Visalia man participating in Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest

VISALIA, Calif. (KFSN) -- While most of us will celebrate Independence Day with family and fireworks, Visalia's Pablo Martinez will be focused on force-feeding himself as many hot dogs as he can possibly stomach in a 10-minute span when he returns to Coney Island and Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating competition.

"I have the two dog and two bun technique, so basically, I eat two hot dogs at a time," he said. "I dunk the buns in water, two buns, two buns and just repeat the process over and over again."

It'll be the 7th time battling the likes of world record holder Joey Chestnut for the crown in Coney Island.

Martinez is ranked 21st in the world by Major League Eating -- the governing body of the all stomach-centric sport.

The licensed marriage and family therapist says he's been preparing for the July 4th contest since getting the call two weeks ago.

"I just did training this past Saturday, cooking up 25-30 hot dogs and setting up a timer to try and mimic exactly how it's going to be on contest day and I'm like, 'Yep, this is very familiar. This is why I don't like hot dogs.'"

Martinez set a personal record of 32 dogs in 10 minutes a few years back and says he's hoping to get anywhere close to that number this time around.

"Anything in the 20's, I'll be happy at this point just because of the short notice," he said. "But yeah, I'm just excited to be there and celebrate the 4th of July back in Coney Island."

The event is considered the Super Bowl of competitive eating and typically draws 30,000 to 40,000 spectators every year with a viewing audience of millions on ESPN.

"Being on stage there is an experience I can't even describe to you," Martinez said. "It's the most amazing thing ever and there's a little bit of butterflies, excitement, nervousness, all that and above."

Coverage of Sunday's hot dog eating contest begins at 8 am on ESPN.
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