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This t-shirt celebrates the classic post-race free food for the participants: a table loaded with bananas. Sometimes they have bagels, too, usually several different flavor options.

But more races are offering post-race parties with beer, and some are even organized around true junk food. The Krispy Kreme Challenge, for example, started as more of a dare among friends but now justifies its size as an event by donating to a local children’s hospital. Is consuming 2400 calories in the space of one hour really the best way to support children’s health? The Krispy Kreme Challenge (like the Beer Mile) is clearly a novelty event, but beer and doughnuts appear at more serious events, too. Krispy Kreme has also donated doughnuts for fundraisers for Team in Training, in what is clearly a promotional opportunity.

Everyone deserves some treats, and choosing to eat mindfully and be active absolutely does not forbid you from enjoying beer or doughnuts, but should race events be so closely linked with these foods — especially events that are so closely linked with health causes? Is it a sign of the normal mix of life? Or a need to bribe ourselves to be active?

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