Giant, Running Tomato Sightings!

>> Saturday, November 08, 2008

Or, “The Roseville 6.23 K Race Report.”

Or, “What... we WEREN’T supposed to dress up?...”

Steph (my sister-in-law), her friend Amblyn, and I got up early to get ready for the “623 Walk / Run” in Roseville MN. It was a 6.23 kilometer run to support the 623 school district (about 3.89 miles). I laid out my outfit:

Clothes, tomato costume, newspaper to stuff the costume

It was a point-to-point run, so we showed up at the parking lot at the finish so we could be bussed to the start. Here’s Steph and I on the bus:

We got to the school at the starting line, got registered, and I starting turning into a giant tomato. Here’s a pretty fun sequence that starts with me trying to find the head hole of the outfit:

Stuffing newspaper down my back:

Stuffing my front with a lady laughing in the background:

One of the more awkward photos of me, ever:

Amblyn crumpling up some paper for me:

Finally, I had to stuff all my extra clothes in my outfit as well. I stuffed my pants, my hoodie, and my race shirt in my outfit:

I stood up and jiggled my belly around:


We all stretched for a bit, and people kept walking by and laughing. Why?

Everyone loved the outfit! Middle school kids would ask what I was doing. I told them I dressed up as a tomato to have some fun. They were perfectly satisfied with that answer! I was saying “hi” to everyone, and making everyone’s day!

We got outside just before the race was to start, and I snapped a photo of the girls...

...and they snapped an awkward one of me:

Yeah, do you see all the people behind me wearing LOTS of clothes? It was lightly raining, breezy, and 34 degrees. I didn’t know if my body would stay warm enough (I wasn’t worried about my bare legs - that’s not a problem for me).

I lined up with the girls near the middle. Here’s the pack in front of us:

And here’s the pack behind us:

And we were off! The race had begun. I said goodbye to the girls and started moving up. People were laughing at my outfit, and the younger kids that were racing thought it was awesome! I passed a group of 3 guys, and they said, “Whoa, we can’t let that tomato beat us! I mean... I just dunno what I’d do!” I laughed and waved. It was a good time.

The only problem was that the newspaper and the clothing in my outfit were trying to slip out. So I had to run the whole race holding the waist-band tight to my body so I wouldn’t be littering for 3.89 miles. My hands were just in front of my pelvic bone, and my elbows were pumping forward and backwards in the manner that my hands should have been. It sure was horrible running form. I was just taking it easy, trying to have fun.

Mile 1: 6:06. “Whoa. That was pretty fast.” I tried to slow up, afraid that I was going to crash in that outfit before the finish. I still felt pretty good. Right around the “mile 1” marker, I grabbed my camera (which I was running with) and snapped a photo of me hard at work:

Mile 2: 6:03. “WHOA. Ease up, big fella.” How was that faster than the first mile? I was actually doing pretty well in all that fabric and newspaper! Then, we turned into the wind. And guess what? That suit QUICKLY turned into a parachute. D’oh. The wind was a slap in the face. I knew I was slowing up. As we crossed a street to enter a park, one of the volunteers said, “Hey tomato, watch out for ‘nibbling squirrels’ in the park!” I laughed.

Just before the next mile marker, I heard my name being shouted from up ahead. It was Coach Jeanne from Charities Challenge! She was SCREAMING, “Go Steve Stenzel! Yeah! It’s tighty-whitie man! Go Steve!!” And a few feet farther, I heard Coach Gary shouting. I smiled to both of them. Thanks Jeanne and Gary!

Mile 3: 6:46. “No surprise.” That wind took its toll on me, and the whole thing was getting a little heavy. No worries, though. We turned a corner, which led us up this 3 block hill. Oww. Stupid hill. One final corner, and now we were headed back to the finish. Surprisingly, I held off all sprinters at the finish. I figured someone would out-kick me in that outfit, but no one got me.

Last 0.89: 5:23 (6:02 pace)

6.23 kilometer run (3.89 miles)
Total: 24:20
6:15 average pace

Placed 12 out of 427

As I was coming to the finish, people started seeing how I was dressed, and they LOVED the outfit. The announcer laughed and shouted, “Here comes the first place tomato!!!” I kept the outfit on for about 10 minutes while cheering for others, but then it got too chilly. So I pulled my pants, hoodie, and shirt out of my costume (it looked like I was giving birth to them). And then I pulled off the outfit. I must have ran pretty hard, because I had sweaty boobs (and pokey nip-nips):

A few minutes later, Amblyn came to the line:

And Steph was just a few minutes behind her:

(Sorry for the un-sexy photo, Steph. My bad.)

We went inside to stretch and get some food. We drew for door prizes, and we ALL WON! Steph and I got sweet, sweet mugs, and Amblyn got a new calculator:

We took off, and swung by a RedBox on the way home so the girls could rent some stupid chick-flick:

(In fact, they’re watching it in the other room right now. Gross. I hear kissing.)

That’s it folks! I fared pretty well in that race for being the only one dressed up! And why did I run as a tomato today (you might be asking)?? Well, Fred Durst said it best when he said this:

“I did it all for the nookie votes
The nookie votes
So you can take that cookie your vote
And stick it up your, yeah! cast it over here
Stick it up your, yeah! Cast it over here
Stick it up your, yeah! Cast it over here

Last week, I was thinking about running this race as a NORMAL HUMAN BEING, but I decided to dress up in an effort to get your vote for “Best Endurance Blog of 2008.” So if you think I’m worthy, please cast your vote over here:

Thank you!! Happy weekend!

p.s. Those 3 guys from the start of the race that didn’t want to get beat by a tomato,... well,... they got beat by a tomato. I was cheering at the finish line after I finished, and they came in a few minutes later saying, “Shit guys, that tomato totally owned us.” Ha! Good stuff!


Michelle J 12:59 PM, November 08, 2008  


Woah, Steve my tomato!! You are so so funny and make me laugh!!

I wish i could run in a race that you run in so i could laugh.

Great job running as a tomato and a great runner!!!


Brent Buckner 1:24 PM, November 08, 2008  

Beaten by a tomato?
Couldn't ketchup!

Charlotte 1:29 PM, November 08, 2008  

What I love most is that you even took care to coordinate your socks with the tomato outfit. There's style;) And yes I voted for you already!

Melanie 1:34 PM, November 08, 2008  

Great job and outfit! There never seems to be a dull moment... like your rendition of the song for votes too :D

Blyfinn 2:00 PM, November 08, 2008  

Man I would have loved to see you "give birth" to your pants and shirt. Well maybe, does that make me a perv again?

Anyway great run into the wind! That had to to tough. Sorry you had to hear the kissing.

CoachLiz 4:19 PM, November 08, 2008  

I was thinking about you this morning on my run through Houston and wondered if all of that newspaper was going to get hot since it is the insulation of choice by the cold scout before getting the fire stoked.

Great Job!

Kelly 4:30 PM, November 08, 2008  

Awesome outfit. Except you were kind of a droppy (mushy?) looking tomato.

Lisa Slow-n-Steady 4:39 PM, November 08, 2008  

Did you win first place in your food group? Nyuk nyuk nyuk!

pssst. i voted for you before the silly tomato costume. good luck

Lisie 5:32 PM, November 08, 2008  

You are INsane! but LOVE the tomato. It's odd to me to see everyone so bundle up and at first I thought they were spectators. Here in Sunny So. Cal we're still running in tank tops. :-. I 5K tomorrow for champagne!

Ms. R 5:41 PM, November 08, 2008  

Oh my tomato! Good work not losing your stuffing :)

D10 6:11 PM, November 08, 2008  

How you are able to run in all these outfits. Yes, I voted!

Sonia 6:20 PM, November 08, 2008  

You are crazy!! Good job!

Judi 7:38 PM, November 08, 2008  

You are so freaking fast. And silly.

Julianne 9:23 PM, November 08, 2008  

I love your running spirit and the love of dressing up in costumes. Seriously, can you come and run in one of my local races?? Your tomato stuffing photos really really made me laugh. I always look forward to your blog... for your latest antics!

teacherwoman 9:48 PM, November 08, 2008  

Love the photos! Glad to hear you had fun too! I was wondering if you were going to be cold in that itty bitty outfit! LOL

RBR 10:09 PM, November 08, 2008  

OK, by far my favorite race costume of yours (I know, I know, I need a support group or something)

I can't believe you ran a 10K at a 6:02 pace in a tomato suit. I couldn't run a 6:02 1 mile race with a freaking jet pack!

As usual, you rock! (Oh, and the tomato sealed the deal. It was a toughie, you were up against my idol.)

Tyger Lily 10:16 PM, November 08, 2008  

"That tomato totally owned us"


Jess 3:58 AM, November 09, 2008  

Next, you'll be doing Fruit of the Loom commercials!

Shannon 6:48 AM, November 09, 2008  

Love the rundown and the "nip-nips".

What was the chix flick? Steal Magnolias? Hope Floats? Something with Jennifer Aniston?

BTW, your were crackalackin with those run times.

Xenia 6:59 AM, November 09, 2008  

You're crazy. I love it. I really have to make it to Minnesota one day just to witness the spectacle that is Steve running. :)

Missy 9:11 AM, November 09, 2008  

I just love it that you show up 'for fun' and school their ass in a tomato costume, rich!

sRod 9:15 AM, November 09, 2008  

damn it! Brent took my joke.

Glaven Q. Heisenberg 1:26 PM, November 09, 2008  

Some say "Toe-MAY-toe"
I say "Toe-MAH-toe"
Some say "No way, No!"
I say, "Ya got to
"Vote for Steve
"Vote for Stenzel
"'Cause I believe
"The Influenza'll
"If ya don't
I did.

brendaj 2:26 PM, November 09, 2008  

Next time you can just add some black spots and be a strawberry. You see how costume resourceful becoming a mom has made me?

chrissy parks 3:03 PM, November 09, 2008  

thanks for 'dropping' by.
looks like we did wisconsin the same year! congrats!
ps. nice tomato and great run time.

triguyjt 9:42 PM, November 09, 2008  

I have never seen a tomato stretch before.....

you are a freak....
whatever and you rip off fast times...

ThickChick 10:07 PM, November 09, 2008  

Heya, thanks for stopping by my blog!

LOVE the tomato costume! Ha! Too funny!

Alisa 10:16 PM, November 09, 2008  

Love it! I haven't seen most of these graphs...those were awesome!

Nice tomato costume.

Gerry 10:29 PM, November 09, 2008  

You've got my vote! I read your blog daily at work and have laughed out loud randomly many a time. Love the whole tomato get-up! You make running seem like fun!

Sara 9:36 AM, November 10, 2008  

Love the tomato costume! But I love the sweat stain even more - it looks like a heart!

Voted for you multiple times - I think you got that one in the bag!

Marlene 10:20 AM, November 10, 2008  

Good enough for my vote. SO, SO awesome.

Please come to one of my races and wear some goofy costume. :D

Marlene 10:23 AM, November 10, 2008  

Just wanted to add that your most recent antics actually persuaded me to CHANGE my vote fomr someone I had already voted for (shhh, don't tell him).

IronJenny 11:22 AM, November 10, 2008  

I had to vote for the guy who can dress like a tomato and still post 6:03's. Holy Condiment, Batman, you are FAST.

*aron* 1:11 PM, November 10, 2008  

LOL you are so awesome... how do you run that fast while carrying around a tomato costume?!?

ShirleyPerly 1:30 PM, November 10, 2008  

How funny! There's a guy who runs in the Marine Corps Marathon dressed up as Kermit. People are always trying to beat him too.

Runner Leana 2:15 PM, November 10, 2008  

As you writing about the costume I was wondering how well everything would stay inside the tomato. It is one way to get around having to check your warm gear! Great race!

jen 7:10 PM, November 10, 2008  

I see I'm way too late to make the first "catch-up" joke. :(

You are so freaking weird, I love it. I can't believe how fast you are in costume. :O

The Laminator 9:27 PM, November 11, 2008  

Good stuff indeed. I'm not going to try a ketchup joke 'cause everyone already beat me to it. Maybe next time you'll run as a potato?! Just a thought.

RooBabs 2:57 PM, November 12, 2008  

Aaah yes, the ever-present Steve's boob sweat and hard nipples photo. Classic. And those mugs are pretty sweet, seeing as they've been hanging around somewhere since 2001 and 2002! Thanks for the saucy comedy.

Danica 6:30 PM, November 12, 2008  

Whoa, that was amazing, and I love the race recap! You are one speedy tomato! Congrats, and I would vote for you a billion times over, but it only allows one vote. :(

220TriLog 12:58 AM, December 11, 2010  


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