New Jersey Educator Competing In Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest

MONTVILLE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A New Jersey school superintendent clearly knows what it’s like to be a leader. But this time, she’s been following the lead of others.

She’s competing for the first time in the Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest, and spoke with CBS2’s Erin Logan before the big day.

“People don’t see me in the role of eating a huge amount of anything,” Rene Rovtar said.

Instead, they see a very thin, 102 pound, confident woman in a role she’s proud of — Superintendent of schools in Montville, New Jersey.

Now, she can add competitive hot dog eating to her resume.

She decided she wanted to be a part of the spectacle while she was sitting in her Basking Ridge home last July Fourth, watching it all unfold.

“So I investigated the process of how you qualify to participate,” she said. That process brought her to a qualifying contest in North Carolina in May.

Rovtar says she prepared by watching a ton of YouTube videos to get the technique down. Other than that, there wasn’t a whole lot of preparation.

She surprised herself by eating seven hot dogs in ten minutes.

Flash forward to now, she’s up against world record breaker Sonya Thomas, who ate 45 dogs in ten minutes, or last year’s winner Miko Sudo, who put down 38 and a half.

The ladies already have their game faces on while weighing in on Monday.

Rovtar says she’s a competitive person, but she knows her limits.

“I also know I have no chance of winning,” she admits.

When students ask her why she’s competing in the contest, she tells them it’s all about getting out of your comfort zone and trying something new.

“To be able to be there and do your best and perhaps better than I have before, that’s good motivation,” she said.

Rovtar’s family will certainly be there cheering her on. She attributes having a great support system for helping her along.

Whether it’s watching her run marathons or eat hot dogs — she says her family is always there for her.

More From CBS New York

CELEBRATING 50 YEARS
Get Our Morning Briefs
Bloomberg WCBS Tri-State Business Index

Watch & Listen LIVE