On Wednesday, we typically have doughnuts in the newsroom. It’s an opportunity for our reporters and editors to bring in a treat as we approach the midpoint of the week.
It’s also an opportunity for me to train.
I’ve chronicled my (still ongoing) running streak and experience at the Tooele Tri in this column before. Those are fun distractions, but this time of year, my attention turns to a more important event — the Utah Tour de Donut.
Held annually for the past 10 years, the Tour de Donut combines two of my favorite things — riding bicycles and eating doughnuts. Every competitor rides three 7-mile laps, with a break between laps to eat as many glazed doughnuts as possible.
For every doughnut eaten, three minutes comes off your finish time. If you’re eating a doughnut every couple of minutes, the time off can be considerable.
The race takes off from a parking lot at Lone Peak High School in American Fork right around 8 a.m., which was still chilly last Saturday. It was my second attempt at the race, so I was coming into it a little more experienced this time around.
I found the secret is not eating too many doughnuts at one time. Some competitors will mash three or four glazed doughnuts together and eat them; I’ve found the sweet spot is two, so you can avoid slowing down as you choke your way through a bunch of doughnuts.
After the first lap on the bike, I managed to eat a dozen doughnuts. It’s important to eat as many doughnuts as possible the first time around, because you won’t be nearly as hungry the second time.
The doughnuts used at the race are dense and have a thick glaze, which gets all over your hands, handlebars and tires as you eat. To save space, competitors hunker over their bikes to eat and volunteers hand out doughnuts, keep track of your total and provide water and moist towelettes.
The second time through, I only managed to choke down five more doughnuts. I’d heard the highest total at that point was 24; I knew I wouldn’t match that total so I cut my losses after 17 total doughnuts and rode the last 7 miles.
I did the race with my wife and best friend, who was visiting from New York, and managed to out-eat them both. My wife is an accomplished cyclist and this is about the only race I can beat her in, thanks to the seven additional doughnuts I ate.
My final time of 53 minutes was good for third in my age group and an average speed of 23 mph, aided by 51 minutes in time saving from doughnuts.
Needless to say, we all skipped dessert that night. The 17 doughnuts sat like a rock in my stomach for the rest of the day, causing some prolonged queasiness.
Out of curiosity, I googled the calorie total for a glazed doughnut. A Krispy Kreme glazed doughnut is about 255 calories. Using that as a benchmark, I likely consumed in the neighborhood of 4,300 calories during the race.
I’m pretty sure I didn’t burn that many calories from 21 miles on the bike either.
The race, however, is for a good cause. The funds and food donations at the race go to Tabitha’s Way, a local food pantry, which somewhat eases the guilt of consuming an absurd number of doughnuts.
I plan on racing again next year, with a sole goal in mind: becoming the Doughnut King. The title goes to the man who eats the most doughnuts during the race and I’m ready to get back to training next Wednesday.