Sunday, April 5, 2015

Krispy Kreme Challenge

This adventure started about three years ago. Somehow while having some beers with my buddy Mark, the discussion of the Krispy Kreme Challenge came up. We thought, ahh maybe next year! The next two years, this same discussion came up, again, usually after a few beers were consumed. Now, most races would not have taken me so long to do, but the Krispy Kreme Challenge is in North Carolina and a side note, my buddy Mark, doesn’t REALLY run. This hasn’t stopped him from being an active member of the Tuesday Night Turtles, he has run on TNT Grog & Dog Jog Relay Teams, has run in about (2) 5ks a year since graduating high school 15 years ago and was even stupid enough to run the New Bedford ½ Marathon…but he does this off of about 5 to 10 miles on average a MONTH. Also, if you haven’t clicked on the Krispy Kreme Challenge link yet…another reason this race took us a while to get to, is because of what it is. Let’s fly down to North Carolina to run 2.5 miles, eat a DOZEN Krispy Kreme Donuts, then run another 2.5 miles. It is one of those races that intrigues you but you forget about it for a while after you talk about it.
Well, three years of talking about it was what it took for us to sign up, which I did after confirming there would be no South Country 4th Season Trail Race on that weekend. I signed up and then texted Mark saying…your turn and so it was set in stone.

Now, although there was no real “specific training” done for this race by me any barely and running at all done by Mark, we both were taking it relatively serious. We both had our goals and both wanted to do the best we possibly could. The only thing we did do to prepare for race day, was watch lots of videos of the race and then procure some Krispy Kreme Donuts from Mohegan Sun to get an idea on the texture and squishability factor of said donuts, which we then each consumed (6) of in about 3 mins.

Fast forward to race weekend. Friday February 13th, we made the drive up to Boston to fly from there to Raleigh, NC. After much debate we decided on flying out of there as it was much cheaper and the flights were all direct with no layovers. We also decided to park there, it would only be a couple of days, so it would also be pretty cheap… We boarded our flight on-time and arrived in Raleigh at approximately 12pm. We walked outside into the unseasonably cold NC weather (30s) and hailed a cab to the KKC Expo! We picked up our race numbers and shirts and checked out the merchandise and more importantly the info at the Raleigh Brewing Company booth…they brewed a beer specifically for the race for that night, so we now had at one thing for our agenda for the night before the race.

From there we decided to walk the 1.7 miles, with our two carry-ons each, down to our hotel. It was a nice walk straight through the NC State campus, so we had plenty of company for most of it. All went well at the hotel check-in, we settled in and went out for an easy 3 mile run to scope out part of the course and also the brew pubs and bars that we had looked at going to after the race was over. After the run, we chilled out a bit and searched for a late lunch spot. Enter the Village Draft House. Conveniently located about ½ mile from our hotel and with 100 beer on tap, it was a no brainer! We sat at the bar and both ordered a North Carolina beer, always drink local! Both of us were super happy with our selections (my full trip beer list will be provided at the end of this long story) We decided that we would eat light now and then have something else to eat later on (in hind sight, we should have eaten a larger meal early and a lighter one later, since we will have to consume 12 donuts in that silly race the next day…oops). Both of our meals were good, as was the second beer…we wanted to stay there all night, but alias, we had a plan. We were now on our way to the Raleigh Brewing Company to try out that special K2C Pre-Gamer beer! We made the 1.8 mile walk there, walked in and right away were in love with this place! It was in a warehouse type building, there were barrels filled with aging beer, there was a large list of beer, Ms. Pac-Man, Galaga, board games, dogs…you name it…they had it! We went up to the bar and grabbed our pints full of 8.7% rum barrel aged dark ale. This beer was great! We drank those down while playing some Ms. Pac-Man, grabbed one more beer, drank that and bought a bomber for the hotel. We decided to stop back at the Village Draft House for some more food and one more beer. We were back to the hotel with the bomber poured by 8:30 and sleeping before 9:30. So, we got to bed pretty early, but probably shouldn’t have filled our stomachs with so much stuff! I think that was my first thought when the alarm went off at 6:45 am. OH, I forgot to mention, the hotel alarm clock also went off, but at 3am at full volume! Thanks asshole, that set that before he checked out!

Bell Tower

So…RACE DAY! I was not in my normal race day routine. I had a small bit of a pop-tart and a very small amount of water, I did not want to fill my stomach up anymore, it already felt full. I headed out at 7:30 to get just over a mile of running in…it was in the low 20s and felt brisk. I headed back to the hotel and Mark and I walked the ¼ mile to the start line EARLY. This race has a lot of people, 6000+ and we did not want to get caught too far back in the pack of crazy college students.

There were a lot of interesting sights up at the start. Runners were dressed up in everything imaginable. After a bit, we decided to get into the starting area and then wait what felt like forever for the race to start. 20s felt pretty cold standing around in shorts.

FINALLY...the countdown and the gun went off. I started about 3 rows back to ensure I didn't get dragged out too quick. I am pretty sure I was in 100th place though the 1/4 mile. My legs felt super stiff from standing around in the cold so long. After about a half mile, I felt like I was getting into a groove of sorts. I was passing lots of people and was in the top 25. The first 2.5 miles to the donuts is more downhill than anything. Lots of flat, but a net downhill for sure. My plan was to run around 5:30 pace to the donuts; I thought that was a pace that was quick, but not so quick that I would feel like hell when I was handed a dozen donuts to eat! Through 2 miles, I was still passing some runners and feeling pretty good. My stomach didn't feel great, which worried me a bit, but overall I thought things were going OK.

Finally, we rounded the corner and could see the Krispy Kreme sign and the boxes and boxes of donuts. I am pretty sure I was handed my box of donuts in about 13th or 14th spot, running 5:33 pace, right around my goal time. I took the hand-off and ripped the box open while running towards the water area to find a spot to eat. I made my way over to the furthest table, for a quick getaway after consumption, and got situated with my box on the ground. I noticed what technique the top runners/eaters were going with and decided that was what I would do too.

I set out a few cups of water and put donuts in each one in order to get them soggy. I was shoving bits and pieces into my mouth, probably too much at a time, I felt like I was making no progress. I was within an arm length of 2-time defending champion Tim Ryan and kept looking at his box of donuts to compare progress. He was eating a lot faster than I was. I was doing a better job of making a mess than actually eating the donuts. I looked down mid-eat and was overwhelmed at the amount I had left. This was not easy.

About 10 mins after I received my box of donuts, I was finally heading out to show my empty box and begin my 2.5 mile jaunt back to the finish. I got going pretty good once I left the eating area. My gloves were soaked and sticky with donut glaze that I could smell all the way back. On the return trip, you start passing runners in the "casual" category right away; these are runners in the race that are just out there for a good time, they do not have to eat all or any of the donuts, therefore not eligible for prizes. Having these slower runners on course was a great motivator. I was passing people left and right. I went through the first mile in around 5:35, which I was very pleased with, must have been all the sugar I just consumed!

Turning a corner around the 1.5 mile mark and then up a hill took a bit out of me, I was finally feeling it a bit. I was still passing people though and some of these runners were challengers. Finally we took the right onto the road the race started, there was under a mile to go and it is a straight shot back with gradual hill, but you could see other runners, so I started focusing on one at a time, with about a half mile to go, I noticed a runner I had seen on the way first thought was, man I don't want to have to out-kick this guy, I am not sure my stomach can handle that! I was hoping I would catch him soon enough before the finish line to avoid any kick and puke scenario! Well....I caught him with about 400 meters to go, I tried to go by him immediately, but he reacted. We were stride and stride around the rotary and up the last hill to the finish line, I let him get a step or two on me, then attacked....nipping him at the line by less than a second! Ugh...that hurt. Fortunately, nothing came up. Wow that was hard!

We finished!

I wrote the above about a month ago! The race was on February 14th and I just suck at blogging. Anyway...the rest of the story will just be recapped.

I finished in 19th place in 37:17 and Mark ended up running faster not he way back then on the way out and breaking his goal time and finishing in 159th place in a time of 46:48. See Full Results HERE!

After the race there was some settling time to ensure the stomachs were fine, then we did what we do...went to brewpubs! We hit up some great places, I will include a list with the beer list below!

Now...for the not so fun stuff. We were supposed to fly back to Boston on Sunday...but our flight was canceled, we figured this would happen, wince the Northeast was getting hit with a blizzard. But one thing led to another with plane maintenance issues and all sorts of other delays including SNOW in NC!! So we ended up flying out on Tuesday afternoon instead of Sunday morning. It got frustrating to say the least. We were very happy to be home. Once I spelled in after a long day of traveling, I got ready and headed to Turtles for my biggest fear was missing my Tuesday night run!

We might be here a while!

So...there you have it, FINALLY the KKC story.

Beer List
Samuel Adams - Cold Snap (Logan International Airport)
Raleigh Brewing Company - Hidden Pipe Porter w/Oak City Coffee (Village Draft House)
Raleigh Brewing Company - K2C Pregamer (brewed for the race) (Raleigh Brewing Company)
Raleigh Brewing Company - Hidden Pipe Porter w/Oak City Coffee (Raleigh Brewing Company)
Foothills Brewing - Sexual Chocolate (Village Draft House)
Raleigh Brewing Company - House of Clay IPA (Hotel Room)


The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery - Milk Stout (Flying Saucer Draught Emporium)
New Belgium Brewing Company - Portage (Flying Saucer Draught Emporium)
Trophy Brewing Company - Double Death Spiral (Trophy Brewing Company)
Ska Brewing - Hibernal Vinifera Stout (Drink Drank Drunk)
Foothills Brewing - People's Porter (The Alley)
Deep River Brewing Company - 4042 Stout (Village Draft House)

The Village!

Raleigh Brewing Company - The Miller's Toll (Raleigh Brewing Company)
Raleigh Brewing Company - Hell Yes Ma'am (Raleigh Brewing Company)
Raleigh Brewing Company - City Of Blokes (Raleigh Brewing Company)
Bull City Ciderworks - Rhiz Up! (Raleigh Brewing Company)
Lonerider Brewing Company - Sweet Josie (Texas Steakhouse & Saloon)

Cat on a leash @ Trophy!

Big Boss Brewing Company - Hell's Belle (Raleigh Durham Airport)
Natty Greene's Brewing Co. - Buckshot Amber Ale (Brixx Wood Fired Pizza)
Double Barley Brewing - Thrilla' In Vanilla Porter (Brixx Wood Fired Pizza)
Lynnwood Brewing Concern - Big Papi (Hotel)
Fullsteam Brewery - Fearrington Winter Coffee Pecan Porter (Hotel)

Growler at the hotel.

Love the logo.