RUNable Race Review: Tomato Festival

RACE STATS:

  • DATE OF RACE: June 29, 2019
  • DISTANCE(s): 5k
  • REVIEWED: 5k
  • LOCATION: Crystal Springs, MS
  • DIFFICULTY: Level 2
  • CAUSE: Crystal Springs Beautification Fund
  • RUNscore: 3.8 Stars

A Running Glance:

Things I loved

  • Held in conjunction with the Tomato Festival “Street Fair”
  • Unique Tomato themed awards every year!
  • THE quintessential hometown 5k

Things I less than loved

  • Nothing to see here: move along!
A Running Glance: Things I loved Held in conjunction with the Tomato Festival "Street Fair"Unique Tomato themed awards every year!THE quintessential hometown 5k Things I less than loved Nothing to see here: move along! RUNable Review: You say tomato, I say tomato!! The Tomato Festival 5k is THE quintessential Mississippi hometown race. Complete with unique tomato-themed awards and a top-notch festival to enjoy after the race, this is a “must-do” event! Price At only $25 to enter, the price for this 5k is on point. Families of 4 can register for only $70, making this a fun and affordable group…
Here is my overall RUNscore, averaged from the individual categories above. Did you run the race? If so, click the stars next to USER RATING to rate this race yourself! Then read my full review below!! PS - I *LOVE* reader comments, so feel free to give me your opinion. But just about this race or my blog. Let's leave religion, politics, and parenting to the professionals. 😉

Running Tally: Tomato Festival

Price/Value
T-Shirt/Swag
Expo/Finish Line
Medal/Awards
Volunteers
Course Scenery
Aid Stations
Parking/Access
Race Management

3.8 STARS

Here is my overall RUNscore, averaged from the individual categories above. Did you run the race? If so, click the stars next to USER RATING to rate this race yourself! Then read my full review below!! PS - I *LOVE* reader comments, so feel free to give me your opinion. But just about this race or my blog. Let's leave religion, politics, and parenting to the professionals. 😉

User Rating: 4.65 ( 2 votes)

RUNable Review:

You say tomato, I say tomato!! The Tomato Festival 5k is THE quintessential Mississippi hometown race. Complete with unique tomato-themed awards and a top-notch festival to enjoy after the race, this is a “must-do” event!

Price

At only $25 to enter, the price for this 5k is on point. Families of 4 can register for only $70, making this a fun and affordable group activity the entire gang can enjoy. Plus, the money raised benefits the “Crystal Springs Beautification Fund,” used for painting the tomatoes and murals seen throughout the city, as well as many other special projects.

T-shirt/Swag

I love the hand-painted tomato design they had custom created for this year’s race shirt. And the font is so stylish too! The brand is Gildan Performance, 100% polyester. It is really light and comfy; my new favorite shirt! {It’s white and BEGGING to be tie-dyed!)

Expo/Finish Line

As always, when you cross the finish line at the Tomato Festival 5k, you’re offered an ice-cold towel. This race is notoriously known for its high humidity and temps, but this year was definitely the coolest I’ve seen. At 68 degrees, Mother Nature cut us a little slack on race morning! Thanks, sister.

There was ample water, Gatorade, and fruit available at the finish line as well. They were even giving away free bottles of Cold Sport Point Relief.

Medal/Awards

The Tomato Festival 5k traditionally incorporates a tomato into the design of their medals and trophies every year. With the help of Touch of Glass Mosaic Studio, this year they created some truly special pieces for the overall winners. Those of us placing 1st, 2nd or 3rd in our age groups received cute glittery tomato shaped medals. My favorite color is green, so I was extra pleased with my second-place run because the second-place medals were green!

Volunteers

There were plenty of friendly and helpful volunteers available at PPU, as well as before and after the race. Jen Yoga also hosted the pre-race stretch and warm-up! #Namaste

Course Scenery

The route winds through Crystal Springs with views of quaint homes, churches, and businesses. Crystal Springs is just a lovely little town that embraces their former notoriety as the “Tomatopolis of the World”. All along the course, you’ll see various tomato décor, flags, and nods to the fruit that sets them apart from every other small town.

Course Difficulty: LEVEL 2

My favorite (and least favorite) section of the course loops participants through a graveyard. It’s about 2-miles in; the only slight inclines are on the backside of the cemetery. I always find it ironic when the most difficult part of a race is through a cemetery! Otherwise, it’s a very flat course but with multiple turns through the city.

Click to read the RUNable Difficulty Key
  • LEVEL 1: NO PROBLEM – Mostly flat & even course that’s perfect for a first race or a PR.
  • LEVEL 2: EASY – Small hills or uneven terrain, but nothing too scary for most runners.
  • LEVEL 3: MODERATE – A few more or steeper hills or variable terrain: great training.
  • LEVEL 4: CHALLENGING – Multiple hills and rougher terrain that may take some mental pushing to get through.
  • LEVEL 5: DIFFICULT – Steep inclines and/or the type of terrain that makes your legs hate you, your feet beg for mercy, and your mind think “what were we thinking?”

Aid Stations

There were several water stops along the way with plenty of friendly volunteers handing out H20 and an encouraging word.

Parking/Access

The field behind the pool was available for parking, as well as a small lot nearby.

Race Management

The race directors did a phenomenal job this year promoting the race and organized a really fun event. I enjoyed my time both on course and off! After the race, I walked through the festival and enjoyed three of my favorite things besides running: shopping, friends, and FOOD. There were so many vendors, a car show, and events like a “Tomato Throw” and even a “Tomato Eating Contest.” My good friend, Deanna and I found a shady spot to sit a spell and spent over an hour people watching and talking about racing. It was truly a memorable morning in a beautiful small town in the ‘Sip.

Add the Tomato Festival 5k to your calendar for 2020. You’ll definitely see me there!

Click the thumbnail photo below for a few more pics from the street fair and assorted activities!

2 Comments

  • This race is very special to us… Our daughter Mollie was raised in the Crystal Springs area. We were living here when we found out about her so the people have always been so supportive of her. The tomato festival has always welcomed her and Ainsley’s angels with open arms. We are so grateful for the foundation that was laid through the people of Crystal Springs who were so obedient to God in so many areas. It will forever be a place of comfort, solace, and a home away from home for us.

    Reply

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