BACG's Tomato Races - 1987-1993

 BACG History Post #65

Tomato Two-MIler
Burlington Parks and Recreation partnered with Gardener's Supply to host the inaugural Tomato 2-Miler race on May 9, 1987. 

The race took place in conjunction with the grand opening of Gardener's Supply's new garden center on Intervale Road. 

Participating runners received a free tomato plant. Proceeds benefited Burlington Area Community Gardens.

The 1988 race moved to July 9. Free t-shirts were offered to the first 50 entries. The 1989-1991 Tomato 2-Miler Races were held in May.

Listed below are the top finishers in the 1988 Tomato 2-Miler. 

Here are the 1990 results:

The two-mile race continued through 1991. See listing to the right for the 1991 race.

The 1992 and 1993 races were 5k (3.1 miles). See results below for the 1993 race:

Randy Sightler, a runner who also gardened in the Intervale, shared memories of the Tomato 2-mile and Tomato 5k:

"The only course I remember clearly went up Intervale Rd. to Riverside, then to the right into the ONE (I believe lollipopping along Manhattan Dr. near the old dump road) and then back down to Gardeners," wrote Sightler.

"The hill up and down in a short race like that is unforgettable. Novel, too. I don’t know if Gordon MacFarland was race director or whether he was just helping out, but I remember him being there and quite involved. 

Gordon was either on a bike just ahead of the runners or maybe gave himself a bit of a lead up the hill. I remember him relishing the idea of racers pushing as hard as they could up that steep hill and maybe managing around 6 minute pace only to return and charge down that last section at something under 5 minute pace. It was either this race or another that I remember running the mile back down in something around 4:25 or 4:30."

In 1994, Gardener's Supply hosted a Tomato 5k/10k cross country run in the Intervale. The Tomato 5k reappeared on September 11, 1999 as a part of the Intervale Festival. The course started and finished at Ethan Allen Homestead. The calendar listing below was published in the Burlington Free Press.  

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