Try and try until you succeed and never say die may not only be battle cries for life and sports, it can well be used for pumpkin contests as well. An Anchorage man has bounced back from repeated setbacks and failures to finally nail a convincing win and take the top prize for his 1,469 pounds record-setting pumpkin at the Alaska State Fair in Palmer.
The winning pumpkin beat the old state record by more than 180 pounds. More importantly for the pumpkin’s proud owner, Dale Marshall, the victory marked his first after relentlessly pursuing the record the last five years.
Marshall knew from the get go that he had a winning entry this year. He shared: “That pumpkin there is 85 days old and the first 10 days it didn’t do anything. So in 75 days it put on almost 1,500 pounds so it’s kind of fun to watch it just expand.”
It was also such a sweet triumph for Marshall since he has experienced back to back heartbreaking losses the past years. Last year, he had a potential record breaker for an entry but as bad luck would have it, it fell from a crane as it was being hoisted from his greenhouse, and it was smashed. In another year, he had another promising winner in his hands only to see it get disqualified when organizers saw a small hole on the pumpkin’s underside.
But his never give up attitude has finally paid off handsomely for Marshall as he took home the top prize of $1,000 for the first place pumpkin at the Midnight Sun Great Pumpkin Weigh-Off. He also got a bonus of $50 for breaking the state record. With his redemption win, he’s finally ready to take a short break, but says he’s raring to go for it again next year.