Chicago Tomato Blast 2013

29 Jul

Saturday started out like any other day… I went for a 4.5 mil run/walk. OK, let’s be real, that’s not like any other day. I am proud of myself, though, because with the August 11 triathlon as a goal I have been extra dedicated to working out. In fact, with that being said I can officially announce I’m signing up for the Lake Geneva triathlon, too! (Does anyone have a discount code to share?) It’s a month later, September 14, and I am pumped because I love Lake Geneva.

I digress. The rest of the weekend started getting crazy around 11:30 am when my friends Joe and Steven arrived to head to the Tomato Blast at Soldier Field. We thought it’d be a great idea to enjoy the unseasonal 65 degree weather and ride our bikes to Soldier Field using the new Divvy bike sharing that are popping up around Chicago. Luckily the Northern most bike station is right at the corner of my street, so we hopped on and rode South to the event. We got pretty tired along the way so after we checked in the bikes we picked up classic Chicago hot dogs and ate them on the steps of the Field Museum. I should mention that I wasn’t Divvying because on Friday night I installed this awesome basket from Detours all by myself so I saved the $7 and took my own bike.

Detours Basket Bag

Detours Basket Bag

After we ate our hot dogs we ventured to find the Tomato blast site. Contrary to popular belief it wasn’t really in Soldier Field as much as it was in the Soldier Field parking lot. Nonetheless, we got there and met up with my friends Jamie, Brian, and Ryan, and stood in line for about 45 minutes to get checked in. The event officially started at 12:00 but upon our arrival at 1:00 they were so unorganized it was taking forever to get in. We finally got in, grabbed a beer, and listened to some music before they opened the gates at 3:00 for the fight to begin.

The Tomato Blast is modeled after La Tomatina in Valencia, Spain. It’s the world’s largest food fight and dates back to 1945. The idea is to throw overly ripe tomatoes at each other for a fun, regulated food fight.

Tomatoes to be thrown at Tomato Blast

Tomatoes to be thrown at Tomato Blast

The Tomato Blast website says the tomatoes are supposed to be spoiled, overly ripe tomatoes that are perfect for throwing, but as we raced into the center of the “arena” we were pelted with tough produce. I felt like they needed a bit more ripening to be enjoyable. The result was some aches and bruises and Joe even got a swollen eye. The fight was supposed to last an hour, but at 3:11 I was already done. At one point I had made my way into the tomato pit, where all the tomatoes waiting to be thrown were sitting, and I put a box on my head as a shield/helmet.  Bad idea. The fact that I was wearing a box on my head made me a human target and I was getting pelted from all over. I finally stepped away from the fight when I took a hit to the ear/neck area that made it no longer enjoyable.

Tomato throwing at Tomato Blast

Tomato throwing at Tomato Blast

Jamie & Me at Tomato Blast

Jamie & Me at Tomato Blast

Steven, Me, and Joe at Tomato Blast

Steven, Me, and Joe at Tomato Blast

Overall it was an interesting event, but I’ll probably sit it out next year.

Cheesie’s food truck, one of my favorite restaurants in the northern Chicago area, was at the event but we were too gross/uncomfortable/cold/sore to grab a post-tomato snack, so we rode our bikes back (ouch!) to my apartment, showered, and headed to Cheesie’s for dinner. More on Saturday evening’s festivities next.

Would you ever do a tomato fight?


2 Responses to “Chicago Tomato Blast 2013”

  1. David November 8, 2013 at 12:31 am #

    Would we do a tomato fight? We were at the Tomato Blast at Soldier Field. It was cold that day and that dampened things. However, I would do it again in a heart beat. So of the tomatoes were ripe but manageable. I’ll give a shot next year as well.


  1. Mac & cheese pizza, Navy Pier & Thanksgiving in July | Gerb's Blurbs - July 30, 2013

    […] Saturday’s Tomato Blast adventure we rode the long, wet, tomato-y way back to my apartment, showered, met up with Blair and headed to […]

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