Man dies in five-mile, 12-doughnut charity race in North Carolina

Competitors are required to consume 2,400 calories and complete the circuit in less than an hour

Krispy Kreme Challenge, North Carolina, Raleigh, Race, Fun run, Charity run

A 'challenger' racer in the Krispy Kreme Challenge [Facebook]

A participant in an unusual race in North Carolina that sees runners complete a five-mile track while also eating as many as a dozen doughnuts in the space of 60 minutes ended in tragedy over the weekend, when one of the competitors died suddenly after experiencing chest pains.

The unnamed 58-year-old racer was taking part in the ‘Krispy Kreme Challenge’, but dropped out of the race after completing the first mile. He was taken to a nearby hospital, but was pronounced dead by doctors upon his arrival.

In what organisers called a competition that epitomises “the test of physical fitness and gastrointestinal fortitude,” the concept of the race is distilled down to the following slogan: “2,400 calories, 12 doughnuts, five miles, one hour.”

“What started as a challenge among ten friends has transformed into a nationally publicised charity race,” the Krispy Kreme Challenge website says, “And the number one tradition to complete before graduating from North Carolina State University.”

Last year’s event saw as many as 8,000 participants take to the streets of Raleigh, their racing raising $1m for the North Carolina Children’s Hospital.

According to the race’s rules, “casual runners” taking part are not expected to eat all 12 doughnuts while running the five-mile course, but that “challengers” aiming to win the race are expected to complete the entire course – including all the fried cakes – within an hour.

It is not known whether the 58-year-old competitor was a casual or challenger racer. The event organisers took to Facebook to express their condolences to the man: 

Unfortunately we have some sad news to share. We regretfully confirm that a participant of today’s Krispy Kreme...

Posted by Krispy Kreme Challenge on Saturday, 6 February 2016

Krispy Kreme, the international doughnut brand which is based in North Carolina, responded to the news with a short statement issued to NBC news. In it, the confectionery giant said that the “event organisers have no affiliation with the company. Krispy Kreme does not promote, sponsor or donate products to the event or organisation.”

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