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Runners eat 12 doughnuts, run 5 miles for charity

The Krispy Kreme Challenge, now in its 16th year, has raised over $1.8 million dollars for a North Carolina hospital

Would you ever consider eating 12 doughnuts in one sitting? OK, how about running five miles (eight kilometres) after that snack? If you think this sounds like a great way to spend a Saturday morning, then the Krispy Kreme Challenge is the race for you. On February 1, the city of Raleigh, N.C., saw more than 5,000 runners take to the streets at the Krispy Kreme Challenge. The event raised $175,000 for the UNC Children’s Hospital in Chapel Hill, N.C.

The challenge, which “epitomizes the test of physical fitness and gastrointestinal fortitude,” according to its website, is simple enough—participants have one hour to eat a dozen Krispy Kreme doughnuts and run five miles. The route starts on the North Carolina State University campus and takes runners to a Krispy Kreme location 2.5 miles away. There, participants have to eat 12 glazed doughnuts before they turn back for the 2.5 mile slog back to the finish before the hour is up. If they can’t finish their doughnuts or they don’t make the hour cutoff, they aren’t official Krispy Kreme Challenge finishers.

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The race started as a fun excuse for a group of 10 friends to eat 12 doughnuts each, but now, 16 years later, it attracts thousands of participants every year and is “the number one tradition to complete before graduating from North Carolina State University.” Since the event started, it has raised more than $1.8 million, all of which has gone to the hospital.

This year’s winner broke the tape in 28:29. That’s 3:32 per kilometre, a great 8K time on its own, but adding 12 doughnuts and the cramps that go along with that stomachful of pastries makes it even more impressive.

If you don’t think you could stomach that many doughnuts but you would still like to be a part of the madness that is the Krispy Kreme Challenge, you can enter the “No Doughnut” category and run the five miles with the rest of the competitors.

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This is not the only event where food has been incorporated into a race. The beer mile, an event in which athletes chug four beers and run four laps of a track, has grown in popularity over the last few years. If you’re looking for a race that is as unique as the Krispy Kreme Challenge but closer to home, the Highway to McDonald’s challenge has been a yearly event at Queen’s University in Kingston for more than a decade.

Meal pickup for the Highway to McDonald’s

Participants in the Highway to McDonald’s race run around 7.5 kilometres and take a pitstop in the middle to eat a Double Big Mac meal with extra large fries and a pop. If a runner throws up before they complete the route back, they have to run an 800-metre penalty loop.

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The 2020 Highway to McDonald’s is only a month away, set to be run on March 14. If you give this a try and like it, you can set your sights on next year’s Krispy Kreme Challenge.