Their tongues burned, their teeth went numb, and their bodies shook to their very core.
All in the name of ice cream.
Six adults braved the elements on Saturday to see who could eat 12 scoops the fastest at the annual Ice Cream Sundae Eating Contest at Claude's Creamery in Palmerton.
When all was said and done, Tom Johnston of Palmerton stood head and shoulders above the competition as he shoveled his way to first place after he devoured a dozen scoops of Chocolate ice cream in a mind-numbing six minutes.
For his efforts, Johnston won the top prize, a $100 gift certificate to Claude's Creamery.
Afterward, Johnston found it a challenge to put his thoughts into words.
"My tongue's burning," Johnston said. "My teeth are numb."
Accompanied to the event by his son and girlfriend, Johnston said he chose to enter the competition after a friend of his made him aware of it.
"I feel cool," he said. "I didn't expect to do it as fast as I did."
Johnston said his strategy was simple.
"I just kept shoving it in," he said. "I'd do it again."
Just one other contestant, Richard Reinhard of Slatedale, was able to finish his 12 scoops of ice cream.
Reinhard, who won a $25 gift certificate to Claude's, was clearly shook up after he completed the bone-chilling task.
"I was going for the ice cream certificate because I knew I could eat pretty much," Reinhard said. "I'm shaking, my hands are numb."
Reinhard, who chose Strawberry as his flavor, rated his performance as "pretty good."
"My strategy was to just eat fast, and try to work through brain freeze," he said. "Sure, I'd do it again."
The four other adults who competed in the contest were Glenn Borrell and Sarah Fenner of Palmerton, Tom Davies of Bowmanstown, and Keith Smith of Kunkletown.
In addition to the adult contest, there was also supposed to have been a kids/teen contest as well, but there weren't enough entrants, according to Julianne Farina, marketing coordinator, Claude's Creamery.
"This was something we felt might be fun for the community to do," Farina said. "This time of year is a little bit slow because it's cooler, but we wanted to show there's still always time for ice cream."
Contestants were able to choose from Chocolate, Vanilla, Strawberry or a combination. The object of the competition was to eat all of the ice cream and in the fastest time.
The contestants were able to sit or stand in their designated area and use only a spoon. Each contestant was provided with water during the competition.
Claude's Creamery is located at 289 Delaware Avenue in Palmerton. For more information, visit www.claudescreamery.com.