Thoughts You Totally Have While Running the Krispy Kreme Challenge

Bitter 20-degree temps didn’t stop the 14th annual Krispy Kreme Challenge yesterday.

For those who aren’t longtime locals, the Krispy Kreme Challenge is a beloved tradition that combines Raleighites’ love of running, love of glazed donuts, and love of giving back.

The challenge? Run 2.5 miles from NC State’s Belltower to Krispy Kreme, devour a dozen donuts, and race back to the Belltower — without throwing up, if possible. All of the money raised from the race supports the North Carolina Children’s Hospital over in Chapel Hill.

Not surprisingly, a quirky event like this is on many people’s bucket lists, ours included. If you ran the race yesterday, we bet we can guess what you were thinking.

“There Must Be Thousands of People Here!”

A crowd of runners, some dressed in donut costumes, milling around NC State's Belltower with the Aloft Hotel in the background.

There are a lot of unforgettable moments during the Krispy Kreme Challenge. Seeing thousands of people sprinting down a car-free Hillsborough Street is one of them.

Close to 3,000 people finished the race during the 2018 Krispy Kreme Challenge, but that’s not counting the crowd of loyal friends, family, and curious onlookers who showed up to keep runners motivated.

We personally passed people holding hilarious motivational signs (including “You run better than our government”), folks feeding bacon to the challengers, a talented trombone player, and an impromptu acapella group serenading runners from a roundabout.

“Wow, Downtown Raleigh’s Pretty.”

A three-story Victorian house with a large porch, ornately decorated windows and rafters, and a central tower at the roof.
The Heck-Andrews House, built in 1870, as seen from Blount Street

It’s not often you can take a walking (well, running) tour of Downtown Raleigh. From historic Victorian-era houses to centuries-old churches to iconic Raleigh restaurants, the Krispy Kreme Challenge always takes runners on a scenic tour of the city.

Check out this map to find out what unique attractions you might have missed while changing songs on your running playlist.

“Aww, It’s Over Already?”

A group of runners with their backs to the camera about to pass under a sign that says Krispy Kreme Challenge Finish

For the novice runners (like us!), a 5-mile race is no easy feat. Even so, the Krispy Kreme Challenge was a fun event that we can’t wait to do next year.

Check Out Even More NC State and Raleigh Traditions

The Krispy Kreme Challenge is one of many things worth adding to your bucket list. Check out the official list of student traditions, annual and recurring events you don’t want to miss, and our personal favorites.

Have some cool Krispy Kreme Challenge pictures you’d like to share? Follow us on Twitter @ncsu_commuters and tell us about your favorite moments!

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