While most charity runs provide sports drinks and energy bars along the course, the annual Krispy Kreme Challenge doles out a guilty pleasure instead -- 12 sugary doughnuts that each participant downs before crossing the finish line.
About 7,700 racers convened Saturday for what has become one of Raleigh's sweetest traditions. Participants met at North Carolina State University's belltower, ran 2.5 miles to the Krispy Kreme shop, ate a dozen doughnuts and ran back to the race start, all in the name of a good cause.
The racers pulled in an estimated $100,000 for the North Carolina Children's Hospital.
"I think it draws on two humans emotions," Joshua Chappell, a sophomore at N.C. State who helped organize the event, told the Huffington Post. "You get the bragging the rights and also the fact that it supports such a great cause."
The challenge, which drew people from as far as Australia and Spain, was born from a 2004 bet. A group of about 12 students wagered to see who could race to Krispy Kreme and back and eat the most doughnuts in under an hour. The bet has evolved into a much-anticipated fundraiser that has raised about $350,000 for the children’s hospital over the course of eight years.
In addition to incorporating the charity component, the event now also encourages its racers to dress up. One pair showed up as tacos, another crafted a knight costume out of Krispy Kreme boxes and quite a few kept with the event's theme and sported inflatable doughnuts around their waists.
When it came to preparing for the event, the racers took on varying training regimens.
"I've actually been training by watching a lot of TV and sitting on my couch," one participant told ABC11.
To contribute to the North Carolina Children's Hospital (without indulging in hundreds of calories), make a donation here.