Dough-Nuts: 5K raises more than $9,000 for Habitat for Humanity



On Saturday, 301 runners learned what happens when a 3.1 mile run is mixed with one dozen Krispy Kreme doughnuts.

It’s not pretty, but the pain was worth the gain.

UK Habitat for Humanity raised more than $9,000 through the UK Habitat for Humanity Krispy Kreme Challenge, a 5K race with a twist. Those who accepted the challenge had to finish the race in under one hour while stopping to eat 12 doughnuts at the halfway mark.

“This turned out to be much more money than we were originally anticipating,” UK Habitat President Eric Ellis said. “By working closely with Lexington Habitat we were able to host the event much more cheaply than expected. We also received bigger sponsorships than we expected, and we were very excited about that.”

The money raised from the event was donated to Lexington Habitat for Humanity and will be used to build houses for families who live in poverty-level housing. For the 2009-10 school year, UK Habitat donated $25,500.

Lance O’Cull, the challenge winner and graduate of UK’s Patterson School of Diplomacy and International

Commerce, turned in a time of 23:28 for the course. He reached the doughnuts in just over eight minutes and looked unfazed at the finish, but O’Cull admitted he had practiced at a similar event at North Carolina State University.

“After (the N.C. State race), I promised myself I would never do that again,” he said.

Other runners were not so lucky.

Brandon Murray, a chemical engineering senior, turned in a time of 50:10 as sweat washed the last of the glaze from his face. Doubled over and breathing heavily, he walked past the doughnut mascot offering challengers a victory Krispy Kreme. Two minutes later he lost his breakfast.

“The last three (doughnuts) were the worst,” Murray said. “I was smashing three of them together and dripping water on them to get the sugar off … It took me like 23 minutes to do the doughnuts.”

Even some who trained for the event struggled.

Dan Wavering, an accounting junior, said he practiced eating Kroger doughnuts a few days before the week. Before the race, he said he was on pace to eat the dozen in just under seven minutes and said he would make up time with his eating pace.

“I know I won’t throw up,” Wavering said. “I think I’ll finish in under 45 minutes.”

He made good on his promise to keep the doughnuts down, but he turned in a time of 47:05.

“I was on pace for the first eight (doughnuts), but it took me like 10 minutes for the last four,” Wavering said. “I’ll definitely come back next year. I’ve got the experience. Maybe I’ll get more in shape.”

UK Habitat hopes to make the event an annual fundraiser. The event started at N.C. State in 2004 with 12 runners but has grown to 5,500 runners in 2009. Ellis think the UK version can rival that event within a few years.

“We’re talking about having group awards, a costume competition, and other twists to make the event better,” Ellis said. “We’re also considering timing the Casual Runner division to appeal more to serious runners … We plan to grow it as much as we possibly can in order to raise as much money as we can for Lexington Habitat.”