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Originally published November 21, 2010 at 6:27 PM | Page modified November 21, 2010 at 11:53 PM

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Eating up the fun at Green Lake Gobble and Mashed Potato Munch Off

Sunday marked the second annual Green Lake Gobble & Mashed Potato Munch Off, in support of Seattle's Union Gospel Mission.

Seattle Times staff reporter

Sheltered by a tent, nine contestants shivered through snow flurries Sunday while shoveling mashed potatoes into their mouths as part of the second annual Green Lake Gobble & Mashed Potato Munch Off.

Proceeds from the event, about $2,000 this year, will support Seattle's Union Gospel Mission. The Gobble included a 5K race, a costume contest and an eating competition, the latter sponsored by Greenlake Bar & Grill. Some eating contestants spooned the mash daintily while others attacked it like pros, first pouring water into their bowls, then scooping the goop into their mouths.

"The competition gets harder every year," said Lane Rasberry, this year's winner as well as last year's. "It brings the community together."

Rasberry probably got potatoes as much on his body as in his mouth. But he was prepared. The 30-year-old Seattleite practiced, cooking and eating mashed potatoes at home. He also hadn't eaten for the past day, leaving room for the 7-½ bowls, or 75 ounces, of mashed potatoes he ate in four minutes. His cash prize: $150.

"I feel like sitting down," said Rasberry, who has participated in 15 eating contests before this, including one for Top Pot Doughnuts and one for watermelons. "I feel terrible."

Second-place winner Maren Norton wasn't too far behind at 5-½ bowls. The 33-year-old Shoreline attorney ran the 5K before sitting down to eat and wasn't sure she would be eating mashed potatoes again for Thanksgiving.

Along with Norton, more than 1,400 runners ran around Green Lake, organizers estimated. Rose Wetzel, decked out in a turkey suit with a red wattle, had a winning time among female runners of 18:25 minutes.

"My favorite thing is to win while wearing a costume," said Wetzel, a 28-year-old personal trainer, who has dressed up as a leprechaun, a pirate, Batwoman and Wonder Woman for other races.

Green Lake Gobble was produced by Pro-Motion Events, a company that coordinates other themed runs, such as the 12K's of Christmas, Resolution Run and Valentine Day's Dash, many for charity.

"It's something unique," said Garett Slettebak, marketing director and runner. "Something that we can come all together and do."

Marian Liu: 206-464-3825 or mliu@seattletimes.com

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