Saturday, February 5, 2011

Footsy Friends: Mikey & the Krispy Kreme Challenge

I'm beyond excited to introduce today's guest blogger: my recovering meathead of a brother, Mikey Doodle (okay, his name is actually Mike, but why pass up an opportunity to call him an embarrassing family nickname on the World Wide Web?) Mikey oh-so-bravely challenged the elements today by stepping out into this rainy mess of a day and putting his insides through complete and utter torture - all for the thrill of the Krispy Kreme Challenge. I'm proud to announce (though I'm not sure if I should be) that Mikey successfully ran 4.8 miles with a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts in his belly. And being the sweet brother that he is (and because he knew his whiny little sister wouldn't let him off the hook without a fight), he offered to share with SFOF a little bit about the battle of man vs. donut...

Saturday mornings are great. You sleep a little longer, eat a little more breakfast, take a little more time getting your day started. You know what makes Saturdays even better? How about when it’s raining, cold and dark out and you wake up realizing this and rollover for that extra (at LEAST) hour of sleep. Those conditions just so happen to make my Saturday morning. However, THIS Saturday looked nothing like the Saturday we all know and love. This Saturday I had to get up at 6:30, bundle up in four layers of racing gear, lace up the Mizunos, and drive 30 minutes to the campus of NC State to join 7,500 other sugar enthusiasts for the 7th annual Krispy Kreme challenge.

Having arrived a little early I danced around the bell tower waiting on my friends, all the while getting heavier and heavier by the minute as the rain continued to fall and soak through my layers. Despite the 35 degrees, the scene is surprisingly full of life, with sightings of gorilla man, Mario and Luigi, bikini girl, and many others, all trying to stay dry before they embark on perhaps the worst decision of their life.

My friends show up just before the start of the race and we go get in line as racers dart off. We hadn’t planned ahead of time who was running with whom, so I had to make a quick decision on how much I wanted to torture myself. Group A, two 6’7” guys who just so happen to be very athletic, or Group B, two girls, my height and probably my pace. Naturally I choose the daddy long leg group and I was already a half-mile into the race before I could process what a bad decision that was.

We dart through the crowded streets, jumping through and around puddle after puddle, inching our way closer and closer to infamous mid-way point. (side note: Much to my dismay the race is not the 4 mile race it claims to be. For some reason they market it as four, when it’s actually 4.77. That can be very disheartening when you had garnered the courage over the previous few months to take on this 4 mile eat/run challenge.) We’re probably trucking at a 7:45 pace or so, and I’m feeling pretty good despite the conditions.

We finally turn the corner and off in the distance I can see the green and red sign. I shudder. I think I see it flicker its lights at me in a taunting gesture. We get closer and luckily (for me) it’s backed up and I can regain my breath. Like a herd of cattle they push us through a tunnel of tables covered in donut boxes that are covered with sheets of plastic. Must be saving the dense donuts for the slow pokes, I tell myself.

Mikey starting to feel the pain
And then it happens. A volunteer passes me the box of doom. It’s time. Me vs. the dirty dozen. Runner vs. eater. Lactic acid vs. saturated fat. It’s on.

(another side note: While it makes complete sense, the “hot and fresh” you’re picturing when you sign up for this race is never found. I so badly wanted to drop inside the store and grab my dozen right off the conveyor belt and let the donuts melt in my mouth. No, these were cold and not fresh. Given they were baking 60,000 donuts, I forgave KK).

As we walk to find the best eating spot, I open the box and pull out #1, squeezing the life out of it with my hand. Not too bad. I can do this. Next I grab out #2 and 3 together, smushing them into a fist full of goodness. Three down, I can definitely do this. #4, 5, and 6 together next. I start to slow down. After barely finishing those I’m at the half way point. HALF WAY. I have to eat what I just ate all over again. #7, 8, 9 come out together and I mash them together as well, deep down hoping to crush their morale and subsequently their ability to wage war on my stomach. It wasn’t working. KK had turned the table and was fighting back with a vengeance.

Each bite takes longer and longer. I try talking to my friends around me to take my mind off the battle that I’m losing. I find some water to wash some of the sugar down my throat, some of the 264 grams of carb I have eaten. Time to grab #10, 11, and 12. I’m literally feeling dizzy, seeing a couple of stars. Painfully, I take a bite and then another. My buddies are about ready to go. I grab my empty box for proof and the last half of my 3-donut stack and we start walking towards the gate. I have my first gag reflex. I really don’t know if I can get the last few bites down but I tell myself I have to! I can’t tell people I ate all 12 if I throw the last little bit on the ground. I show the volunteers my empty box and start back on the run, grasping the remaining nugget of donut in my sugar glazed hands.

Mikey and the Daddy Long Legs
Over the next mile I take little nibbles of it, wishing it would just go away. With about a mile and half left to race my nugget is finally gone and I move back to the other challenge at hand. Running mostly uphill, through the now heavier rain, with a stomach full of 240 grams of fat (60 saturated). Not a minute into the return trip, group daddy long legs had left me in the dust, err, mud. My focus on finishing the race and keeping the food internal makes the world around me quiet. I can hear my heart, more confused than it’s ever been. Blood to muscles or blood to digestive system? You can’t have both Mike!

My calves start to feel the blood depletion with cramps trickling down both sides. But I am determined to make it and I have to get it under an hour, as that is what the official challenge rules require. Surprisingly, I had not seen any yackers yet. Rumor had it that an average of 25% of the competition would not hold it in. Focused on not being part of that statistic, I chug up the hill, in the zone, towards the finish line. 

Finally I can hear the music and see the light at the end of the tunnel. I endure the final half-mile and cross through the finish line, stomach fully intact with 8 or 9 minutes to spare. I made it. A few minutes later I contemplate an upchuck, but decide against it.

After watching a few more waves of people cross the finish line, I headed back home to a relaxing, hot bath. After 2400 calories (1,320 from fat), 144 grams of fat, 60 mg of cholesterol, 13,680 mg of sodium, 264 grams of carbs, and a whopping 24 grams of protein my morning was complete. Krispy Kreme, better luck next time.


  1. Great Job Mike, we are proud of you!! Do you want us to cancel the gift card we got you for Krispy Kreme??? :-)

  2. Ugh... reading this post just about made me upchuck. Congrats to you Mike that you didn't.

    On a side note, some of the costumes at the race were hilarious.

  3. I haven't had a Krispy Kreme in years. They all seem to have closed around here. What an experience!