Donut 5K set for Christmas Eve at Carmel Racquet Club


The Donut 5K run will be a little different this year, since it will take place on Christmas Eve.

“We’ve always been the Saturday before Christmas, unless Christmas falls on a Saturday,” said Todd Oliver, the president and race director for Carmel Road Racing Group. “This is the first time for the race that Christmas Eve has fallen on a Saturday, and we’re really excited about it.

The race, billed as the “The Sweetest Race in Indiana,” is set for 9 a.m. Dec. 24, starting at the Carmel Racquet Club. Jack’s Donuts will provide treats on the course and at the finish line.

“Before we moved to Carmel, we were downtown at the NCAA (Headquarters),” he said. “When the NCAA was the host venue, the race was always held the third Saturday in December. We switched to the Saturday before Christmas when we made our partnership with the Carmel Racquet Club. We were at the Monon Center for three years and we outgrew the Monon Center, and we went to the Carmel Racquet Club in 2017.”

The 2020 run was held in downtown Indianapolis because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is the first time we’ve offered four animal rescues to be the beneficiaries,” Oliver said. “We’ve had three in the past, but we are expanding it to four because of the popularity of the connection of benefiting the animal rescues.”

The 5K is limited to 2,000 people, and Oliver said it is on pace to sell out again. The cap is to ensure everyone receives a medal, shirt and the famous Donut Me stocking hat.

Oliver said because the event is on Christmas Eve, large groups and families are registering together. With Thanksgiving being such a popular day for families to run together, race organizers figured Christmas Eve might be as well.

Packet pickup and a post-race party will be indoors on the courts of the Carmel Racquet Club.

There will be a cash prize for the top three male and female finishers.

“It’s considered one of the fastest 5Ks in the state,” Oliver said. “The reason for it is we have a lot of former collegiate and professional runners who come home for the holidays.”

Since many participants walk with their dogs, there is a costume contest for the dogs. There also are awards for fastest and biggest dog.

To register, visit