Image courtesy of Krekelympics

Image courtesy of Krekelympics

If you’re a native of Central Illinois, then you’re certain to have eaten at what can only be described as the best burger joint around, Krekels.

A favorite among high school and college kids, it was the place where two years ago, a group of Eisenhower alumni happened to have run into one another while backĀ  from college. Enjoying the familiar taste of friendship and of being home again, they quickly locked in the idea to see who among them could down as many of the famous burgers as possible and to ultimately be declared the champion of the group. After the first year was deemed a success, it was decided that they would all meet back at Krekel’s the following year to propose the same challenge. Only this time, they would have a following of their very own. “The idea blossomed that we should just have a formalized competitive eating (event) at Krekels the next time we all came home.” said Ryan Smith, one of the event organizers. The 2008 Krekelympic games had been opened.

The second annual Krekelympics began today at the Colonial Mall location at 1355 N Illinois Route 48 near Millikin University with a registration time of 12:30pm and a kick-off time of 1:00. Participants, like in 2008, will pay a $30 entrance fee which buys their food. Any remaining money will be donated by the group to the Northeast Community Food Drive. Todd Teel, owner of Krekels, will donate half of the food cost for the event to the same charitable organization.

Just what can be expected at this years Krekelympics? An increase in the number of people wanting to prove their endurance for one. “This year should be quite a bit different” Smith went on to say. “I wouldn’t be surprised if it doubled”. Last year the contest moved around to each of the five locations in Decatur, however, this year it will remain at the Colonial Mall location.

The two main events will be the Sprint challenge, in which contestants will try and eat as many double cheeseburgers as they can within a ten minute period. The second, the Endurance Event, consists of several twenty minute rounds in which each contestant is given a double cheeseburger and fries and continuing on until only one is left standing. Spectators, or anyone not wishing to participate but still want to support the cause, can pay $15 for a lunch.

Krekel’s has been a staple of the Decatur community for decades and with the rising success of the Krekelympics, well, it just goes to prove that the legacy of the small, family owned business will be sure to continue on for decades to come.

You can become a fan of the Krekelympics on Facebook by clicking here.

-Travis Lickey