Although a summer shower soaked 632 participants prior to the third annual Krumpe’s Donut Alley Rally in Hagerstown on Friday night, the rain subsided by the time the 5-kilometer race of wet but determined competitors was under way.
Participants — most of whom ran, sprinted or jogged, but some of whom strolled briskly — began the race at First and Spruce streets just before 7:30 p.m.
Spectators lined the sidewalks and sat on neighborhood porches as the route took participants on some South End streets, through nearby Rose Hill Cemetery and back to Donut Alley where they could refuel on Krumpe’s carbohydrate-rich doughnuts.
A group of South Hagerstown High School classmates whose commencement occurred 44 years ago were among the participants who strolled briskly.
The reunion of the seven women who now reside in Maryland, California and Florida, respectively, was spearheaded by 62-year-old Mindy Verduci, of Key West, Fla., who used social media to reconnect the group that long ago indulged in middle-of-the-night trips to Krumpe’s during sleepovers.
“We’re having a wonderful time, you wouldn’t believe the stories we’re reminded of,” Verduci said of the group, some of whom hadn’t seen each other since high school.
The annual event benefited the Wounded Warrior Project — the national nonprofit organization aimed at aiding wounded veterans, especially those who are severely injured. It was expected to raise more than $10,000, organizers said.
Fred Krumpe, co-owner of Krumpe’s Do-Nut Shop — a family affair that has been handed down from previous generations and operated in south Hagerstown for the past five decades — said 10 states were represented in the 5K.
“It’s just got to help the local economy,” Krumpe said. “It’s an all around win-win.”
The inaugural race drew 343 participants and raised more than $5,000, while last year’s race raised more than $9,000 and drew 580 participants, Krumpe said.
Rie Bailey, 42, of Carlisle, Pa., who ran the race for the second time this year, said she was admittedly drawn by the race’s tempting treats a decade ago.
“When I was pregnant ... I craved the doughnuts until doctors stopped me,” said Bailey, noting the first word her son Joel, now 10, spoke was “mama,” and the second was “doughnut.”
Bailey’s friend, Irene Whittenberger, also of Carlisle, Pa., ran the race not for the finish line’s free doughnuts, but to honor her father who is in poor health and some 10,000 miles away in the Philippines.
“It’s a time for yourself and whatever you’re thinking,” Whittenberger, 42, said of running. “For some people, it’s the ‘higher mile,’ they call it, because it has meaning.”