It took Duane Christy 56 minutes to run 5 miles Saturday in one of his favorite races, one for which he traveled 350 miles to run.
It wasn’t a difficult course that slowed his time by 9 minutes relative to last year. It was frozen donuts.
The 54-year-old long-time runner from Havre de Grace was one of 5,765 who ran in the 14th Annual Krispy Kreme Challenge at North Carolina State University. It was his seventh time to run in the event, which presents a challenge unique among U.S. road races. Midway through the race, runners must stop and eat a dozen glazed donuts, then run to the finish.
It is said to be the number-one tradition to complete before graduating from North Carolina State. The field was smaller this year relative to its peak of 7,400, probably because the temperature hit a record low of 18 degrees overnight, and the 70,000 donuts set out before the 8 a.m. start began to freeze.
“They were close to frozen. I could tell as soon as they handed me the box,” Christy said. “So it made it difficult to get them down.”
On previous, warmer race days, downing the dozen took Christy about 13 minutes; this time it was 19 minutes.
He reached the finish line in 56:23, placing 545th among 1,546 runners in the Challengers Division (for the most serious competitors).
Only 231 of the 5,765 chose to compete in the No-Donut Division, for those with dietary objections or weak stomachs. Some did lose their 2,300-calorie snack at the finish, but most held them down. This year, the event approached the million-donut mark. It surpassed the $1 million mark in donations two years ago, having earned a total of about $1.5 million for the North Carolina Children’s Hospital.
Christy, who routinely runs one or two races per week, returned to Harford County the following day and ran a 5 Miler at HCC in 40:04, sans donuts.
Get Schooled 5 Mile
Jeff Burger and Darren Thompson finished in the same time, 31:58, in leading a field of 50 in the RASAC Get Schooled 5 Miler at HCC Sunday.
The women’s leaders also finished together. Rabia Naeem and Anadir Silva were both timed in 42:11. Behind them in the women’s top five were Lisa Mills, 42:42; Melissa Morland, 42:43; and Karen Henry, 43:57.
Finishing in places three through five in the men’s race were Dave Stevenson, 33:10; Brian Yeager, 33:14; and Matt Miller, 33:36.
In collegiate indoor track
Jaquez Torian, a 2017 graduate of Edgewood High School, won the 400-meter dash in 48.72 seconds in the Middle Tennessee State Invitational Saturday. A freshman at the university, Torian also ran the 200, placing sixth in 22.20.
Brittany Meads (Joppatowne) ran on the Morgan State 4x400 team that placed eighth in 3:46.86 in a collegiate meet at Boston University Saturday. She also ran the open 400, finishing in 58.19 seconds.
In the Susquehanna Indoor Challenge meet in Selinsgrove, Pa., Stevenson University junior Matt Riggins (C. Milton Wright) placed third in the 60-meter dash in 7.02 seconds. Teammate Langston Gash (Edgewood) won the mile in 4:25.08, Kiarra Nowell (CMW) placed seventh in the shot put at 37-5. Frostburg State won the women’s 4x400 in an ECAC Championship-qualifying time of 4:08.50, with Maddison Watson (Fallston) running the third leg.
Upcoming local races
Feb. 11 – RASAC 10-mile Tune-up, the Mill in Susquehanna State Park, 8 a.m., runharford.com
Feb. 18 - RASAC Coffee Run 5 Miler, Joppatowne Dunkin’ Donuts, 8 a.m., runharford.com