I run for donuts. And so did many others at this year’s Main Street Donut Chase 5k and 1 Miler.
Held on Sunday, March 24 in Wall, New Jersey, participants held their eyes on the prize—a really awesome medal and delicious donut at the finish line.
The race was organized by the same people behind the Taco Trot 5k. Donuts were given away courtesy of Main Street Donuts in Belmar. There was race packet pickup at Main Street Donuts the day before where participants could also purchase some of the tasty, gourmet donuts. Race day pickup was also allowed.
The event sold out before race day, which means those looking to return next year or run it for the first time next year should register as early as possible. There was a great turnout of participants, but not where it was overwhelming to navigate around.
The Main Street Donut Chase was held at the Wall Municipal Complex, where there was plenty of parking. Participants were treated to pre-race bagels while walking around to the sponsor tents. The 5k started promptly at 9:30, with faster runners in the front and joggers and walkers to the back. It was a staggered start, with waves of runners taking off for crowd control. This was the greatest thing because the course included running along the path that only fits two runners side by side comfortably.
The race was time chipped, so start time only began after crossing the starting line.
Overall, the event was extremely organized. The vibe was great, and it was a sweet way to start the day. Who wouldn’t run for donuts?
It was a looped course, with plenty of directional markers on the ground to prevent runners from getting lost. There were volunteers along the way to direct runners as well. However, there was someone who commented on the race’s Facebook page that they got lost and there was no one in sight. When in doubt just follow the people ahead, but I can see how this can be tricky if no runners can be seen. Regardless, just follow the path and it all circles back to the start.
Those who ran the Taco Trot 5k had an advantage because it was a similar course. Everything was the same except for the last mile, which included running the path to the right then turning around and heading to the finish line.
This is a relatively flat course, but we all know that the word “relatively” in racecourse terms does mean some inclines. The race organizers did warn beforehand that there are some small hills. But none of these were major and can be described more as steep inclines than an actual hill. The first one comes in the first mile, but it quick and mile 1 and 2 and pretty fast. That last half mile includes another incline or two, which can take a toll on the runner who is really pushing the pace. The last mile is the toughest, but there it really isn’t like climbing “real” hills like courses like Navesink, so runners of all levels can easily do this course. Stick with the pace and know that downhill is just a bend away and it’s smooth sailing to the finish.
This race has a super upbeat and fun atmosphere. There was a great crowd turnout with plenty of people cheering from the sidelines. After crossing the finish line runners got complimentary finisher photos and an adorable donut medal.
On the runner’s race bib was a ticket for a free donut, which was chocolate frosted with sprinkles and divine. Of course, runners also got race T-shirts, a long sleeve blue shirt with a pink donut on it. It was a chilly morning, so perfect to change into after. The best part of this race was the swag, including free donuts. Again, who doesn’t want to run for donuts?!
Kids Donut Dash
The 1 miler event kicked off at 10 a.m. and was not timed. All finishers got the same swag. Also at 10 was the 100 meter run for the little ones. Put together by My Little Gym, this kids donut dash took place on the soccer field for those ages 6 and younger.
Little racers wore their own bibs and enjoyed a warm-up that included running around and freezing with some stretches. There were smiles ear to ear among all the little runners.
Then it was time to line up and dash down 100 meters to the inflatable donut at the end. All the kids did a great job and were rewarded with mini donut plush toys. They also had a ticket for a free donut to enjoy.
It might seem silly to run then eat not the healthiest option early in the morning, but the Donut Run put a lot of fun into racing. After all, it’s all about a healthy balance so why don’t enjoy a donut after getting in a good 3-mile run? It is a lighthearted race with the option to still place within age groups. With great swag and lots of smiles, leaving with a belly full of donuts is the best way to end any race.
This is a very family-friendly event. Bring your boo, your family, friends and kids. Strollers and dogs are welcomed. The icing on the cake for this runner was the ability to share something I love with my little guy, being a healthy influence and encouraging him to be healthy, too. It is so rewarded to see how much this little one loves to run. Seeing the joy on his face is priceless and it reminds my competitive side that the act of running should really be done for fun.
I finished in 27th place (out of 415) with a chip time of 30:51.55 and an average pace of 9:56.