Red Flag

A Krispy Kreme Challenge running race in North Carolina left one man dead last Saturday morning.

The race is a touted as a humorous and very unhealthy spin on health-oriented charity runs. It happens every year, and has become a tradition at North Carolina University in Raleigh, North Carolina. Thousands come every year. Participants have to run five miles and eat 12 doughnuts in under an hour. That's 2400 calories of donuts, and a lot of refined sugar.

Aside from raising funds for a local children's hospital, the calorie-infused doughnut binge appears to have very little to do with health. However, the consumption of massive amounts of doughnuts did not cause this 58-year-old man's heart attack during the event. His chest pains started before making it to the Krispy Kreme store. He was rushed to a local hospital for treatment, but doctors could not save him and he later succumbed to his injuries.

A statement was released by the event's organizers. They said, "We are deeply saddened and wish to convey our heartfelt condolences to his loved ones."

History of the Krispy Kreme Challenge

The Krispy Kreme Challenge began 12 years ago. It starts at the North Carolina State Bell Tower and stops at a Krispy Kreme shop in downtown Raleigh. There, participants force down 12 donuts before returning to the university.

Here is the "mantra" of the event, which is published on its website:

"The mantra of the Krispy Kreme Challenge epitomizes the test of physical fitness and gastrointestinal fortitude. What started as a challenge among ten friends has transformed into a nationally publicized charity race, and the number one tradition to complete before graduating from North Carolina State University."

The event has raised almost $1 million for the children's hospital during its 12-year history.

Liability Issues During a Running Event

Family members of the man who died in this event may want to investigate whether the event coordinators took sufficient precautions to prepare for a health emergency like the man suffered in this case. If the organizers were negligent in this regard, the man's family might be able to pursue a wrongful death claim against them, but it will depend on local laws and the facts surrounding the event.

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