For every mile a person walked or ran Saturday morning, they lost about 100 calories, according to stats provided to the YMCA of Centre County by Penn State nutritionist Kristine Clark.
But participants in the YMCA Donut Dash 5K added about 140 calories back per doughnut they ate.
YMCA hosted a run in Bellefonte, which included doughnuts
YMCA organizers said the run was somewhat “ironic,” but the goal was to have fun while benefiting the nonprofit, and spreading awareness about local businesses.
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“One thing we wanted to incorporate was a local business, and spread awareness about buying local and supporting locals who come to the Y,” Healthy Living Director Josh Cone said.
More than 300 doughnuts were donated to the YMCA for the race by Dam Donuts, located at 216 W. High St.
Dam Donuts opened in downtown Bellefonte in the spring. The shop puts a twist on eating traditional doughnuts that includes adding toppings of a customer’s choice.
On Saturday morning, Bellefonte law enforcement closed South Potter Street for the run.
Race had about 80 participants
Cone said the about 80 participants were asked to run or walk up and back the borough street five times, in kilometer increments.
For every kilometer they completed, the runners were eligible to eat a doughnut at the checkpoint. They were handed out to the racers by volunteers, and the runners were allowed to eat up to four doughnuts during the course of the race.
Cone asked participants to make sure they finished the doughnut before continuing the run, and not to eat one on the last lap.
“It’s all for safety measures so no one is choking or anything,” he said.
Racers were allowed to eat up to 4 doughnuts
But among the participants few actually ate the four-doughnut limit.
“It wasn’t that bad, but I also have a cast iron stomach,” Joe Lundberg said.
The Donut Dash was the first race Lundberg ran in since the Chicago Marathon on Oct. 9.
“It’s kind of multifold why I did this,” he said. “I know Josh (Cone), like donuts and needed to go for a run after Chicago.”
He ate four doughnuts, and completed the 5K in exactly 28 minutes.
When asked if he’d run for food again, Lundberg enthusiastically said, “definitely.”
Fellow runner, Dennis McDowell, 67, of Bellefonte, also finished four doughnuts.
But what he predicted the hard part to be, actually wasn’t what he thought.
I thought it was going to make me physically sick, but I didn’t have a problem with that at all. It was the dryness of the donuts, like eating cardboard, or crackers. You can’t get through it without water.
Dennis McDowell, runner from Bellefonte
“I thought it was going to make me physically sick, but I didn’t have a problem with that at all,” McDowell said. “It was the dryness of the doughnuts. You can’t get through it without water.”
And there were people on staff who handed out water to anyone in need.
But for at least one person, the race was about completing a milestone.
Not only was it Fran Russell’s 65th birthday, but it was the first 5K she participated in.
“It was my birthday present to myself, and no, I couldn’t bring myself to eat any doughnuts, but it was very worth it,” she said.
She was accompanied by family, friends and her two granddaughters, Lucy Decker, 3, and Morgan Wellar, 4, who had “Happy birthday, grandma” signs.
“It’s special when you do it and have a good support system behind you,” Russell said.
She’s been training since June, and plans to run in another 5K.
Proceeds benefited the YMCA of Centre County
In the long run for the Donut Dash, Cone said he hopes it grows, and possibly turns into a friendly competition among the other YMCA branches in Centre County.
Proceeds from Saturday’s race will benefit YMCA open doors campaign.