Elizabeth Farmer saw the rain clouds rolling into Hagerstown early Friday evening, but it wasn’t going to dampen her night.
Her running shoes got a little wet, though.
“I love running in the rain, actually, so I don’t mind it,” said the Blue Ridge Summit, Pa., native, who works in Hagerstown. “I run in the rain all the time.”
Farmer and 580 other participants from around the area braved intermittent showers to take part in the second annual Krumpe’s Do-Nut Alley Rally 5K, a benefit event for the Wounded Warrior Project.
Fred Krumpe, co-owner of Krumpe’s Do-Nut Shop that’s been at the same location in south Hagerstown for the past five decades, said this year’s turnout dwarfed last year’s inaugural event total of 343 participants and more than $5,000 raised for the service organization that helps wounded soldiers.
Before the announcement of the final tally, he estimated that this year’s event would raise more than $10,000.
“They have some terrific programs that help (veterans) when they come back, and they just do a terrific job with whatever they need,” Krumpe said.
Rudy Krumpe, Fred’s brother and co-owner of the local doughnut shop, said the community support for the 5K has been “phenomenal” and it’s grown immensely since last year.
“We’ve had terrific support from the community,” he said. “Local businesses have sponsored us. We’ve had people that just make contributions that wanted to help out.”
Hundreds of people lined up to register for the race about an hour before it kicked off from First and Spruce streets around 7:30 p.m. The race route took participants through some South End streets before it snaked through nearby Rose Hill Cemetery and ended up back at Donut Alley.
The event hits close to home for Cpl. Kevin Ecke, a Hagerstown native whose served two tours in Afghanistan in the U.S. Marine Corps.
He said he was running to have fun, but also to help raise awareness about the Wounded Warrior Project.
“I’ve had a couple buddies come through Wounded Warrior and said nothing but great remarks about them — how they came back, how they helped each other out,” Ecke said. “And I’m just trying to give back to that.”
Ecke said he returned from his second tour of duty in late June, and while he was in good shape to begin with, he said he’s been training for the past few weeks for the race.
To keep their energy — and their blood sugar — up, participants were treated to free Krumpe’s doughnuts, a delicious local favorite that Farmer raved about while waiting for the race to begin.
She said the locally made doughnuts are the best around.
“They just melt in your mouth,” Farmer said. “They’re just a really nice treat to enjoy anytime.”