It was another early morning for the Dirty Wingmen (James Ruckley and myself) as we head off on the road to Colchester to to take part in a charity event. This was a slight break from our obstacle race addiction, as we decided to check out Doughnut Dash, in aid of Kidney Research UK, at Colchester Castle Park. Now, in my head I thought this would be fairly easy - a little 5km run around a park, oh and the slight matter/pleasure of eating five doughnuts along the way… easy right?
However, in the info pack, they asked that if you are going to be sick, try not to be sick on other runners… sorry you what? What had we signed up to? So, for the whole journey there, I was worrying about whether I could make it 5km without being sick. I hadn't been that nervous about an event in a long time - I really don’t like being sick!
As we rocked up to to the event, we said hi to the organisers and then discover that it was a bit of an OCR community get-together, with loads of familiar faces and lots of chit chat in a nice relaxed event village. That was until I was shown the doughnuts. Trays and trays of doughnuts! Now, I can eat, and I have a sweet tooth, but even these doughnuts looked daunting. Before I continue any further, have a quick watch of Dan Hodgson's short video from the event.
First of all we got to watch the kids race, which was a really nice part of the day, as it was such a family atmosphere and there were loads of kids begging to eat the doughnuts. So all these little guys line up on the starting line and away they went. Those kids could run and they could eat doughnuts quickly but I’m not so sure that the ‘stuff the whole thing in my face’ technique would work for me…
When it was time for the adults to play, we had a warm up and were led to the start line, where we had to eat our first doughnut. That doughnut was amazing, with loads of jam, pink icing and sprinkles. The jam was going everywhere and it was a struggle to avoid getting it all over my face and hands. Already I felt like a kid again –but isn’t that why we all race anyway? Then, to show that we had eaten a doughnut, we were given a sticker.
With the doughnut digesting and the sticker placed on my bib, we were ready for the off. The horn sounded and we set off into a light jog, except James, who decided he wanted run. I settled into a nice slow pace, not wanting to be panting and out of breath for the next doughnut station. I’m glad I did, as the next one was a chocolate iced doughnut with chocolate sprinkles. I tried eating it quickly but it wouldn't go down. It was a real struggle and I quickly went from 3rd to 15th place. This wasn't about position for me though, it was about not being sick (did I tell you I don’t like being sick?)
By now James was long gone and I thought I’d see him at the finish line, so I headed off round the park in search of the next station for another doughnut. I chatted to a couple of other runners and enjoyed the really lovely relaxed vibe of the event. As much as both James and I like to muck around on courses, we still usually run, so it was nice just to take it all in for once at a leisurely pace.
The third station was another iced doughnut but without sprinkles, which made it a bit easier to digest. By now though a lot of the other runners were looking around and most likely thinking what I was thinking… this was suddenly a lot harder than I thought it would be… I much prefer eating doughnuts at the comfort of my desk while writing reviews and other bits.
The route then brought us back past the event village and around for a second lap, which is where I found James. I would like to have said it was in a doughnut daze but unfortunately James got injured trying to avoid a dog. However, even through his pain, he was determined to eat his doughnuts, so united together again off we headed for the forth doughnut.
Number four, for me, was the worst doughnut of the lot. It was a thinly iced doughnut but just seemed like a struggle, it was sticky and messy… in another situation it may have been enjoyable.
Off we went, to find that final doughnut station… our pace had slowed but for this event it was perfect. The park was stunning, it was a lovely sunny day and everyone was running around on a massive sugar high.
The final doughnut was in sight; it was caramel iced and custard filled. I could have eaten two of these, they were lovely but then I know I would have been sick!
After a short jog back into the event village we crossing the finish line, where we were given a rubber doughnut medal and a bottle of water to wash everything down.
The Donut Dash was a completely different event but was still an obstacle race none the less. The friendly, family environment really added to the experience and if you are ever near Colchester when they put this event on again then I would recommend you go check it out, even just go for the doughnuts…
Find out more on www.doughnutdash.org.uk. Thanks to Tom Warne for the pics!