‘Burrito Mile’ runners compete on full stomach

A relatively new sporting event has gained in popularity over the past few years. It has been hailed as one of the greatest tests of athletic and intestinal fortitude. Yes, this is the Burrito Mile.

The Burrito Mile, which is a sport of speed-eating and running, was deemed a “burritolympic” event in Spring 2006. The challenge consists of athletes eating a Qdoba burrito and then running a mile as fast as they can, testing the contestants’ ability to hold down their food.

According to event coordinator Sean O’Leary, the event started when local runners were arguing about who could eat their burritos faster and what “sick mile times they could lay down [afterwards].”

The Burrito Mile is also a charitable event. According to O’Leary, each year the event donates all its proceeds to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and this year the event raised $3,150.

“A couple small and impromptu events were held at local high schools,” O’Leary said. “But it wasn’t until Rafi Moersen considered using the event to raise money for charity that it really took off.”

This year, some members of the CHS track team and other students participated in the “burittolympic” games. Anchored by sophomore Will Conway, one CHS team, consisting of sophomores Seth Ross, Daniel Machlis and Mark Henry, claimed second place in the 4×800.

“We were really surprised, [but] we knew we could do well, [and] Henry can really eat,” Conway said. “[We aimed to] cheer each other on and try to make the other team laugh.”

In the race, each contestant must eat one burrito and run a half mile, then pass another burrito to the next member of their team. In this grueling competition, each CHS runner performed well, eating their burritos quickly and running fast times.

However, during the event, no one pushed harder or fought longer than 24-year-old Gaithersburg resident Greg Wagner. Wagner completed the 4×800 by himself, eating four burritos and running two miles in total. He also managed to shatter the previous record and completed the race in a mere 50 minutes.

“It hurt to eat the final two burritos, but the best part of the whole experience was having everyone cheer me on,” Wagner said. “It meant so much to have all that support behind me.”