The Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating contest is the biggest stage for competitive eating and Western New Yorkers have been represented before, like last Fourth of July. Jim Reeves ate his fair share at Coney Island.
This year, Buffalo has Ronnie “Megabyte” Hartman.
“They asked me where I was from. I didn't say North Carolina, I put Buffalo, New York,” said Hartman.
He qualified last year in Nashville, Tennessee. His training includes drinking two gallons of water a day and eating one huge meal every night.
“The clock hit zero and my hands went up because I was just so excited,” recalled Hartman.
Excited because he's eaten at Coney Island before, in 2013 and 2014.
“I’ve lost about seven or eight qualifiers trying to get back to this contest. So, this is the first time I've made it back in four years,” said Hartman.
Being the best competitive eater isn't Megabyte's dream (He's ranked 32nd in the world). The IT technician at Goldberg Segalla in Buffalo, has another dream.
“I'm actually training to be a wrestler,” said Hartman.
Hartman moved to Buffalo this past winter to train at a wrestling school in Lackawanna. He's hoping to gain fans for his performance in the ring, but first, he wants Buffalo to back him come Independence Day. He's even promising to make Bills tailgates a little more interesting.
“If they want me to, I can put them through some tables, that's kind of what I do,” joked Hartman.
So, if you're wondering if there is a world class competitive eater, aspiring pro-wrestler, army veteran, and bearded IT tech in Western New York. The answer is yes. His name is Ronnie “Megabyte” Hartman, and he's new around here. So, say hi.