Krispy Kreme Challenge: 5 miles, 12 doughnuts, keep it down

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Have you heard of the Krispy Kreme Challenge? Run 5 miles while eating 12 doughnuts… and trying to keep them down.

The News & Observer: Krispy Kreme Challenge: 5 Miles, 12 Doughnuts, Keep It Down

The race also raises money for a children’s hospital. So what’s wrong? Some exercise, some fun and even a way to help sick children – isn’t that great?

Not really.

This is a great way for the Krispy Kreme brand to get associated with nice things, while making it feel normal to binge on donuts. Why do we let them do that?

Would we join a Marlboro Challenge that encouraged people to smoke five packs of cigarettes while running, and raised money for their own children’s hospital? Not likely.

My guess is that the Krispy Kreme Challenge is going to be equally unthinkable in the future. And that children’s hospital will find it wise to give the money back. In the middle of an epidemic of childhood obesity many kids already end up in the hospital because of brands like Krispy Kreme. Nothing fun about that.

By the way – if you’re wondering – to burn the calories in 12 extra donuts you’d have to run for about five hours.


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  1. Daniel
    Unfortunately, a man died running the race this year. The story I heard on the local news (I live in Raleigh) is that even though he didn't run regularly, he decided to try it since it was for a good cause.
    Reply: #4
  2. Elizabeth
    I found the article about the man's death. They said he did not make it 1 mile.

    A hospital supporting this sort of thing is as ridiculous as having sugar filled snack machines all through the hospital. To make it even worse, this is a children's hospital so the children are getting early training in diet and exercise. I am sure the children's hospital food is just as unhealthy.

  3. TS
    Thankfully the sugar industry must be running out of arguments - and credibility, for sure - if they feel they need to make (the possibility of) puking part of the fun consuming their products.
  4. Apicius
    So, a man died doing the donut race which was sponsored by a hospital.
    What would happen if a man died, doing a bacon race that was sponsored by a Pro-LCHF medical services clinic?
    The pro-donut hospital officials get away scot-free. The bacon-sponsors would instead face a tribunal.
    Reply: #6
  5. Janet
    Last October, with the donation raised by students through this charity run, UNC Children's Hospital named a speciality clinic in Raleigh the "Krispy Kreme Challenge Clinic". When children go to this clinic for diabetes treatment, the Krispy Kreme name is on the entrance.
    A petition urging UNC not to use Krispy Kreme on a healthcare facility, that garnered 13,000+ signatures, was ignored. This race attracts a crowd who are there for the donuts and funny costumes, the category for fit, experienced runners is small. As another Raleigh area resident, UNC Hospitals should end their affliation with this group, the donation is a tiny percent of the hopspital fundraising and budget.
  6. Pierre
    They would have said: this proves that saturated fats cause heart attacks
    Reply: #7
  7. Apicius
    Pierre, I totally agree!
  8. palo
    When I was young, slim and in shape, I was a recreational runner. I joined a 10K sponsored by Natural Light. They gave one cans at the start and one at the only station, if desired.

    I never had a buzz thru the race and only had one beer. I guess the exercise burned the alcohol. BTW, I did 40m, not great but not bad.

    Let the record show that I don't recommend anybody to drink alcohol. And if you do, only 1-2 units per day, no beer or sweet drinks/mixes, no more than 4 days a week and always with meals, not snacks.

  9. Lars Sundström
    I really do hope they will look into the eyes of someone who is starving and tell the story about "not try to puke up food while running". That is so evil and thoughtless, even inhuman.

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