The Krispy Kreme Challenge is a long-standing tradition at NC State and will experience changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic, just like many other aspects of campus life, by being completely virtual. Registered participants will run independently and can complete the challenge over the course of a week, spanning from Feb. 6 to Feb. 13.
Last February, the 16th Annual Krispy Kreme Challenge took place with 5,489 participants. Participants run 2.5 miles from the Belltower to the Krispy Kreme in Raleigh, where they eat a dozen doughnuts and then run back to their original location in less than one hour.
This year’s event is organized entirely by students and is offering virtual registration to allow participants to run independently in compliance with social-distancing mandates. The event donates all proceeds to UNC Children’s Hospital, which serves 100 counties in North Carolina.
Tatum Kellum, a third-year studying biological sciences with a concentration in noncommunicable disease, serves as director of logistics and finance for the Krispy Kreme Challenge and stated although it is not a traditional year at NC State, NC State’s number one tradition had to go on.
In years past, runners would compete against each other to finish first. However, this year, the competitive aspect will be missing from the event.
“Unfortunately, we are not able to offer a competition aspect to it because there’s no way for us to truly ensure that everybody is submitting correct timing information,” Kellum said. “It’s not so much of a competition this year but more about fundraising for UNC Children’s Hospital and trying to still keep the spirit of the event alive.”
This year, doughnuts are optional.
“As of right now, we aren’t planning on offering doughnuts to people who register just because there’s no way for us to ship a dozen doughnuts,” Kellum said. “We have people registering all over the country. That’s another reason the competition aspect won’t be happening this year because it won’t be the true challenge of eating the dozen doughnuts and running the 5 miles in under an hour.”
Turnout for the challenge is usually impressive, but Kellum said they are unsure about this year’s participation.
“We don’t have any expectations in terms of participation for this year, but we do have a goal of at least 1,000 runners, which is very small compared to previous years,” Kellum said. “We normally can have anywhere upwards of 5,000 runners, so we said 1,000 to be ambitious for ourselves, but also realistic, given the circumstances.”
Kellum said the challenge hopes to still raise substantial donations this upcoming year despite the changes.
“Our donation goal is at least $60,000, which we feel is a bit ambitious, but doable. With hardwork, sponsorships and people registering, we’re definitely hoping to get close to that number,” Kellum said.
Campbell Bratton, a third-year studying civil engineering, said the best part about the race is it’s a fundraiser for UNC Children’s Hospital.
“You’re raising money for a good cause and the whole challenge itself is fun,” Bratton said. “The idea of it, the absurdity of it, makes it fun.”
To register for this event, click here.
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