More than 3,000 runners turned out in near-freezing temperatures for the fourth annual Krispy Kreme Challenge. Participants run two miles from the N.C. State bell tower to the Krispy Kreme store, down a dozen glazed doughnuts, then run back to the bell tower.
The event was inspired by a dare among 10 friends, and Saturday's race raised $20,000 to benefit the North Carolina Children's Hospital.
To meet the challenge and earn a coveted green T-shirt, runners had to complete the course in 60 minutes or less without losing their sweet breakfast. That's 2,400 calories and 144 grams of fat for the entire dozen before a return trip to the N.C. State campus.
"Those last three doughnuts were tough," said a green Mark Whitfield after crossing the finish line. "Every one I looked at, I thought 'I may be seeing this again soon."'
Not everyone chose to meet the challenge.
"I ate four," said N.C. State senior Clint Baron as he left the Krispy Kreme. "I started to feel sick."
For those unable to hold onto their mid-race treat, race organizers placed 12 plastic-lined trash cans at the end of the course. Marks, a civil engineering major, didn't need them, and he finished the race with a few minutes to spare.
"Now, I can graduate," he said.