A new flavor of 5k is coming to Oklahoma City.
Tomato Dodge, a startup event scheduled for its local debut Oct. 26, will be held at the Wake Zone Cable Park, 3501 NE 10.
Runners will duck tomatoes thrown by race volunteers stationed at the four “dodge zones” positioned along the course. After crossing the finish line, runners will eventually enter the “battle zone,” a food fight free-for-all open to all participants.
Partly inspired by Spain's famous “La Tomatina” festival, Tomato Dodge co-founders and Utah natives Danny Copinga and Ken Auton hope to find cities that will welcome them back year after year.
“What we're trying to do is to make it an annual tradition at the places we go, which is determined on how people like it and if they enjoyed themselves,” Copinga said.
The Oklahoma City 5k will be Tomato Dodge's second-ever event. A run in Nashville was held earlier this year and future runs are scheduled for November in Forth Worth, Texas, and Tampa, Fla.
Copinga said he believes the Oklahoma City event should be a smash.
“It's a fairly active town, there's a lot of people that want to do these types of things,” Copinga said. “There's a couple of colleges in the area too, and that's always helpful because college-aged kids like to do these types of events.”
Tomato Dodge uses farm-grown fruits that are past ripe and too damaged to be sold. Besides being a waste of good food, ripe tomatoes are often too big and heavy to be safely thrown.
Copinga said Tomato Dodge is an event all age groups can enjoy.
“How we've tried to brand it, it's more of a family event,” he said. “Sure, a lot of young people go to it too, but at our last Nashville event we had more kids there than we expected, so we're trying to really brand it as a family event.”
Tomato Dodge is a for profit company, but is currently discussing a partnership with two local nonprofits.
If you go
What: Tomato Dodge 5K
When: 9 a.m. Oct. 26
Sign up: Online at www.
Cost: Registration is $35 through Oct. 11, $40 through Oct. 18 and $45 through Oct. 25. Registration includes a T-shirt, sweatband and car decal.