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Running nose, shaky knees and blurred sight? It must be the national chilli-eating competition

Eyes were streaming, foreheads exploded with perspiration, and in the end, one hardened chilli-eater was left standing at the Chilli Eating Championship on Saturday night.

A crowd of nearly 400 people crowded Auckland’s Sweat Shop Brew Bar for the fire-breathing competition in which 34-year-old Josh Shotter took out gold for the second year running.

The contest involved 24-heats of chillies of varying heats, with the world’s hottest chilli the Carolina Reaper inducing fear in the stomachs of contestants.

At 2,200,000 on the Scoville Heat Unit, the chilli is hotter than most pepper spray.

Shotter took out the title last year as a total newbie, having headed along to the final for the “free beer and food”.

He said a handful of torturous short and long-term effects of eating chillies included a running nose, hiccups, shaky knees and blurred sight.

Contestants would likely be “pissing molten lava” for 24 hours afterwards, he warned.

“You start sweating up pure capsaicin oil. The sweat coming off your forehead dripping into your eyes will burn your eyes.”

Contestants had to sign a disclaimer, and Fire Dragon Chillies director Clint Meyer said anyone unsure if they could handle the heat was discouraged from entering.

Meyer said contestants were encouraged to throw up afterwards to get the chillies out of their system.

Meyer said the competition was the “most epic” he’d ever held.

Read the Stuff article about the 2016 NZ Chilli Champ Competition and its winner, Josh Shotter HERE

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