Runners participate in the inaugural Donut Dash.
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Donut wins Brainsport Donut Dash

More than 330 runners flocked to the new Gordie Howe Sports Complex Sunday for Brainsport’s inaugural Donut Dash run.

In the end, no one was faster than the donut.

Saskatoon runner Daniel Block led the five-kilometre run and crossed the finish line in under 19 minutes — all while wearing a large donut costume.

Photos: Louis Christ

Block, a national-level 800-metre runner who’s now trying out some longer races on the road, said he had to laugh when he was asked to be the donut. His fiancée was already planning on running in the Donut Dash because it combined her two favourite things: donuts and running.

“So what better than to have her chase me in the donut costume? It almost worked out too perfectly,” Block said.

Despite his victory over the other runners — including one in a gingerbread man costume who crossed the finish line in second place — Block said the donut outfit may not be his outfit of choice for future races.

“I couldn’t see a thing out of that costume,” he said. “I had to readjust it every five steps or so just so I could stay on the path! And it was really hot. Thank goodness the weather was reasonable or I probably would’ve passed out halfway through the race!”

Yet Block said he had fun and enjoyed getting to goof around in the costume without anyone knowing who he was.

“It seemed as though a lot of people got a kick out of the donut costume so it was fun getting to put a smile on people’s faces,” he said.

The race attracted runners from across western Canada and there was even representation from the United States. Race director Edda Galbraith said people aged one to 69 registered for the event. Collectively, they consumed about 600 donuts.

The Donut Dash was a fundraiser for the Gordie Howe Sports Complex, which opened in Saskatoon this spring. Galbraith said the total amount raised is still being determined.

Block said supporting this type of project is important and he wishes he’d had access to facilities like the Gordie Howe Sports Complex when he was growing up and competing in Saskatoon.

“It’s such a great opportunity for young athletes in Saskatoon and the surrounding area to have these brand-new facilities at their disposal,” he said.

“I think we’re going to see a lot of good athletes coming out of Saskatoon in all kinds of sports, because they’re now going to have all this new support and infrastructure at their fingertips.”