Run for the Donuts

GDonutsodiva's Winter Series 2012-2013 kicks off with Tom Fowler's legacy Run for the Donuts, a cross-country team relay unlike any other. One year older than the full series, this is the 30th annual Donuts run.

Date: Sunday, 14 October 2012.

Time: Registration begins at 9:00 am. Race starts at 10:00 a.m.

Location: Durham Academy Upper School at Pickett and Ridge Rds. in Durham

New Race Director:

The Rules: You'll be assigned along with two others—whom you might or might not know—to a team that vies with all the other randomly constituted teams in a spirited relay race for edible trophies—donuts! You'll memorize your team number and shout it out at appropriate transitions to aid the sometimes addled timekeepers, or simply to signal an endorphin release.

Each team runs five loops of a cross-country course comprising grassy fields and wooded trails. All three team members run the first two loops together at the pace of the slowest teammate, with one then dropping out and the two remaining runners continuing the third loop together at the pace of the slower runner of the two, to be followed by one of those two dropping out and just the remaining runner running the fourth loop, to be replaced in turn by the teammate who dropped out after the second loop, who then runs the fifth (and final) loop alone. So each teammate runs multiple loops of the course—singly at his/her own all-out pace or perhaps at a slower teammate's speed when running in tandem.

When all teams have completed their fifth loops, the director and time-keepers apply their vaunted science to work out each team’s Donut Index™—the team’s finish time in seconds divided by the sum of the team members’ ages in years—with the lowest index determining which team gets the most prized donuts.

Inspiration: Quite often, neither the fastest nor the oldest team wins. Alas, the youngest team never has.