RALEIGH — RALEIGH -- On a gray, dreary morning when it would have been tempting to pull the covers up and sleep a little longer, thousands of hardy or hungry runners sloshed through the early-morning rain to take part in the seventh annual Krispy Kreme Challenge.
The four-mile race from the N.C. State Bell Tower to the Krispy Kreme store on Person Street and back was a fund-raising event for the N.C. Children's Hospital.
Though the race offered the typical challenges of a competitive run a crowded starting line, the steep, uphill climb on the final leg it was the madcap midpoint dare that made the occasion more sporting and extreme than most.
Instead of orange slices, the competitors were handed a dozen glazed doughnuts to ingest before starting the last two miles of the race.
Some used the stack, smash, swallow and chase with water method to quickly down the sugary treats.
Others chewed the food more deliberately.
Some consumed all 12 doughnuts.
Others abandoned part of their dozen as the belly bloat became too painful to endure.
The whole thing started as a dare between 10 N.C. State University students in 2004.
Since then, the event has grown exponentially.
Nearly 7,500 participants were registered for the challenge this morning.
Thousands come from across the state and beyond to take part.
For some, the lure was a workout in which 2,400 calories and 144 grams of fat could be consumed and condoned.
For others, the draw was a charitable notion.
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