Eating Out
LVHRD: The Vending Machine Challenge
LVHRD are a group of people from different walks of life (fashion and architecture, design, photography and law), who get together every now and then to exchange ideas and have a good time. They also know how to party with snacks! They've come up with "The Vending Machine Challenge", the ultimate snack eating race to see which team can consume an entire vending machine first!


We know you've been waiting for it, so here it is. LVHRD reached new highs on October 17th with the world's debut of the Vending Machine Challenge, a competitive eating event in which two teams were charged with the task of eating the entire contents of a vending machine in the fastest time possible. More than 350 members made their way to the Pioneer Bar on the Bowery to watch designers, media reps, dancers, and advertisers duke it out for glutton glory!


(photo by Jen Snow)

Numbers for the Night, per Vending Machine:
46 items. Nearly 6 pounds net weight. Approximately 13,800 calories.
FIRST BOUT: 30 minutes, 17 seconds, won by RED
Team RED
Studio Red at Rockwell Group
G. Baldwin, J. Tichener, T. Haggerty
Total Weight: 535 lbs.
Counts Media (Yellow Arrow)
B. House, C. Allen, J. Shapins
Total Weight: 474 lbs.
TITLE MATCH: 54 minutes, 29 seconds, won by BLUE
J. Walter Thompson
D. Triechel, J. Campbell, S. Bell
Total Weight: 509 lbs.
New York City Ballet
C. Tworzyanski, G. Muller, M. Lecrone
Total Weight: 425 lbs.

For the first bout of the night, LVHRD staged an exhibition match between Studio Red at Rockwell Group (Team Red) and Counts Media of Yellow Arrow fame (Team Yellow). Perhaps the most ferocious event of the evening, the bout was full of big-time trash-talking, fist pumping, crowd insanity, and of course EATING. Yellow showed surprising speed, but Red proved that strategy was the real key -- pulverizing the food items and mixing them with water led them to a hard-won, large-margin victory in a mere 30 minutes and 17 seconds.

The title match between the oldest ad agency in the world, J. Walter Thompson, and the ultimate underdogs, the New York City Ballet, was a true LVHRD spectacle. Two men from Team Blue (JWT) were taken out of play for vomiting, perhaps because Team Pink dancers were prancing and pirouetting around them as they ate. Despite the dancing, Team Blue’s last man standing, Jason Campbell, finished his machine with tears in his eyes and food in his gut, stuffing the final Starburst into his mouth to a cheering crowd. After all the sickness and sacrifice, Team Pink (NYC Ballet) had lost by no more than a few half-eaten candy bars and a cookie.

All four teams -- Red, Yellow, Blue, and Pink -- gave an awe-inspiring performance, making the Vending Machine Challenge an incredible experience for all. LVHRD and thehappycorp extend their utmost gratitude to Studio Red at Rockwell Group, Counts Media, J. Walter Thompson, and the New York City Ballet for their bravery. Special thanks to event staff, Bob the Emergency Medical Technician, DJ Jedi, Aaarrr!!! Pirate Radio, Radio Announcer Adam Spangler, official blogger for Nike and the US Soccer Team, and the Global League of Competitive Consumption for sanctioning the event. Many more thanks to everyone who came out to support and witness these feats of consumption!

Photos by Leo Zacharias unless otherwise credited.

Two monstrously stocked vending machines (from Capital Link Nationwide ATM) await their unveiling.

Team YELLOW arrived first, making quite the entrance.

Team RED shoots to decide which 3 of their 5 members will represent.

Team BLUE appeared in jogging suits that were, perhaps, a testament to JWT's old age. (Their opponents, the ballerinas of Team PINK, were fashionably late and caused much whispering as people wondered whether they would really show up for an eating showdown. They certainly did.)

Ari Kuschnir, of [m ss ng p eces], remarks on the size of the growing crowd to thehappycorp founder Doug Jaeger.

thehappycorp's legal eagles required that team players sign safety waivers before getting started. It's a good thing, too -- post-eating, competitors were not the picture of good health. thehappycorp's partnership with LVHRD is one of free-flowing ideas and we are excited to plan and execute LVHRD's future events. (Keep your eyes and ears open for upcoming announcements!)

The throng of LVHRD members gather to witness the first bout. In the foreground, Red-Rockwell gets ready for a rip-roarin' rumble. In the background, Counts Media maintains a glowing presence.

Announcer Adam Spangler interviews a competitor before the first bout begins.

Bob the EMT and DJ Jedi introduced the Vending Machine Challenge with a few jokes and words of caution.

thehappycorp's Arnold Cruz, better known that night as The Ref, maintained fair play and good sportsmanship between teams. This ferocious figure was also spotted sipping Hennessy and subsequently becoming a much more mic-happy sportscaster towards the end of the night. (photo by Dan Eckstein)

The futuristic Yellow Arrow guys get in the zone: "This Counts. Eat hard, men!"

This man is eating to a sea of cameras! When the crowd is loud, the Red eat proud. Here, you can see this competitor (an intern, we hear!) slurping down the strategic crushed-chips-&-water concoction that led Team Red to victory. (photo by Dan Eckstein)

Stuff it down, big man, stuff it down. Ari Kuschnir and event director Ben Nabors watch with expectant glee.

This picture speaks one word: BEAST. Did we mention that Red had a good 60 lbs. on Yellow?

The audience is wild and frenzied, standing on stools, bartops, tables, shoulders and chairs. "What's going on? I can't see! Who's winning?!?" Everyone made a new friend that night, if it was only to find out what on earth was going on.

VICTORY IS SWEET. The uber-competitive Red team ate to win and won it big.

Defeated, Team Yellow hung their heads in defeat... only to see that they were standing in a gross combination of sugary slop, fallen money, and straight up grime.

As it turns out, haste really does make waste. Trash bins were totally empty before the contest took off. This is one of two bins, and this is only after the first bout!

Besides gawking at the sick-looking eaters and gaping at the mess during the break, it was interesting to see what kind of personalities LVHRD had brought together that night. Pictured here are artists Andrew and Andrew of Andrew Andrew, an interdisciplinary creative service company. (photo by Spanglervision)

Team Pink's Christian Tworzyanski stretches just before the title match of eating begins. (photo by Dan Eckstein)

And ye shall feed one another: The Pink players were the epitome of teamwork.

More tactical advice: Speed purchasing is key. Get it fast, down it faster.

NYC Ballerina supporters scream in suppport of their fellow dancers.

Team Blue downs a bag.

Team Pink downs a bag.

Midway into the match, NYC Ballet's Gwyneth Muller tries to break her opponents' concentration with splits and stretching.

J. Walter Thompson's players on Team Blue look increasingly peakish as the match progresses.

Team Pink puzzled everyone when they decided to dump their remaining items out on the ground. Another technique meant to confuse JWT or just a bad idea?

Team Blue had the most dramatic (and possibly traumatic) collective eating experience of the night. Two players vomited and were taken out of play, leaving just one man to take down the machine. Yet, after almost a full hour of painful endurance, the last man standing delivered an incredible win for JWT. LVHRD presented the winning team with (what else?) a huge supply of vending machine food. Congratulations, all!

Jason Campbell, the veritable MVP of the night, let his very Starburst-streaked tongue speak for his hard-won victory.

Did you miss the event? Sad that you've reached the last picture and you're still hankering for more? Never fear, Captain Robert J. Hudak and his sea dogs spent much of the night manning the AAARRR!!! Pirate Radio deck. Stay tuned for a full-length Pirate Radio podcast of the Vending Machine Challenge coming soon!

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