fastest pie eater was stiff, and last year's champion, Rob Puru, "had the eye of the tiger in him", Enright said.

But Enright came out on top, even breaking a record while he was at it.

Event organiser Lara Signal said the evening event went brilliantly. "It was a celebration of Kiwi pies. "We had a great crowd and everyone enjoyed themselves watching people push the boundaries of what's possible."

Signal said even a couple of women entered, but they didn't stand a chance against the men.

"They went pretty well, but women enjoy their food - they savour, not swallow."

Enright said he plans to keep up some healthy exercise while enjoying his year's supply of pies. "You don't want to be known as a pie-eater all your life."

- APNZ

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