Heavyweights set to compete for top pumpkin in Half Moon Bay 

click to enlarge Ron Root stands with his winning pumpkin at the 2010 Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off in Half Moon Bay. Root’s gourd came in at 1,535 pounds. (File photo) - RON ROOT STANDS WITH HIS WINNING PUMPKIN AT THE 2010 SAFEWAY WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP PUMPKIN WEIGH-OFF IN HALF MOON BAY. ROOT’S GOURD CAME IN AT 1,535 POUNDS. (FILE PHOTO)
  • Ron Root stands with his winning pumpkin at the 2010 Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off in Half Moon Bay. Root’s gourd came in at 1,535 pounds. (File photo)
  • Ron Root stands with his winning pumpkin at the 2010 Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off in Half Moon Bay. Root’s gourd came in at 1,535 pounds. (File photo)

Records are made to be broken, and two local gourd-hounds are aiming for the top weight at Monday’s Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off in Half Moon Bay.

Russ Pugh of Santa Rosa and Tim Mathison of Napa both like their chances with their respective Atlantic giant pumpkins. Monday’s event is the kickoff to the Coastside city’s world-famous Art and Pumpkin Festival, which runs Saturday and Oct. 16.

Event sponsor Safeway is offering a $5,000 bonus to any grower who breaks the world record at the “Super Bowl of weigh-offs.”

Besides the coveted title and $5,000 prize, contestants will be competing for $20,000 in additional winnings. The winner will take home $6 per pound for the champion gourd. Also, $500 will be awarded to the “most beautiful pumpkin” as chosen by the audience.

The current world record is 1,810.5 pounds, accomplished by Chris Stevens of New Richmond, Wis. Last year’s Half Moon Bay champion, Ron Root of Citrus Heights, won with a 1,535-pound pumpkin.

The winning entry, along with the top five, will be displayed during the festival next weekend. For Monday’s competition, weighing runs from 7 to 11 a.m. at IDES Grounds, 735 Main St. For more information, visit www.miramarevents.com.

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Saturday, Apr 18, 2015

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