At 8:30 a.m. on February 5, 2011, downtown Raleigh hosted the annual Krispy Kreme Challenge. Approximately 7,500 participants gathered to run four miles, eat a dozen doughnuts and help raise $100,000 for the North Carolina Children’s Hospital.
To successfully complete the challenge, participants met at the N.C. State Belltower on Hillsborough St., ran two miles to the Krispy Kreme store on the corner of Peace St. and Person St., ate one dozen original glazed doughnuts and returned to the starting point, all in under one hour “without regurgitating.”
A dozen original glazed doughnuts contain more than the recommended nutrients for an entire day. With more than 2,400 calories, 1,200 grams of fat, 120 grams of sugar and 24 grams of protein, the challenge is enough to make even those with a sweet-tooth squeamish.
The Krispy Kreme Challenge began as a dare among fifteen students at N.C. State in December 2004. The concept is credited to Chris McCoy, a sophomore and N.C. State basketball player, though he never actually attended the event.
After receiving notoriety in the N.C. State’s newspaper, the Technician, and appearing as #85 on Sports Illustrated list of “102 Things You Gotta Do Before You Graduate,” the Krispy Kreme Challenge is now called “N.C. State’s newest tradition.”
However, the challenge is not restricted to N.C. State students. “I signed up in early January with Victoria Luong,” said Brenna Langley. “I decided to participate because we both wanted to run for the excitement and exercise, [and] also the money for registration goes toward N.C. Children’s Hospitals.”
At registration, participants can decide to be a “Challenger” or a “Casual Runner,” but everyone receives a racer T-shirt and box of doughnuts. Casual runners are typically those who attend for the experience and don’t plan on completing the race or their box of doughnuts. Challengers complete the race, consume their doughnuts without regurgitation and strive to win. Their boxes of doughnuts are scrutinized for completion.
“We both ran as casual runners and both ate one doughnut,” said Langley. “No puking was involved, just a few runners’ cramps. Vicky and I finished in about an hour and nine minutes.”
Alec Triggiano, junior, was a second year challenger in the race. “I signed up mainly for the fact that it’s one of those things that you have to try. There aren’t that many competitions that involve running and eating, which makes it kind of odd, and fun to try.”
“I did finish the doughnuts, and did NOT throw up, but I didn’t finish within the hour – I missed it by a few minutes,” said Triggiano. “When I did it last year i threw up, and it was miserable.”
One of the most noteworthy aspects of the challenge is the range of outfits displayed at the challenge.
“People wore some pretty interesting get-ups, especially in the brutal cold and rain,” said Langley. “One women wore a bikini and another man wore only two frisbees.”
“I saw people in suits, gorilla suits, and a guy in a dress,” added Triggiano.
A gallery of costumes can be seen here.
After first-timers attend the Krispy Kreme Challenge, it often becomes an annual tradition.
“I for sure am going to participate next year,” said Triggiano. “I have to beat the challenge!”
“Overall it was a great experience, and I would absolutely run next year! Possibly as a challenger…but we’ll see!” said Langley.