Yes, you read that right. Dole, the world’s largest supplier of fruits and vegetables, has apparently been a long-time sponsor of the race. This year, besides handing out bananas to runners, the company is tricking out a couple of bananas with a power source, some wiring, and a display to monitor runners’ progress. Dole expects the selected runners to keep this banana strapped to their wrists for the entire 26.2 miles — and that the banana (and runner) will survive intact.
And because that’s not odd enough, the Japanese juice maker Kagome had built a gadget that will feed a runner tomatoes during the race. We here at WTI are not imaginative enough to make this up, so here’s what the Bangkok Post said:
The Tomatan looks like a small humanoid robot — with a tomato for a head — and sits snugly on the athlete’s shoulders.
Tugging a tiny lever in the foot moves the arms to catch a tomato from the shooter. It then rotates the fruit over the runner’s head and holds it in front of his mouth.
In fairness, this 8kg thing will be deployed only in a fun run preceding the marathon. But a runner from Kagome will wear a smaller version during the actual race.
And now, more bananas: