Some really do like it hot. And Richard LeFevre, 62, is apparently one of them.

LeFevre, a retired Nevada accountant, scarfed down 247 spicy peppers in a staggering eight minutes to win the Jalapeno Eating World Championship at the State Fair of Texas in Dallas, The Associated Press reports.

"I love to eat, and I love to compete, so the two go pretty well together," said LeFevre, who took home a $2,000 prize in the contest on Sunday, sponsored by the International Federation of Competitive Eating — which has deemed him the world's eighth-ranked eater.

The three-time winner of the fair's World Corny Dog Eating Contest said the trick that helped him become the jalapeno-consuming champion was to take a gulp of milk with three or four peppers in his mouth before swallowing.

He was one of four professional eaters who took the top four places in the competition. Second place went to third-ranked Sonya "The Black Widow" Thomas, who gobbled down 239 jalapenos, despite claims of never having eaten one of the searingly spicy peppers before in her life. She won $1,000.

It took several minutes for Christopher Huang, 26, of Arlington to recover after wolfing down 53 of the peppers.

"I can't feel my face," he said when he was able to speak again.

He said he normally avoids eating spicy foods.

"I eat mild salsa," Huang said. "But there's nothing like putting yourself through a lot of pain for no reason."

Dr. Daniel DeMarco, a gastroenterologist and director of endoscopy at Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas, said the amount of jalapenos consumed in an eating contest is more harmful than the burn.

"It's really pretty stupid," DeMarco said. "Like any sort of abuse of your body, it doesn't make any sense."

He said long-term complications are unlikely, but there are some risks.

"If they get sick, they're going to be vomiting it up, and that can cause esophageal tears," he said.

Meaning esophagi, like records, are meant to be broken.

Dear Gourd, That's Big

WARREN, R.I. (AP) — Despite heavy rains that stunted pumpkin growth, a Rhode Island farmer has set what could be a record for the largest pumpkin in the world.

Ron Wallace's pumpkin weighed 1,502 pounds at Saturday's weigh-off competition, heavier than the current Guinness World Record-holding 1,469-pound pumpkin grown last year by Larry Checkon of Pennsylvania.

Wallace said at the 13th annual Rhode Island Southern New England Giant Pumpkin Growers Championship that the key to growing a giant pumpkin is the ability to commit to the task from April to October.

"Pumpkin growing is a lot of work and you just have to stick with it," he said.

It is also weather-dependent.

Agriculture officials say the heavy rains this season have damaged or stunted the crop of many competitive growers of giant pumpkins. Central and southeastern Massachusetts were the hardest hit.

Officials say heavy rain delayed planting, impeded pollination and contributed to rot on blossoms and fruit. Another ailment, "damping-off," constricted pumpkin stems and contributed to the early death of many plants.

Make Mine a Wife Light

NEWRY, Maine (AP) — John Farra, a former Winter Olympian from Caribou who trained by running up a ski slope with 80 pounds of mortar mix, won the seventh annual North American Wife Carrying Championship on Saturday at Sunday River.

Farra's first-place finish earned him and his 110-pound wife Tess her weight in beer and five times her weight in cash, or $550. They also are eligible for a $1,000 reimbursement toward a trip to the world championships in Finland next July.

The Farras completed the 278-yard course, which includes a water trough and log hurdles, in 1 minute, 6 seconds in the critical heat and 1 minute, 4 seconds in the final. Daniel Brown and Janel Worcester of Brewer were second, about 10 seconds behind, in the field of 27 couples.

Farra, who competed in cross-country ski races in the 1992 Games in Albertville, France, trained for the wife carry by running up a slope near his home each morning before work with 80 pounds of mortar mix in a backpack.

Several hundred spectators turned out for the competition during the height of western Maine's fall foliage season.

Raging Bull Has a Beef With Crowds

NEW DELHI, India (AP) — The bull may have missed the china shop but it did swing by New Delhi's city center, two markets, a movie theater, a Sikh temple and the YWCA during a seven-hour rampage that left six people lightly wounded.

Cows are revered as sacred in predominantly Hindu India, and thousands roam freely through the streets of cities, often seen walking busy roads, sleeping on dividers, grazing on trash and leaving trails of dung.

But letting an estimated 28,000 beasts compete for space with New Delhi's 14 million residents creates problems, and several people have been killed in recent years by rampaging bovines.

Sunday's ordeal started when overeager security personnel tried to shoo the bull from a route to be used for VIP traffic, angering the animal, the Press Trust of India news agency reported Monday.

The bull ran down roads charging groups of people and scattering crowds in a frenzy that took it through some of the city's busiest streets, markets and the entrance area to the Regal Cinema.

It calmed down after several hours, but attempts by police to lasso it from the back of a truck set it of again, The Indian Express newspaper reported.

The second run took the bull through the grounds of a YWCA hostel and a prominent temple.

Only by late afternoon did police call in a city veterinary doctor, who shot the bull with a tranquilizer dart after the beast was cornered near an apartment block.

Compiled by's Catherine Donaldson-Evans.

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