Monday, February 7, 2011

Race Report - Krispy Kreme Challenge 2011


Nutrition:  Are you kidding me?  Nutri-grain bar.  All we had in the hotel room.  Had to warm the stomach up somehow.

We had a taste of the weather on Friday: Cold and Rainy.  That was going to make for a very interesting donut eating frenzy.  Donuts alone?  Scary.  Water soaked donuts?  Might as well eat a brick.  Either way, I'm game.

Woke at 6:45 and started to dress.  Kenny, Kyle, and Gabe were to arrive around 7:15.  Rebecca and her family arrived Friday night, as well as TKB's parents.  With the 7:30am pre-race photo taken, off we went to the NC State campus.  Luckily we managed to get the last two parking spots a block away from the start, or else this report would probably mimic last week's race report regarding parking.

There really wasn't much pre-race hoopla but the participants themselves provided much entertainment.  From the NC State track team guy wearing a 3 foot donut on his head to the girl wearing a bikini who said, "Not to worry, I had Jaegermeister for breakfast"

This made two weeks in a row in which the timing chip did not require affixing to the shoe; however, the timing sensors were affixed to scaffolding above the runners.  Interesting setup.   

The line-up consisted of two chutes to herd the 7,500 participants through, regardless of participant category.  With this race benefiting the NC Children's hospital, I'm sure they want as many participants they can handle.  Since many people can't fathom the idea of consuming 12 donuts, the organizers have provided three class of participants.  Challenger (you MUST eat the 12 donuts prior to starting your last two miles), Casual Runner (you are not required to eat the 12 donuts.  Feel free to take them with you), and Sleep In (Pay the $25 entry fee, get a t-shirt, and save your intestines from the pure hell they will go through in the following 24 hours).

Though we felt it was necessary to stay together given our costumes, our team's strategy to stay together for the first 2/3 of the race fell apart almost immediately. Oh well.

The course was mostly downhill heading to the Krispy Kreme store.  About a quarter mile to the store, the "elite" participants were already heading back to the Belltower.  I suppose if you had a five minute pace, that would have given them 8 - 10 minutes to work over the donuts.  As we later found out from other participants on our team, that is a very doable pace.

The race is advertised as 4 miles but it's more like 4.5 miles as we hit the donuts around 2.25 miles.  

Race - Donuts
Arriving at the Krispy Kreme store was quite a sight.  From .2 of a mile away you see a haze over the "Transition".  I'm not exactly sure what caused it because the donuts were likely trucked in because they were not warm.  The pre-boxed donuts were placed on both sides of the street and covered in plastic.  

Wonder how many of these made it to the finish line
Photo Credit: Joe VI
Having 7,500 participants descend on this area definitely requires a bit of logistics.  I'm sure there could have been some improvement, but this is an event where you consume 12 glazed donuts.  If you are planning to win this race, you'll be there well before the mass of humanity.  If you want a suggestion, run on the street sidewalk and grab a box from the outside.  

The strategy here is simple.  Turn 3, 4 or 5 donuts into one by smashing it together and eat it.  Mega-donut 1 & 2 (6 total) went down pretty quickly.  I'd say 8 - 12 minutes.  After that, slow going.  Mega-donut 3 and 4 took forever. I cannot remember ever doing anything that comes close to this in my lifetime.  I know I have over indulged before but I didn't have a clock and pride on the line.  Even taking baby-sized bites of  mega-donut 4 involved a leap of faith that I wouldn't immediately see it again.

I eventually joined the clean plate club after 28 minutes. I was told to avoid drinking water or the donuts will expand in your stomach.  I'm going to avoid that advice if there is a second Krispy Kreme Challenge in my future.  I took a cup on the way out and it definitely helped settle things.

Race - Final 2 Miles
I had very little expectations here other than I was going to run it.  I knew I would be on my own.  We never saw Ken or Gabe at the store so I just assumed they were already on the road.  Joe VI had left a few minutes before me so my goal was to find him.  Kyle, Tricia, Lauren, and Rebecca were still at the store but I knew Kyle was going to be on my glazed-covered heels.  

These 2 miles went surprisingly faster than I thought it would.  People knew I was coming because I sounded like the wolf about to blow in the pigs houses.  I believe I heard one guy even say "That guy is going to puke".  I only saw one puddle of donut-y torture on the way back (narrowly missing it).

I caught up with Joe VI in the first mile and tried to keep pace to stay in front.  The mass of 12 donuts only made their presence with the occasional *burp*.  I just focused on my breathing and waiting for the sight of the Belltower to appear.   I ultimately crossed the line in 1:06:58 (chip).

Congrats to Gabe and Kenny for making it in under the hour timeframe!  Their donut eating prowess is to be envied... 6 minutes and 8 minute, respectively. 

I suppose if half-way through the race you are given 12 donuts, you shouldn't expect any post-race food.  Not because the money was spent on the donuts but you will not want anything other than water.  There was nothing typical about this post-race.  I didn't even bother stretching because once you bend over, well... it's over.

It took three plus hours for an appetite to come back and savory and salty was on the menu -- Sonic Tator Tots and Cheddar Bites, in fact (diet starts Monday)

Krispy Kreme "Next" may or may not be in the cards for me but I think everyone should try this.  It's a lot of fun and make sure you bring friends.  Including the price of a round trip plane ticket and one night hotel stay, this is the most expensive 12 donuts I've ever consumed, but it was worth it.

Place 1825
Chip 1:06:58
Donut Transition: 28:26

Back Row: Kenny, Me, Kyle, Gabe, Joe VI
Front Row: Lauren, TKB, Rebecca

TKB and Rebecca finishing strong!

Garmin Data

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