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On April 17th, runners and walkers alike took to the waterfront in Jefferson, IL, for a 5k benefiting Louisville charity, Shirley’s Way. The catch to this race? DONUTS! “Cancer Sucks. Donuts Don’t.” was the slogan of this innovative 2-for-1 race and donut challenge. Sponsored by Flat 12 Bierwerks and put on by Drifter Events, it is part of a Six Pack Run series, which includes a Father’s Day Mustache Dash and a 9/11 Hero Run. Another great catch to this 5k? Participants finish at one of Flat 12’s brew houses! Two of the world’s greatest gifts: beer and donuts.

Some contestants were out for the first time racing because of this donut incentive. One racer commented, “This one has doughnuts. The others don’t. That’s why I usually don’t do them.” Because of this, there were two waves — a competitive and a non-competitive. The competitive wave started first; runners were required to finish each donut before moving on to the next station and had to eat all three to qualify. Non-competitors started ten minutes later, could eat donuts on the go and could even skip a station completely. There were three different donut stations for racers to stop at, each with different flavors. Founder of Drifter Events Jason Kelly says they wanted to cater to these non-competitors, so that’s where the donuts came in. Not only do the donuts take away some of the seriousness of cancer, they encourage people who normally wouldn’t go out and run a 5k to get out there!

So let’s talk about the part that we care most about, the donut flavors featured during the race. Thortons not only donated 720 donuts, but made a sizeable donation to Shirley’s Way. Participants were greeted by a blueberry donut at the first station, followed by cookies and cream and then a bourbon donut (alongside some traditional glazed). With flavors this delicious, it must have been hard not to eat them all! I would have just skipped the race all together and run off with the donuts!

The other part that we care a lot about is that this race, donuts and all, brings awareness and funds to a great charity Shirley’s Way. It started by Mike Mulrooney in memory of his mother, Shirley, to help offset medical costs for families struggling with cancer bills. His life mantra of “people helping people” has helped many families and inspired events like this donut 5k.

With riverfront views, donuts, beer, good company, and an awesome charity to support, it must have been a great day! If you are in the area, be sure to check out the rest of the Six Pack Runs — they are all benefiting Shirley’s Way. Let’s hope that the next time there is a donut run we get a personal invite!

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