While I have yet to settle on an event for December, today I locked down my registration for two important events in 2011. I’ll be running in the Krispy Kreme Challenge on Feb. 5 and the Tobacco Road Marathon on March 20.
Considering that I’ve never run a marathon, one might imagine that I’d be more nervous about that.
That’s because I’ll be training for the Krispy Kreme Challenge—a contest that challenges runners to scarf down a dozen doughnuts midway through a 4-mile race and finish in less than 1 hour—with my good friend and co-national egg tossing champion Mike Hepp. And Mike, as he told me earlier today, is “in it to win it.”
“I’ve been running 6 miles at an 8-minute per mile pace,” Mike said. “And I’ve always been good at eating. This race was made for me.”
That’s right. Even though last year’s winner finished in 30:20, Mike is convinced that he can be competitive. And when your co-national egg tossing champion thinks he can be competitive in anything, you must follow suit. It’s a rule.
Here’s why this troubles me. Before today, I always imagined that I’d only attempt this foolish challenge once in my lifetime. Perhaps it’s because I recently recovered from a nasty bout of food poisoning and would rather not vomit again anytime in the foreseeable future. Or maybe it’s because I technically retired from the competitive eating circuit after my experience in a hot pepper eating contest this September. Or maybe it’s because I’ve never been able to shake this passage from a 2009 ESPN.com story about the challenge by Greg Garber:
Over the years, I’ve run a number of races, from the Escape from Alcatraz triathlon to various open-water swims to crazy events up mountains and through the woods. But never have I felt like there was a two-pound bass thrashing around in my stomach, trying to get out.
Garber, of course, was describing the feeling of 2,400-calories worth of doughnuts sloshing around his gut during the final 2 miles. Honestly, I don’t see any reason to replicate this feeling more than once. Sure, I’d like to train for the race. But I was thinking that a training run (no, more like a training jog) with a snack of six doughnuts would suffice.
Today he told me that he’s willing to recreate the race before the actual race.
I just hope he’s buying the doughnuts. And cleaning up whatever mess we leave behind.