Monday, January 28, 2008

36,000 Doughnuts

It was no place for the faint of heart. Four miles. A dozen doughnuts. One hour. The fourth running of the Krispy Kreme Challenge took place this weekend and we were just the idiots, 4 of 3000+, to participate.

What started as a gag (no pun intended) among fraternity brothers at NC State has seen each year double the previous in number of runners and this year's earnings for the Children's Hospital of NC was $20,000.

You start at the NC State Belltower and run 2 miles to the Krispy Kreme store in Raleigh. You eat a dozen doughnuts. Then run back. And you have to complete the challenge in under an hour.

We (mostly Phil) had been planning and training for this thing for months, including a morning where we ate some doughnuts mid run. But in the past month and a half I had slacked off quite a bit and wasn't planning on actually running. Plus Alex hadn't been running regularly for a while so I figured he may not be able to run the full four and was prepared to meet the guys at the doughnut shop and shuttle Alex back to the start in the car. What I didn't know until Friday morning was that my brother, John, had signed up for the race and took the red eye from Seattle Thursday night to surprise me for my birthday. So at 5pm Friday evening I signed up to run.

It was cold Saturday morning. Well, cold for here. I think it was 31 when we left the car to head over to the Bell Tower. But the party atmosphere at the start area helped to keep us warm and helped to distract us from the calorie laden task ahead. Alex and I ran together with Phil slightly ahead and John a minute or two ahead of him. When we reached the Krispy Kreme the parking lot was already full of people in various stages of sugar high. We found John with his box of doughnuts, 10 still to go. He had managed to pull away from us during the initial run, but 10 minutes later all four of us were leaving the sugar encrusted parking lot together. I shudder to think what that says about our ability to pound the junk food. Oh, and for those of you thinking what horrible parents we are, Alex only ate 2 doughnuts. Not a dozen.

The run back wasn't too bad at first (at that point downhill) until we heard someone yell "Uggh!!" and looked back to see why. Fortunately no one in our group saw their doughnuts reappear although there were people using the numerous lined trash cans to ease their stomachs.

John was the only one of us to complete the challenge in under the hour (:59). Alex came in a few minutes after him and Phil and I brought up the rear in 1:07. Remarkably we all felt fine throughout the day and there were no ill effects the next, either. We'll see if today sees everything catch up with us!

The winner of the challenge finished in 31:20. And his prize . . . doughnuts!