Last year, the temperature in Carmel was 19 degrees outside for the Donut 5K, an annual event where runners get donut holes before, during and after the race.
Despite the chilly air, almost 1,400 people finished the race at the Monon Community Center, up 70 percent from the year before. For 2016, race organizer Todd Oliver is moving the Dec. 17 event to the Carmel Racquet Club to accommodate its growth.
The 10-year-old race was rebranded three years ago as a “donut run” with a partnership with Jack’s Donuts and a charitable beneficiary in the Humane Society for Hamilton County. Last year, more than 7,800 donut holes were handed out at the race.
Oliver said it’s likely that 2016 could have 2,000 runners. Registration is 30 to 40 percent ahead of last year at this point. At this pace, the Donut 5K would be the third-largest race in Carmel, behind the Carmel Marathon and the Bolt For the Heart race on Thanksgiving. The Donut 5K would surpass the Ghosts and Goblins 5K in attendance.
Oliver said the indoor tennis courts at the Carmel Racquet Club will be used to provide more space for registration, packet pickup and post-race donuts. Runners will run on city streets, which allows for more space and faster running times compared to park pathways. Oliver said roads will be cleared if there’s snow, and he’s hoping there won’t be too much construction that late in winter.
“I’m crossing my fingers that the Range Line Road and Carmel Drive roundabout gets finished in time,” he said.
The Roadrunners Club of America awarded the Donut 5K the Indiana State 5K Championship for 2015, which means it was the best 5K race in the state that year, according to the organization.
Dogs are allowed to run alongside participants at the Donut 5K. Proceeds will benefit the Humane Society for Hamilton County. The first 1,000 registered participants received a special “Donut Me” stocking hat in addition to the event shirt. To register, visit donut5krun.com.
When: 9 a.m. race start Dec. 17. Packet pickup begins at 7:30 a.m., and a post-race party will be held from 10 a.m. to noon.
Where: Carmel Racquet Club, 225 E. Carmel Dr.
More info: View registration rates and learn more at donut5krun.com.