The 2nd Annual Donut Dash was a big success according to the event's organizers with a record number of runners/walkers/eaters and $12,000 raised for local charities including the Random Smile Project and The Tim Gemelli Family Fund. While the race had over 500 participants, the Donut Dash had a small town feel with friends and families heading out on the 3.1 mile course dotted with three donut stations.
The morning was filled with hugs and smiles as people shared their strategies for donut consumption and surviving the course which started with a challenging hill on Fuller St.
The three charities benefited from the race; Random Smile Project which helps locals in need with a variety of services, The Plainville Food Pantry, and the Tim Gemelli Family Fund. The story of Tim Gemelli is well known throughout Wrentham, his hometown. Gemelli, an active member of the Wrentham community and particularly with Wrentham Youth Baseball and Softball, was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) in 2013. The Tim Gemelli Family Fund was set up to help with medical bills, equipment needs, and the expenses associated with renovating his home to accommodate the changes in his health.
Before the race, Senator Richard Ross, the Donut Dash official starter, marveled at the communities' response to Gemelli and the efforts to help the family. "This is very symbolic of how small towns pull together," Ross said and he was impressed how time and time again people pull together to try and help. "That's what communities do."
Donut Dash veteran, Mike McGuire, had such a good time last year he signed up right away once registration opened. "I was the first person to sign up," he said. "I did it last year, and it was a lot of fun."
McGuire planned to walk the course while others needed to decide whether to run hard, stop and eat donuts to receive a time savings or some combination of run, eat and walk. Wrentham's Kathleen McDonald skipped the donuts on the course saying the first mile was pretty hard going up hill and eating a donut was the last thing on her mind. Despite the hard first mile, she said the whole event was "super fun."
McDonald's daughter Mary Kate ran the race and did try one donut on the course but wasn't sure it was the best idea. "I"m starting to regret it," she said after the race.
King Philip High School sophomore Jack Angelo consumed two donuts on the race. He found the type of donut made a difference. The cross country runner struggled with an old fashion donut but found the glazed went down much easier. "I needed a lot of water," he added.
Wrentham's Collin Stergis just ran as fast as he could and skipped the donuts all together. "I wouldn't have been able to finish," he explained.
While many runners were saying they had a couple of donuts, it was Wrentham's Andrew Sprague who took home the honor of Donut King setting a race record by eating 12 donuts. That beat last year's record of 10. Also, Nick Brady (pictured) took home honors as the top runner to finish the race.
Race director Sheila Malacaria was very happy with the race results. Asked if there was going to be a Donut Dash 3, Malacaria answered with a big, "Oh yes!"