Monday, February 7, 2011

The Krispy Kreme Challenge

Taking place in North Carolina, is a fun run which seems right on the edge.

Sponsored by the manufacturers of artery clogging Krispy Kreme donuts, and raising money for a children's hospital, this competition draws thousands of participants every year.

In 2009, they logged over 5000 runners and in 2011, the expectation was over 7500 runners.

The race, which seems to draw people of all sizes and all ages (although it takes place in a college town and originated with 5 college students) consists of running two miles from the start to the Krispy Kreme store, consuming one dozen Krispy Kreme donuts and then, running back, all in one hour or under, if possible.

The reality of the race from a youtube video, filmed by a participant, seemed less pretty than MSNBC news made it appear. The only concern the news media had was perhaps the runners won't run off the calories contained in 12 donuts.

The video maker described squishing three donuts together in order to gulp them down more quickly. This morphed the donuts into a concoction which was anything but appetizing. He also said to get back into the race, to finish it, he had to walk over several piles of vomit from those less successful in consuming the dozen.

"Some of the participants just did the run and only ate 1 or 2 Krispy Kremes", he commented.

Considerably less people appeared to finish the race than were at the start line and those coming in all looked like they'd been sucked through a keyhole backwards.

Were those who just ate a couple of Krispy Kremes wiser than those who attempted the eating contest? Considering that donuts are among the most artery clogging foods available, probably not.

The race seems the epitomy of American insanity - combining a healthy activity like running with eating the type of food which would seem to negate any good health effects of the exercise.

From regularly reading Runner's magazines for several years, I found that quite often they had articles about folks who had heart attacks or cancer, unusual for regular exercisers. (Many studies suggest those who exercise have a 40 percent lower risk of heart disease, than non exercisers.)

Could it be that the underlying message of such events as the Krispy Kreme Challenge i.e. if one can "run off the calories" than one can consume unhealthy foods with abandon, is very misleading? I vote yes on that question.

A better idea would seem to be to exercise with abandon and skip the donuts. According to a PBS news story video, participants are not required to eat any donuts.

One of the reporters who participated commented that "they have pills for people who do things like this."

Related video: how Krispy Kremes are made.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds like the "Anorexics Dream". Gorge, puke and burn it off, all in one activity.