Thursday, May 24, 2012
It hadn’t quite reached “Bucket List” status, but let’s say doing the Doughnut Run 5K was a long-time goal of mine. It combined two of my favorite things—running and competitive eating. (Okay, so I’m not really a “competitive” eater, but eating is something I’m good at.) They would take time off my finishing time for every donut I ate.
The course was on the Iowa State University campus (benefiting their tri club). I had never been there before, but I was intrigued by the horse barn on campus, the “meat” laboratory and the sounds of animals in the buildings.
There would be four Krispy Kreme stations on the route. You had to stop to eat the donuts and they would sticker your bib for every donut you ate. My goal was 10 donuts so I could get the 2-minute bonus for reaching 10. I was focused and I knew this would take a new kind of mental toughness (as in “I don’t feel sick. I don’t feel sick.”).
It was strange to see all these runners suddenly stop and start shoving donuts in their mouths. At the first station there were boxes and boxes of glazed donuts. I ate the first Krispy Kreme like any other donut, savoring all that sugar hitting my system. For Donut #2 I remembered the advice of MWXer Craig Goldsmith and I dipped it in water. It went down faster. I only ate two at the first station. I wanted to see how I would feel and the plan was to do 2-2-3-3 at the four stations (there was a 3-donut limit at the last station). Yes, I was serious about my donut eating!
Some little kids went racing by me. They were obviously on a sugar high. Parents, you might want to rethink taking your kids to a doughnut run! It was on to Donut Station #2. I was now in a groove, dipping two more donuts in the water and shoving them in my mouth, holding up two fingers to the sticker lady. I chewed fast and I was off.
We can do this, I told my stomach. At donut station #3 I saw a guy from my running club. “How’s it going?” he asked. “I’m on number five,” I said proudly. “I’m on 15,” he replied. I watched as he took two donuts, put one on top of the other and then smashed them flat between his two palms. He could then eat two donuts at once. Brilliant! I could cut my donut-eating time in half!! I took two more donuts and did the trick. I threw some water on my hands (now a sticky mess) and I trotted off, definitely moving a little slower.
I knew if I lost my donuts before the finish line I lost my donut bonus. I felt confident I could reach my goal and I could down another three. The course was winding with multiple loops and soon I was entering the finish line. Where was the other donut station?
I would find out later that one of the donut stations was a double station that I needed to hit twice. I had missed the last station and would not get my 10-donut bonus. I was disappointed. I knew my ability to consume large quantities of food could make up for my lack of running speed. Oh well, I would have to be content with seven donuts.
I drove home, my stomach feeling a little queasy. “I know I can do better,” I told myself. Next year I would do donut training! I found out that the top male donut eater ate 18 and the top female, 15. I had some work to do!