News and notes from Reston (tm).

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Meet Your Neighbors: Big Dreams in the Big City (or at least Herndon)

So, when they're not busy attending informative conferences or worrying about finding a place to park at the 7-11, what do folks in Herndon do?

They eat strawberries. Lots and lots of strawberries.

Despite competitive eater Ian “The Invader” Hickman's great successes, he says he still feels he has some unfinished business when it comes to strawberries.

Having previously competed twice and finishing no better than third place at the annual National Strawberry Eating Championship in Delaplane, Hickman would love nothing more than to win this coveted title for his home state of Virginia and finally add strawberries to his long list of eating titles.

"This event is in Virginia, it's my house," Hickman, 25, declares."The sweetness of these delicious strawberries can only be fully realized when a Virginian brings the title home where it belongs.”

Last year's champion ate 9 pounds of strawberries in seven minutes.

Hickman, a Herndon resident who stands at 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighs only 165 pounds, has established several world records and captured several national eating titles since he started competing in 2005 at the age of 22. His accomplishments include downing 10 pounds of chili in only five minutes, capturing the National ¼ lb. Hot Dog Eating Championship, and grabbing the World Black & White Cookie Eating Championship.

A billing consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton, Hickman says he generally attends one or two contests a month and particularly likes to win those within driving distance from his Herndon home.
So how, you may ask, are dreams born? Basic cable.
Hickman said he first became interested in becoming a competitive eater after watching actor John Candy eat a huge steak in the movie "The Great Outdoors," and later consumed his own 64-ounce porterhouse in a Lexington, Ky., steakhouse that offered the meal free to anyone who could finish it in less than 45 minutes. Hickman ate the steak – along with a side and a salad – in only 19 minutes.

"That's when I knew I might have talent as a competitive eater," he said.
You, too, can dream big. Really big.


  1. I read this story in the Reston Times two weeks ago

  2. It's not exactly breaking news, is it? The Reston Times had a slow news day two weeks ago, and apparently this site is having one now.


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