Picture this: You enter a 5K race. You run your heart out for the first half only to be stopped at the 1.5 mile mark. Someone shoves a box of a dozen Krispy Kreme glazed doughnuts into your hands and tells you to eat them…as fast as you can…every single one. As you are on the verge of throwing up, you are told to somehow finish the second half of the race.
Are you kidding me?
No, I am not. The Rotary Club of Carolina Forest Doughnut Dash took place this past Saturday. On a cool morning, runners reported to the start line at the Myrtle Beach Krispy Kreme store on HWY 501 to accomplish the unique 3.1 mile feat. As the predawn darkness faded and the sunshine started to poke through, I looked down at my two feet laced in running shoes and acknowledged reality…I was moments away from participating in the race myself.
Before you start wondering how I could still be alive after torturing my body through such an assault on my arteries, let me say this: Yes, I did participate in the Carolina Forest Doughnut Dash. Yes, I did finish the course. But no, I did not eat the doughnuts…at least not during the race.
During the summer at a surprise birthday party, my friend Kim Gomez asked me if I would run in the dash. As someone who rarely runs 5Ks – in fact, the only one I had participated in before was a color run – I had very little enthusiasm to do something that required me to risk having a heart attack. However, Kim, a Carolina Forest Rotary officer, told me I didn’t need to put my life on the line to race.
I could register as a “casual” runner instead of a “competitive” runner. The difference? While the competitive runners must stop midcourse and stuff their faces with 12 doughnuts, the casual runners glide right through the checkpoint and finish the race without stoppage. Then, at the end of the race, while the competitive runners are “recycling” their doughnuts in a trash can, the casual runners are presented with a box of a dozen doughnuts to take home and enjoy on their couch.
Sign me up, Kim!
As I mentioned, I am not a connoisseur of 5K races. Although I run daily, I don’t subject myself to road courses. However, I needed to get out of my comfort zone, especially since proceeds from the race went to benefit the great community programs organized by the CF Rotary Club. Oh yeah, doughnuts were involved too.
Although it was chilly at the starting line, it only took a couple minutes after the gun went off to feel comfortable. Running on an actual course greatly improved my motivation and stamina from their normal levels when I run on the treadmill or track. Embracing the opportunity to run with fellow humans on a peaceful morning, I found myself completing the course with relative ease. I finished the race in 23:59, earning second place out of the casual runners. According to my co-worker who knows a thing or two about 5Ks, I guess any time under 24 minutes is decent, making me thankful that I was able to shave the one second off my time that took me from “slouch” to “respectable.”
When I crossed the finish line I watched as the competitive runners battled with their boxes of doughnuts. The fastest eaters could consume the dozen glazed treats in about six minutes – many more needed well over 10. As I watched these warriors eat their recommended amount of calories for the next week, I thought about whether I should enter the competitor division next year. It didn’t take long for me to put that thought to bed. I got my box of doughnuts and headed home.
I want to thank Kim for getting me involved in the Carolina Forest Doughnut Dash. Not only did she encourage me to do something that turned out to be a lot of fun but she sponsored me as well. That’s right, Kim paid for my entry fee and made sure I was taken care of. So nice of her!
The race was a success. It doubled in size from last year, meaning the Rotary Club raised a lot more money. I was pleased to be part of it and I commend all the individuals in our community for organizing events like these and making a real difference. Don’t Blink.