The first time I heard about the Krispy Kreme Challenge was seven years ago when I was a college sophomore. Some friends of mine headed over to Raleigh for a chilly race morning starting at the NC State bell tower. These friends of mine were college athletes - women rowers with legendary appetites to sustain them through grueling collegiate workouts and regattas - and after the damage they'd done to some Outback steaks and blooming onions following a recent regatta there was no doubt that they could handle the 2400 calories. The bigger question was whether they could handle the sugar! But my friends returned, if not victorious, then at least flushed with excitement and full of tall tales about dodging projectile vomit and puddles of puke.
I finally made it out to the Krispy Kreme Challenge in 2014 with one of my college friends who had run the K2C previously. I chased her and her twin for five miles, huffing and puffing on the Raleigh hills. In 2015 I convinced my boyfriend to race with me, which was welcome company on a freezing February morning.
This year I brought a posse: my boyfriend (despite him insisting that he wouldn't run the frigid race again) and a couple work friends with whom I'd trained with and raced with before.
Ah yes! Misery loves company! Thirty degrees, five miles, and doughnuts I wouldn't eat even on a normal day. But we lined up with thousands of other runners next to the NCSU bell tower and shivered for a few minutes in the shade before crossing the starting line.
2.5 miles later we rounded a corner towards the Krispy Kreme, where tables were lined up with boxes and boxes of original glazed doughnuts. I followed my boyfriend as he grabbed a box and I snuck a couple pastries from his dozen. One of my friends, however, went for the full challenge, downing one doughnut after another until all twelve were gone and the box was empty.
On the return 2.5 miles we teased and cajoled our intrepid comrade as he burped and belched to keep the doughnuts down. The rest of us weaved through patches of runners and dodged multicolored splatter on the pavement. We ran past trombone-playing spectators and Peace College and runners in Star Wars outfits and NC State Wolfpack gear, and lots and lots of doughnut costumes, and finally we crossed the finish line, another year conquered.
This is the Krispy Kreme Challenge, an admittedly ridiculous (and ridiculously fun!) race that will challenge your running and gastronomical prowess. Started as a dare among some NC State students in 2004, the Krispy Kreme Challenge has since grown to quite the spectacular race, with proceeds supporting the NC Children's Hospital. Thank you very much to all you awesome donors who supported my fundraising effort for this year's race! The total came to $250 for my fundraiser page, and just shy of $20,000 total for the K2C Crowdrise page. I hear proceeds from the race totaled to $195,000 this year alone, with almost a million raised since the race's inception! So work on your five mile times and maybe I'll see you out there next year.